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1932 saw the lowest production numbers since 1922.

There were 11 SS100s, against 9 in 1931, 15 SS80s just under half of 32 in 1931, and just 24 OHV 680s from 67 in 1931.

Austin Four.
Brough Superior Austin Four

The radical, twin rear wheeled Austin engined four cylinder bike was introduced in March 1932. This must have been in development for at least 18 months. The announcement brought a huge amount of publicity to the Brough works. However only 8 were made and this made a total of only 58 bikes in the year.

SS100s remained very much as in previous years as did the SS80.

The OHV 680 saw the introduction of the first foot change gearbox, otherwise as the previous year.

Austin Four Engine
Close Up Of Austin Four Engine

The Austin four was initially designed as a sidecar machine but certainly two were ridden as solo in the 1930s. The engine came directly from an Austin 7 design, 750cc side valve with a low pressure oiling system. The gearbox a standard three speed and reverse Austin 7 unit driving a propeller shaft to a crown wheel and pinion mounted in a specially cast housing. Cooling was by a pair of custom produced radiators mounted on either side of the front frame downtube.

Power output was low and performance was inhibited by the use of standard Austin rear axle ratios. Acceleration with a sidecar fitted would have been made up for lack of top speed. The Austin four greatest success was the publicity generated by the introduction and marketing of such a unique motorcycle. Brough Superior was the only UK maker to offer a four cylinder motorcycle in the 1920s and 30s.
Of the 10 Austin fours, 8 in 1932 and one in both 1933 and 1934 made 8 survive.

 

( Text courtesy Miles Soppet with the assistance of Dave Clark - B.S. Club Technical Historian. )

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