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I suppose in retrospect it was a pretty dumb move to buy a basket case Brough Matchless engined SS80 when my practical skills are challenged by assembling a flat pack from IKEA! Nevertheless that's just what I did in November 1997. On the good side the frame was complete and the front forks had been re-assembled. I believe the previous owner died during the restoration. Large lumps of the engine i.e. Crankcase & Cylinders were also in good condition and matched the frame numbers on the works record card. Incidentally this card also showed it had been delivered personally "per Mr G Brough" in May 1939 to an F.J. Sontier, at that time it was fitted with a sidecar, subsequently we (the royal we as it was Dave Clark who actually did the work) left the lug but built it as a solo. The downside was there was nothing much else usable except the petrol tank.

I've seen in a couple of journals that whatever you pay for a basket case it will cost twice as much to get it on the road. In my case I (probably over)paid £7K for the bits and (largely due) to a couple of false starts the formula worked out pretty accurately so you can work out the arithmetic!

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The one smart move I did make was to contact Dave Clark who was very busy at the time but offered to undertake the work when he was free. I'd more or less forgotten about this as I was up to my eyes in our technical solution for London Congestion Charging and was in quite a quandary about the Brough having not made much progress, when he got in contact in the spring of 2001.

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After that point everything happened very swiftly and Dave duly delivered it to my house in December 2001. Since that point it's been pretty much trouble free although Dave did replace the gear box selector and I can now get all 4 gears and neutral. It doesn't get much of an airing since I spend most weeks and some weekends in London, but having got used to the weight and length am delighted to have finally fulfilled a dream and owe a big vote of thanks to Dave Clark who made it possible for a mechanical dyslexic, so to do.

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