‘ATO 574’ has an unusually rich history: not only did it appear in two hit TV series – ‘Dad’s Army’ and ‘George & Mildred’ – it started life as a Brough Superior works entry for the 1934 International Six Days Trial (ISDT). A 1934 model manufactured in 1933, this machine is believed to be one of the earliest 11-50s extant.
It is believed that this 11-50 was first used by the factory team. Previously carrying the works registration ‘HP 2122’, it was registered ‘ATO 574’ on 1st August 1934 and, attached to one of Brough’s famous banking sidecars, was used by Freddie Stevenson to compete in the 1934 ISDT held in the Bavarian Alps. One of the most gruelling of motorcycle competitions, the ISDT tested competitors and their machines to the limits. Despite leaving the road and overturning the outfit, Stevenson came away with a coveted Gold Medal, demonstrating the abilities and durability of George Brough’s rugged 11-50 workhorse. A photograph on file shows Stevenson astride the Brough at the Nottingham factory.
By 1939, ‘ATO 574’ was owned by Brough Superior works frame builder Bill Oliver, and by October 1948 was in the ownership of William Eric Cousins of Croydon, Surrey. The accompanying old-style logbook (issued 1952) lists three further owners up to 2nd April 1965 when ‘ATO 574’ was registered to John Gibson Whale of Stanmore, Middlesex. Mr Whale then advertised the machine for sale in the Brough Superior Club newsletter of £50! In May 1965 the Brough was purchased (for £40!) by the late owner, who together with his father ran Stan Gilks Ltd, a motorcycle dealership in Ickenham, Middlesex (purchase receipt on file).
Report by bonhams.com