The World's Fastest Brough

Eric Patterson at Bonneville, aboard his Brough Superior. Photo:
Eric Patterson at Bonneville, aboard his Brough Superior. Photo:

London, England, has discovered their own Burt Munro.A lot of people watched The World’s Fastest Indian, a 2005 film telling the story of New Zealander Burt Munro, who spent 20 years hotrodding his motorcycle to race it at Bonneville.

Well, Munro has long since passed away, but retired gentlemen are still in the business of burning down the salt flats on vintage bikes towards new speed records. The Motorcycle News tells us the U.K. now has their own elderly hero, 68-year-old Eric Patterson, who recently set a vintage speed record on a Brough Superior at Bonneville.

It turns out that Patterson’s been doing more than working on the newspaper’s crossword and word search in his retirement; he managed to set a 124.98 mph mark at Bonneville’s Speed Week in the AMA 1350-A-VG class. The previous record had been 114 mph, set by a 1350cc Indian in 2005.

Patterson set the record the old-fashioned way, too; the bike had a new-build girder frame, but its JAP engine was running on pump gasoline. It wasn’t streamlined. It was built by Brough’s chief engineer and designer, Alastair Gibson. Apparently they still have people working for them somewhere

According to the Motorcycle News, this was the first time a Brough had even been run at Bonneville in 62 years. Patterson himself is no stranger to speed records; Motorcycle-USA says he’s hit 120 mph before at Bonneville on his Norton-JAP.

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