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Secret hoard of ultra-rare motorcycles found in barn

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    1938 Brough Superior 800cc BS4 (Bonhams)

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    1938 Brough Superior 800cc BS4 (Bonhams)

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    1938 Brough Superior 982cc 1500 (Bonhams)

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    1938 Brough Superior 1,096cc 11-50HP (Bonhams)

The motorcycles from Brough Superior were some of the highest-performing bikes before World War II, and collectors like Jay Leno continue to prize the capability and craftsmanship of these rare cycles. Now, eight more will head to the auction block at Bonhams on April 24 thanks to a trove of recently discovered barn finds in the UK. They're in rough shape, but the auction house expects them to bring big money.

A member of the Brough Superior Club collected most of these motorcycles in the early 1960s, but eventually he stored them away in barns in the Cornish village of Bodmin Moor. Only a few people even knew these bikes still existed. "This is the last known collection of unrestored Brough Superiors; there will not be another opportunity like this," said Ben Walker, International Director for Bonhams Collectors' Motorcycle Department, in the auction announcement.

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Junk covered these cycles for about 50 years, and their condition varies from mostly complete – but rough – to just a pile of parts. Bonhams thinks all of the bikes are restorable, but the new owner likely needs some deep pockets to make that a reality. A 1938 750cc BS4 has the highest sale estimate of the group at between $118,400 and $177,600. Meanwhile, two SS80 cycles in pieces each carry estimates between $8,900 and $11,800. Check out the gallery for a closer look at these rare barn finds.

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