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T. E. Lawrence to George Brough


Cranwell

27. 9. 26

Dear Mr. Brough,

I'm very much in your debt for four years solid pleasure. Would the enclosed be any use to you? I don’t want to sign it Ross, since that only makes the newspapers sit up and take notice: whereas they have already made beasts of themselves over the 'Lawrence' name, and can keep it, so far as I'm concerned.

I don't mind your showing it to people (or sticking it up on your stand, if that is a practice at Olympia) but I'd rather you did not print it in a newspaper till after December 15, when I'll have gone abroad. This is supposing it's of use, as a chit. What I really meant it for is best thanks, for a hundred thousand very
jolly miles.

Yours ever

J. H. Ross.

[Enclosed testimonial:]

27. 9. 26

Dear Mr. Brough,

Yesterday I completed 100000 miles, since 1922, on five successive Brough Superiors, and I'm going abroad very soon, so that I think I must make an end, and thank you for the road-pleasure I have got out of them. In 1922 I found George I (your old Mark I) the best thing I'd ridden, but George V (the 1922 SS 100) is incomparably better. In 1925 and 1926 (George IV & V) I have not had an involuntary stop, and so have not been able to test your spares service, on which I drew so heavily in 1922 and 1923. Your present machines are as fast and reliable as express trains, and the greatest fun in the world to drive:- and I say this after twenty years experience of cycles and cars.

They are very expensive to buy, but light in upkeep (50-65 m.p.g. of petrol, 4000 m.p.g. oil, 5000-6000 miles per outer cover, in my case) and in the four years I have made only one insurance claim (for less than £5) which is a testimony to the safety of your controls and designs. The S.S. 100 holds the road extraordinarily. It's my great game on a really pot-holed road to open up to 70 m.p.h. or so and feel the machine gallop: and though only a touring machine it will do 90 m.p.h. at full throttle.

I'm not a speed merchant, but ride fairly far in the day (occasionally 700 miles, often 500) and at a fair average, for the machine's speed in the open lets one crawl through the towns, and still average 40-42 miles in the hour. The riding position and the slow powerful turn-over of the engine at speeds of 50 odd give one a very restful feeling.

There, it is no good telling you all you knew before I did: they are the jolliest things on wheels.

Yours very sincerely

T E Lawrence.

Source: DG 499-500
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 27 January 2006


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