Ascot Racecourse March 2nd 2019
Estimate: No reserve
AJS was the name used for cars and motorcycles made by A. J. Stevens & Co. Ltd, from 1909 to 1931 which was, by then, holding 117 motorcycle world records. In 1938, Matchless and AJS became part of Associated Motorcycles (AMC). Under AMC the AJS badge may have been put on the ‘bread and butter’ Matchless motorcycles, but Collier & Son, the owners of Matchless, were mindful of the AJS racing heritage and used the name on some innovative racing machinery. These racing bikes kept the AJS name alive. In 1935, at the Olympia Show, an air-cooled SOHC AJS 50°, V4 was shown, in 1936 Harold Daniell rode a supercharged race version in the Isle of Man Senior TT but, despite its high top speed, it lacked acceleration. In 1939, a water-cooled and supercharged version of the 495cc AJS V4 was built to compete against the supercharged BMWs then dominating racing. In 1939, the dry sump V4 was the first bike to lap the Ulster Grand Prix course at over 100mph. It weighed 405lb and its top speed was 135mph. Then World War II intervened but in 1945 the rigid framed AJS Model 16M 350cc single was developed from the military Matchless G3/L World War II motorcycle. Well proven in war service, the 350cc single remained in production selling large numbers to the civilian market well into the 1960s. Simple and practical, the Model 16 needed minimal maintenance and was very economical, ideal during petrol rationing. The company also produced an almost identical motorcycle under the Matchless name as the Matchless G3L. The only difference between the two was that the Matchless carried a magneto at the rear of the cylinder barrel, whereas the AJS magneto was at the front.
This well kept and maintained 350cc Model 16 was first registered in 1955, the brightwork and paint found on the tank and fenders is in very good condition and with a swift kick start this example barks in to life with great vigour. Contained within the history file are recent receipts for new spark plugs and Monobloc carburettor, accompanying these is a UK V5C registration document. A wonderful example of the 1950’s AJS in very good order indeed, privately owned and entered to auction without a reserve, this example is sure to find a deserving new home. (Guide price £2,500 – £4,000).