• Acquired in 1989 from ex-President of the VMCC, Trevor Wooton
• Three previous VMCC presidents have owned it at various times
• Fitted with Swallow launch sidecar
• Ridden and much rallied throughout England, Scotland, Wales, and Eire
Formerly suppliers of proprietary engines, the Stevens brothers of Wolverhampton diversified into manufacturing complete motorcycles, setting up A J Stevens & Co in 1909. The brothers' first machine was a 292cc (2½hp) single equipped with either direct belt drive (Model A) or a two-speed countershaft gearbox with all-chain drive (Model B), this latter combination being advanced in its day, especially for a lightweight. A 5hp v-twin - the Model D - joined the range in 1912. Intended for sidecar work, the Model D was powered by a 631cc sidevalve engine and came with a 'beefed-up' version of the two-speed gearbox. The Model D's engine was enlarged to 696cc (6hp) for 1913, while a three-speed gearbox and internal expanding rear brake were additional improvements. A new, smaller 'Double-Purpose' v-twin - the 550cc Model A - arrived in November 1914, at which time the Model D was re-designed along 'A' lines and further enlarged to 748cc. Endowed with an effortlessly flexible motor and built to A J Stevens' traditionally high standards, the v-twin 'A-J' was one of the most effective and popular sidecar tugs of its day. The model remained a fixture of the range into the early 1930s, latterly with a 998cc engine.
Manufactured in 1930, this R2 motorcycle combination has the 998cc engine first introduced for the 1929 season. The current vendor acquired the machine in 1989 from an ex-President of the VMCC, Trevor Wooton. Three previous presidents have owned it at various times. The following week the Swallow launch sidecar was purchased. The machine previously had a sidecar fitted, and had started life without electric lights although it may well have had acetylene lighting. Electric lights were fitted together with the sidecar, and the following week the outfit was ridden to France on holiday with the owner's wife in the 'chair'. The AJS was subsequently ridden and much rallied throughout England, Scotland, Wales, and Eire, winning many competitive events along the way.
The timber frame of the sidecar was replaced in 1998/9 with locally grown Gloucestershire ash as it had deteriorated over the years. With the exception of the floor pan beneath the seat, all the original metal work was reused. The gearbox was overhauled in 2012. The outfit was last run in 2013 and should require little by way of re-commissioning before returning to the road.