• Overhead valve 495cc sports machine
• Restoration completed 2008
• New BTH magneto in 2008
• Spare engine and other spares included
Matchless were one of the earliest manufacturers of motorcycles, founded in 1899, whilst their subsequent partners, AJS were relative latecomers in 1909. Indeed, Matchless had won their first TT in 1907, before the inception of the AJS company, yet it was AJS who arguably went on to achieve greater fame in racing circles with its overhead valve and overhead camshaft models of the 1920s. However, when AJS ran into financial troubles in 1931 they were taken over by Matchless.
Matchless did, however, have their own racing successes, and one such was when Philip Brewster won the Hutchinson Hundred in 1928 at Brooklands on a Matchless V/2 at an average speed of 93.5 mph. In line with the race-on-Sunday, sell-on-Monday philosophy, Matchless were quick to capitalise on the success. Produced only for around eighteen months the V/2 was on a par with anything else of the day, and sporting its dazzling twin port exhaust system, with fishtail silencers, and up-to-the minute saddle tank styling, was cutting edge for the period.
SM 6991 was discovered by a friend of the present owner in a nearby barn where it had apparently been used for a time to provide the motive power for a saw bench. Purchased by the friend, the present owner asked for first refusal if the bike should be sold. When the previous owner's restoration stalled, it was duly offered to the vendor who snapped it up and, in due course, completed the restoration. Along the way he acquired a spare V/2 engine, and a quantity of other parts, including an electric lighting set, which are also included in the sale. Completed in 2008, the vendor has greatly enjoyed his time with the machine, which has been used regularly and carried him successfully through three Banbury runs and two Brooklands events. It was fitted with a new BTH magneto in 2008, and on consignment fired into life at the second kick, and settled into a steady tick-over.
A substantial history file accompanies the Matchless, and includes a 'before' photograph, four expired MoT certificates, a current V5C, an old V5C, a 1928 sales catalogue, and a quantity of miscellaneous papers and restoration notes. It is currently taxed and only for sale due to the advancing years of the owner, who feels he cannot continue to use it as he has in the past few years.