Bonhams | 16-Oct-2016 | The Autumn Stafford Sale Important Collectors Motorcycles | Venue : Stafford, Staffordshire County Showground
Category : Classic Motorcycles
Lot No. : 155
Year : 1961
Engine Size : -
Registration No. : 479 BGJ
Chassis No. : # A78793
Engine No. : # 61/G3 40166
No longer available - Sold or withdrawn from sale


The Auxiliary Fire Service was originally set up in 1938 to bolster local Fire Services. Being disbanded during wartime, it was subsequently reinstated in 1948, as a safeguard in the event of emergencies, or nuclear attack, in conjunction with the Civil Defence Corps. They were equipped with their own vehicles and fire-fighting equipment. These included, amongst others, motorcycles, Land Rovers, and the famous 'Green Goddess' Bedford fire engines. Motorcycles were invariably Matchless G3Ls, and, whilst there were occasions when the AFS saw action during droughts, strikes, etc., many of the vehicles had an easy life. When the AFS was disbanded, for the second time, in 1968, many of the vehicles were auctioned off.
479 BGJ was acquired by the vendor in 2014, and a check with the owner's club revealed that it had the original engine/frame/gearbox combination, as supplied to the Home Office (see dating certificate on file). Still original in most respects, and with original fittings, the owner gave the G3L a fresh coat of paint, a new exhaust pipe, a set of new piston rings, new battery and a solid state rectifier. Starting with ease, and working satisfactorily in all respects, the owner is selling due to other projects occupying garage space. Documentation comprises a current V5C, 16 old MoT certificates, between 1991 and 2015, plus assorted invoices, 18 old tax discs, miscellaneous papers and aforementioned dating certificate.