1952 AJS Motorcycle

picture11952 AJS Motorcycle


One of the earliest motorcycle manufacturers in the UK was the Matchless Motorcycle Company. Founded in 1899, the firm enjoyed immediate success. Much valued publicity was gained for the firm with brothers Harry and Charley Collier’s racing success, which emphasized the speed, power and reliability of the Matchless machines.

In 1931, Matchless purchased rival AJS and in 1938, they purchased Sunbeam. All three companies were combined as Associated Motorcycles (AMC). By mid-century, Matchless and AJS Motorcycles were virtually the same machine which includes parallel 500 and 600 cc Twins. The 1952 AJS and the Matchless Model G9 of the same year were nearly identical with the exception of the name plate. Powered by a 500 cc Twin Engine, the AJS Model 18’s and the Matchless G9 were practically the same machine.

Matchless produced G3 and G3L Models for the armed forces during WWII. After the war, a great number of these machines became available to the public, providing a welcome utilitarian source of transportation during a time of scarce availability and high cost of petrol.

The AJS 1952 7R3 Model is one of the rarest of motorcycles since only four were built for the AJS Works Team. The machines were revamped two years later, fitted with Pannier fuel tanks and featuring a lower frame. Similarly the 1952 Matchless G80 and the 1952 AJS Model 18 four-stroke pushrod singles were the same machines sans name plates.

Made in the same facility, the forward positioning of the magnetos relative to the cylinder was the same on the Matchless and AJS Models. The only apparent difference was in the style covers.


1929 AJS two Seater Special

picture11929 AJS two Seater Special

Entry number 8 Driver Philip Milne-Taylor Navigator Heather MilneTaylor


This AJS was rebuilt specially for trial in  England. It still retains the original chassis engine and gear box

Below a look under the bonnet             and The dash

AJS of Wolverhampton had a long history of motorcycle manufacturing dating from the early twentieth century. This UK company produced motorcycles of outstanding quality, as confirmed by their high marks of achievement in racing competition.

The company decided to venture into light car manufacturing in 1927 and the AJS Two-Seater rolled off the production line in 1930. The vehicle was of open design and was powered by a 1018 cc Coventry Climax four cylinder side valve engine coupled to a three-speed gear box.

Designed by Dante Giacosa and Franco Fessia, the car was priced somewhat on the high side for its’ type and as a result, had difficulty competing with Rover, Morris, Austin and the like.

Three thousand three hundred of these models, including a four door, four seater fabric-bodied type, were built between 1930 and 1932 when production came to an Unfortunately, although a price reduction improved sales, the impact of competitor price wars and the Depression finally forced the company into liquidation.

The AJS name and manufacturing rights were purchased by Matchless Motorcycles Ltd., a rival UK motorbike builder. Matchless manufactured motorcycles under both the Matchless and the AJS logo but with the exception of the name plate, the machines were virtually identical.

Available models of the two-seater are highly desirable to collectors. This is a nicely put together vehicle originally built with a 12 volt Lucas ignition system, Solex carburetors, eight gallon fuel tank and Avon tires with wire wheels. The instrument panel was facsimile grained in walnut and featured a lighting control switch.


picture11919  AJS OUTFIT   Display Vehicle Owned by Merv Krollpicture3

AJS, a turn of the century producer of superb motorcycles and eventually well-engineered motor cars was a family-owned enterprise started by Joe Stevens from a small shop in Wolverhampton. Originally, Stevens was an all-around metal worker but together with his four sons, switched to motorcycle production in 1909 under the AJS logo. AJS was actually derived from the initials of one of the four brothers – Albert John Stevens.


(Left) Lucasas headlight No 462


Careful design and engineering resulted in fast, powerful machines that consistently finished at the top of their class in racing events. The success of AJS Motorcycles soon led to the production of side cars and by 1919, the company was one of the world’s largest manufacturers of side cars.

The most luxurious of AJS side cars was produced after the end of World War I. In 1919, AJS debuted the deluxe Model “D” Outfit. Leather upholstered and spacious, the ride was equally superb. Excellent suspension was provided by large “cee” type springs in the front and in the back. A tool locker was positioned beneath the spare wheel to the rear. The spare wheel could be utilized for the side car or the motorcycle.

Additionally, the side car’s weatherproofing consisted of a folding hood and cover with side curtains and apron. The V-Twin manufactured for side car use began production immediately after the first World War. The engine was of Matchless Company manufacture and in 1931, Matchless purchased AJS. Seven years later, Matchless purchases Sunbeam and the three companies were then combined as Associated Motorcycles.