S1 Publishing(Oxford)© 2013

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S1 Publishing(Oxford)© -2013
Dogdragons 
Matchless info, photo's & links
A.J.S. & Matcless Owners Club
Matchless 1899 -1967 & a bit later... (read on)
 The company was founded in Plumstead, London, by Harry and Charlie Collier, who had started out producing bicycles and went on to establish one of the most important British motorcycle firms.
1899 The Collier Brothers first experimented with power. This machine had the de Dion 2.75 h.p engine mounted above the front wheel of one of their standard bicycle. This did not work too well.

1901 They produced an experimental version using a european engine whereby the engine was crammed into the space between the seat tube and the rear wheel. This model was not successful as it had a tendency to overheat in use.

1902 They then went into production using a 2.75hp De Dion engine that was hung from the frame downtube. 
Both brothers became successfully involved in competition.

1903 Saw the arrival of a more powerful machine, fitted with a 3.5hp MMC De Dion engine? or just a De Dion. I'm not 100% which was used. 
Also new for that year was a pillion attachment for the solo.

1904 forecar built. Sorry no photo's found

1905 They now added suspension to their machines and later that year they produced a model fitted with a 6 hp V twin JAP engine and began experimenting with leading-link front ends & swinging fork rear suspension
Harry represents England in International Cup Race, France


1906 The forecar was dropped and replaced by a rigid model with a 5hp engine. Other models were produced using various engines - spring frame with White and Poppe, rigid frame and a spring frame ladies' model with a JAP engine. 
That year also saw success in competition and both brothers were selected for the International Cup Race.

1907 At the very first TT race, Charlie Collier led from start to finish. Charlie won 38.23mph Harry lay second. .. Collier took over on his pedal-assisted Matchless, but his brother Harry was not so lucky. He was forced out with serious engine trouble, having set the fastest lap in the class: 23m 05s (41.81 mph). Charlie Collier went on to win from Marshall and Hulbert but his victory, like many subsequent TT wins, was not without controversy. With the help of his pedals, Collier completed the race at an average of 94. 5 miles to the gallon. The Triumph of Marshall, without assistance, averaged 114 mpg, and it was argued that Marshall would have won if he'd fitted pedals. The easiest means of avoiding such disputes was adopted the following year when pedals were banned. As it goes, the Collier family donated a TT cup. (Source iomtt.com & Gold Portfolio)

1908 Further revisions came along with a two-speed gear and a TT model with an ohv engine similar to the one that won the TT. Further attempts were made at the TT but without success, although Charlie broke the world one-hour record riding at Brooklands.

1909 Road models used JAP engines - 2.5hp and 3.5hp singles and a 6hp V-twin. Rigid or spring frames, two-speed gears and ignition options were available, while the 3.5hp White and Poppe engine was also an option. 
Early in the year Harry set a twenty-four hour record at Canning Town, averaging over 32 mph, despite problems and delays. Further success came when Brooklands began to run motorcycle races, and there was another win at the TT. Harry sets 24hr world record  averaging 32.3mph

1910 Compatition success continued and by now the brothers had taken three of the first four races at the TT. The range expanded and the main engine in use was the JAP.  Belt drive remained.
1911 All models, including the 5hp V-twin ohv TT model,  Harry came second in the first TT held on the Moun tain circuit, and Charlie came second in the Senior but was later disqualified for refueling in the wrong place. That was an end to the major successes at the TT.
Photo dated as 1911
1912 Matchless started making their own engines and for the next few years, it was mainly twins, with some fitted with a modified version of the Zenith Gradua gear to vary the ratio. Many models came and went and by the beginning of the First World War, the range had narrowed considerably.

1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices of motorcycles see the 1917 Red Book

1915 During WWI some machines were built for service use although they were not contracted to make motorcycles for the army. They announced proposals for a flat-twin, three speed engine, but nothing came of it.

Post WWI The company continued to produce the model they had supplied to the army - this was listed as the Victory and sold in solo or sidecar form. New, bigger and better models were added year on year throughout the 1920s.

1929 The Model X first saw the roads:

990c Matchless engine
Click on photo for 8 more photo's
1930 Despite the depression, the company launched something special that year - the Silver Hawk. It had a 592cc narrow-angle V4 engine with a shaft-driven ohc. It remained on the list until 1935, but as a de luxe model it was too costly to sell in any great number.
The company acquired AJS.

Silver Hawk 1930
Click on photo to see 10 more photo's


1932 CS 500cc Sloper introduced

1933 Silver Arrow V twin 400cc as well as many more. The Model X has changed slightly.

Model X 1933
Click on photo for more

1936 Major revisions in design; most of the inclined engine models were replaced by the G-series. first use of the "M" logo
Only difference between Matchless & AJS besides the logo? Matchless magnito in front of the cylinder(s), AJS had the magnito behind.

1937 Matchless purchased Sunbeam and formed the AMC group.
The old V-twin engine was refreshed and was still used for sidecar models. 

1937 Model X 
Photo Coutesy Gracysguide
The company sold the engine to at least five other manufacturers and also for the Morgan three-wheeler. 
Matchless Model X 1937
You Tube
Matchless Model X 1938
Matchless Morgan


1939 Matchless now had twelve models in their range and all but one twin were of the G-series. During World War II, Matchless made more than 80,000 G3 and G3L models for the armed forces.

1940 Fewer models were listed because the company were supplying machines to the services 

1941 The G3 became the G3L and a firm favourite within the services. It was light, easy to manoeuvre as they now had  introduced telescopic front forks called "Teledraulic" forks, considered by some to be the first major innovation in front suspension in 25 years.

1943 Although the AMC name remained, the company sold Sunbeam to BSA.
Post War. The fortunes of AJS and Matchless had become closely intertwined.
1952  listed 9 models. one twin & eight singles. This is the year that Matchless & AJS became nearly the same machines, Only difference between the Matchless & AJS machines was the logo

1956 models that year the new 600cc twin & the 500cc twin, two singles, 350 & 500cc The G80CS The G 45 road racer & a trials machine, G 3LC
The range stayed the same until 1959

 G 80 CS
Click on photo to see 14 more photo's


1963 The last of the G50 racers
1966-67 G 85CS

Think I got this one mis-labeled.
Click on photo for more
1987 It had been many years since AMC had failed, but the Matchless name returned to the market through Les Harris - who had also built the Triumph Bonneville after the close of Meriden. This new, classically styled machine was the G80 and used a four-valve Austrian Rotax engine (made by Bombardier-Rotax GmbH). Although the frame was British, many other parts came from Italy.

1990 Sales were slow, so the motorcycles were produced for special order only.

1993 Production ceased.

Scources Gracysguide & the A.J.S. & Matchless Gold Portfolio 1945-1966 & other places.


 
A few more Matchless machines on my 
Matchless Gallery
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