Collage of Vintage Bikes 1912-30
G2 / G2CS / G2S 1958-62
G2 CSR 1962-65
G3 1962
G3L / LCT 350 1941-58
G3LS 350 1954-58
G45 500 1951 - 58
G50 1958-63
G80, C, CS, S, R 1946-66
G80TCS "Typhoon" 1960
G85 CS 1964 - 69
G9 1948-58

G90 Super Clubman 500

1939

G11

1955-59

G12, de Luxe, CS, CSR

1958-66

Model X Reloaded
Silver Arrow 1929-33
Silver Hawk 1931-35

   

"First Matchless Bicycle, 1878"

Collier & Sons 'Matchless' Motorcycle History

The Matchless motorcycle marque was founded in 1899, by H. H. Collier and his three sons Bert, Charlie, and Harry Collier in the London's Greenwich Borough district of Plumstead. Collier & Sons began as a bicycle manufacturer in the late 1800s, and was one of the first British motorcycle manufacturers.
 

 

The first Matchless single-cylinder motorcycle rolled off the assembly line in 1901. In 1905 Matchless began manufacturing motorcycles using a J.A. Prestwich V-Twin engine, and by 1912 the company was producing its first complete in-house machine. For the next two decades, Matchless built motorcycles in single-cylinder and V-Twin configurations ranging from 500cc to 1000cc.
Matchless Silver Hawk, Silver Arrow, & Sports
After some of Charlie R Collier's notable Matchless successes on the TT circuit, the popularity of Matchless steadily increased. Some of the more popular models were the 400cc 'Silver Arrow' V-Twin, which was introduced in 1930.
In 1931, Bert Collier designed and built a narrow-angled 593cc V-Four called the 'Silver Hawk.' The bold engine design was quite sophisticated for the time, and the Silver Hawk would be the precursor to the AJS 'Vee 4' several years later.
 

"First ever motorcycle designed for ladies"


Matchless Purchases AJS

Matchless owner Collier & Sons purchased AJS Motorcycles in 1931, after the company declared bankruptcy. The 'AJS' name and motorcycle assets were purchased by Collier & Sons, owners of the 'Matchless' motorcycle company, and the AJS car division was sold to Crossley Motors in Manchester. Collier & Sons also built engines for the three-wheeled Morgans starting in the early 1930s.
Charlie and Harry Collier formed 'Associated Motor Cycles' (AMC) in 1938, and Matchless (AMC) continued to build motorcycles under the AJS name through the 1960s. In 1966, AMC was sold to Norton-Villiers parent company, Manganese Bronze Holdings PLC of Coventry, England.
Another Matchless/Collier innovation was the invention of the telescopic (teledraulic) front fork assembly in 1941, replacing the universally used girder style suspension.
In 1949, Matchless introduced its first vertical-twin engine, which was manufactured in 500cc, 600cc, and 650cc versions. The Matchless vertical-twin (G45) was also used in an AJS (7R) chassis, and both marques utilized these engines through the late 1950s.
Matchless 'G' Series G50, G85, & P11
During the 1950s, Matchless built a line of popular single-cylinder bikes called the 'Clubman,' which used 350cc to 500cc engines. By the late 1950s, Matchless was branching out into the smaller-displacement field, with a line of 250cc and 350cc 'G' series motorcycles.
Matchless introduced the 500cc 'G50' 1n 1959, to compete against the 500cc Manx Norton in the Grand Prix, but by this point both Norton and Matchless/AJS were facing stiff competition from Italian manufacturers like MV Agusta.
In 1964, Matchless upgraded the G50 to the G85. The G85CS had a high-compression (12:1) engine, and an improved lubrication system using a gear-driven oil pump. In 1966, an Amal GP carburetor was added to the G85CS, increasing horsepower to 41 bhp @ 6500 rpm. The G85 was one of the last motorcycles designed by Associated Motor Cycles, before the consolidation with Norton-Villiers. The P11 was the final extension of the G85, which was discontinued in 1969.
In 1966, AMC was sold to Norton-Villiers parent company, Manganese Bronze Holdings PLC of Coventry, England. By 1974, Norton-Villers also reached the end of its financial rope, and a bailout from the British government formed NVT (Norton-Villiers-Triumph) from the failed companies. NVT was also short-lived, going into receivership in late 1974.