AJS
Lot 200
1954 AJS 350cc 16MC
US$ 5,000 - 8,000
£3,200 - 5,100

Lot Details
1954 AJS 350cc 16MC
Registration no. (UK) 48 BMD
Engine no. 54/161521376
Between 1950 and 1970, when British motorcycles tended to dominate the imported brands, AJS were not as widely known as their Matchless sibling, despite that they were manufactured in the same factory, and on the same production line! Associated Motor Cycles (AMC) – owners of AJS and Matchless – were seemingly possessed of an unfathomable marketing policy concerning what, in early post war days, were virtually identical brands. In most English cities for example AJS and Matchless were understandably stocked at separate dealerships, yet in certain overseas markets AMC would frequently supply only a single brand. Matchless, however, was their prime choice for USA where, thanks to vigorous distribution by Frank Cooper and, later, by the Berliner Bros, Matchless became a well-respected name. Technically though, from 1954 onwards, AJS and Matchless were exactly similar, down to the last nut and bolt, aside that is from the nomenclature and respective graphics.

Having adapted to swinging arm frames in 1951 AMC there after made a minimum number of mechanical improvements, although they did announce their own design of full width alloy hubs in ’54, produced within the south London factory. Due to their appearance these hubs were forever after referred to as ‘pressure cookers’ by British riders! 1954 also saw the fitment of a modified domed clutch cover, a new spring for the side stand, and twin pilot lights. As an important part of today’s retrospective scenario this modest machine is a perfect example of the classic, if slightly unexciting, British single.

Irrespective that it does not run, and has minimal history accompanying, this Ajay appeals because it’s so remarkably original and, externally at least, appears to be 99% complete. The alloy fenders and single-sided rear hub suggest it may have been used off-road. Definitely a fulfilling refurbishment project for an AMC admirer! (NB: British registration number BMD is for a vehicle sold new in northeast London.)

Without reserve
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