1933 Matchless Silver Hawk,
Lot 368
By order of the Executors of the late Peter Smith-Stafford,1933 Matchless 593cc Model B Silver Hawk Frame no. 924 Engine no. 33/B 1943
Sold for £28,175 (US$ 47,357) inc. premium
Lot Details
By order of the Executors of the late Peter Smith-Stafford
1933 Matchless 593cc Model B Silver Hawk
Registration no. YD 6392
Frame no. 924
Engine no. 33/B 1943
Matchless's own description of the top of the range Silver Hawk perhaps sums up the model best in the following terms – "this is the famous four-cylinder Matchless, unquestionably the most fascinating machine to ride that has ever been built. It combines the silence, smoothness and comfort of the most expensive motor car with a Super-Sports performance. On top gear alone, the machine will run from as low as 6mph to over 80mph, while the acceleration given by the four-cylinder overhead camshaft engine in conjunction with the four-speed gearbox must be experienced to be believed. This is the only four-cylinder machine in the world equipped with a Spring Frame".

The V-4 cylinder engine with overhead camshaft valve gear was an engineering masterpiece and this 'super bike' came fully equipped, justifying its price ticket for the 1933 season of £72.

This machine was first registered in Somerset on 8th March 1933. Its full history is not recorded although in 1949 it was owned by an Edwin Randall of Bexley, Kent, subsequently owned by Roland Hooker of Crayford, Kent, in 1954 and at that time it was equipped with a sidecar. On 18th November 1957, exactly 52 years ago on sale day, this machine was acquired by the late Peter Smith-Stafford and by that time the sidecar was no longer with the machine. The machine was licenced for the road on 18th November 1957 by Peter Smith-Stafford and the tax disc from that date is offered with the machine, as is a tax disc attached to the bike suggesting that it was last licenced for the road in 1958. The machine appears to be largely complete and is equipped with a Lucas Long Range Bi-flex headlamp and Lucas rear lamp, speedometer and ammeter, luggage carrier and two metal panniers. Although not illustrated in the photographs the Matchless insignia for the petrol tank are offered with the machine. We do not know when this machine was last started or run however it appears to be substantially complete in all major respects and represents a straightforward restoration project. It comes with old style buff log book and a V5 registration document indicating a 'not licenced' taxation class.

The Silver Hawk is one of the rarest of pre-war British motorcycles, its sophisticated technical specification ensuring that it is a 'must have' in any serious collection of British bikes.

Saleroom notices

  • The correct frame number is 944 and not as previously catalogued, however the V5 and old style log book both record it as 924.