1921 Matchless Model H Wicker Sidecar,
Lot 1
1913 Matchless Model 7B Motorcycle Combination Frame no. A813 Engine no. 16365
Sold for £21,850 (US$ 36,688) inc. premium
Lot Details
1913 Matchless Model 7B Motorcycle Combination
Registration no. SV 9586
Frame no. A813
Engine no. 16365
Unlike the vast majority of Britain's motorcycle manufacturers, which were located in the Birmingham and Coventry areas, Matchless were based in Plumstead, South London. The name 'Matchless' first appeared in the 1890s on cycles manufactured by H H Collier, whose sons Charlie and Harry would later join him in the business. The firm's first - experimental - motorcycle appeared in 1899 and its first production model in 1902. Already an accomplished cycle racer, Charlie Collier soon turned to racing Matchless motorcycles, as did his brother, and both Colliers would be on the start-line for the inaugural Isle of Man TT race in 1907, Charlie winning the event's single-cylinder class.

These early Matchlesses were JAP powered but in 1912 the firm introduced a 500cc single of its own design. Nevertheless, within a short time it had gone, along with all the other singles, and for the next several years Matchless built only v-twins. For 1913, when the example offered here was made, there were no fewer than six different models on offer ranging from 3½hp to 8hp in nominal rating. This had been reduced to three for the following year: one of 3½hp and two of 8hp, one of which was fitted with a Matchless engine and the other a proprietary MAG. The latter was typed '8B'and later would form the basis for the legendary Model H.

This rare early Matchless was originally registered 'Y 8054' in the UK before being reregistered on an age related plate circa 2003. Restored at date unknown and purchased for the Collection in 2005, the machine has the two-speed gear, P&H acetylene lighting set and Lucas sidecar lamp. It is offered with UK Certificate of Permanent Export, expired MoT and an old tax disc.

Saleroom notices

  • c.1913 Matchless Model 7B Motorcycle Combination Registration no. SV 9586 Frame no. A813 Engine no. 16365 We are advised that this machine consists of a 1912 engine and 1913 frame, although it should be noted that the latter's 'A' serial number prefix is the Matchless code for 1912.