1934 Matchless 592cc Silver Hawk
Registration no. DV 8164
Frame no. 1899
Engine no. 34B 1630
Matchless, founded by the Collier brothers, remained one of the strongest performers in the industry, even in the 1930s depression, a period which saw many of its rivals in serious trouble. despite this, both Matchless and rivals Ariel launched four-cylinder models in 1931, the technically-brilliant Matchless lasting for four years only, the less-radical Ariel going on into the 'fifties.
The iconoclastic Silver Hawk shared much in common with the company's earlier Silver Arrow, including the Vincent-style, swinging-arm frame and running-gear and the 'V' engine. However, whilst the Arrow's engine was a push-rod 400cc, that of the Hawk was an astonishing overhead-camshaft '600' V-Four, the sort of headline-getting layout which did not appear again in the motor cycle market for thirty years or so.
The engine's appearance was outstanding, with the tall tower for the ohc drive and with the sweeping twin exhausts emphasising the expensively different nature of the beast. The whole machine was visibly a masterpiece, perhaps the best-looking motor cycle produced by the Colliers. In use, following the inevitable teething-troubles with any new model, the 'Hawk' turned out to be a fine performer with good handling and a comfortable ride, though, perhaps to the detriment of sales, no attempt seems to have been made by the factory to engage in competition.
However, as it turned out, the price and the timing of its introduction were wrong for the times and it faded from sight, those relatively low sales figures meaning that surviving examples are rare indeed. Of DV 8164, little need be said, other than that it has been on display in a private museum for many years, following a no expense spared restoration of what was an undisturbed machine to gleaming original specification by the Sammy Miller workshops to their invariably high standard, which has resulted in the splendid example on offer here. Sadly, no documents for the Silver Hawk had been traced by the time of cataloguing and research in this matter remains to be done. The normal re-commissioning will, of course, be needed following some years of inactivity.
- We have been advised that the frame is a Matchless Silver Arrow unit and that a number of parts may be non-original to the machine.