1922 Matchless-MAG 998cc Special
Registration no. BF 4462
Frame no. 3500
Engine no. 2C9A 63215
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 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 MAG-engined Matchless has been in the current owner's hands since 1985. It is understood that the previous owner died overseas during WW2 and that the machine had not been run since 1937. 'BF 4422' has been crafted in the general style of a Brough Superior and is fitted with a Rudge four-speed hand-change gearbox. Completely rebuilt in 2010 and fitted with a new magneto, the machine has covered fewer than 100 miles since completion and is described as in generally good condition, running well and 'very quick'. This unique Vintage special is offered with VMCC dating certificate, rider's manual, parts list, expired MoT/tax (2010) and Swansea V5 document.
- Please note the machine is incorrectly dated as 1913 in the catalogue. The correct date is 1922. The V5C has been misplaced, a replacement has been applied for. The VMCC Dating certificate and copy riders manual will be forwarded with the replacement V5C following the sale.