Ex-Dick Mann AMA championship bike, two owners from new,1962  Matchless G50 Roadracer Engine no. 102

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Lot 195
Ex-Dick Mann AMA championship bike, two owners from new
1962 Matchless G50 Roadracer

Engine no. 102

Sold for US$ 115,000 inc. premium
Ex-Dick Mann AMA championship bike, two owners from new
1962 Matchless G50 Roadracer

Engine no. 102

It says a lot about Fred Mork's approach to vintage racing that we see him on the opposite page sweeping through a corner at Willow Springs Raceway aboard one of the most historic and valuable motorcycles to ever turn a wheel in AMA competition, the Matchless G50 used by Dick Mann to win the 1963 Grand National Championship. Mork is one of the stalwarts of American vintage racing, longtime AHRMA board member, head of Mork Racing which fields bikes in trials, motocross and roadrace events, still an active competitor at age 68, and an enthusiastic collector of everything from 1930s American V-twins to rare Czech scramblers.

Mork acquired the Matchless in 1992 directly from AMA Hall of Famer Dick Mann, its only previous owner, attested to in a handwritten letter from Mann, a copy of which will accompany the bike. The Mann G50 is notable not only for its on-track performance but also for the controversies it generated off the track. An enlarged version of the successful 350cc AJS 7R overhead-cam roadracer, the G50 was deemed ineligible for AMA competition because it had no production streetbike counterpart as required by rules. This was addressed by creating the street-legal G50CSR, which housed the 500cc G50 engine in a G80CS scrambler frame, and by homologating the 7R frame as optional equipment into which the engine could be retrofitted. Mann was approached about riding the bike, given a complete machine and a spare engine. His approach to the 1962 championship was simple: use the Matchless in roadraces and TTs, but for flat-track events the G50 single would be installed in a modified BSA Gold Star rigid frame, then the preferred setup for dirt.

Things started off well at the season-opening Daytona 200, with Mann finishing a strong second, just 10 feet behind the winner despite an off-course excursion and extended pit stop to fix the damage. The next roadrace at Laconia was even better as Mann and the G50 dominated, lapping the entire field through third place in a runaway win. Soon after, conspiracy theorists contend, BSA and Triumph – not happy about being shown up by rival Matchless – arranged to have Mann's Matchless/BSA flat-tracker declared illegal. For 1963, things got even worse, with the previously approved 7R frame ruled ineligible for roadraces and Mann barred from the Daytona 200. Legal wrangling ensued, the rules were relaxed somewhat, and Mann used a combination of BSA Gold Stars and G50s to take the AMA title by a single point in '63, helped by a surprise Matchless win at the Ascot TT. It not only marked the first of Mann's two Grand National Championships, but was the first time since the series' 1954 inception that a Harley-Davidson had not won the crown, and the first time that single-cylinder machines had topped the standings.

In all, eight of Dick Mann's 24 AMA national wins came aboard a Matchless. Returned to its pre-AHRMA 1960s roadrace trim for auction, this is the original of two G50s that Mann raced, always in his possession, while the spare was sold off. Besides the letter of authenticity from Mann, the Matchless is offered with the extra fuel tank, top triple tree and handlebars used for TT races, a set of the original Dunlop shouldered alloy rims, an original lower triple tree and a spare, longer exhaust megaphone.

Footnotes

  • Offered on a Bill of Sale.
Contacts
Ex-Dick Mann AMA championship bike, two owners from new,1962  Matchless G50 Roadracer Engine no. 102
Ex-Dick Mann AMA championship bike, two owners from new,1962  Matchless G50 Roadracer Engine no. 102
Ex-Dick Mann AMA championship bike, two owners from new,1962  Matchless G50 Roadracer Engine no. 102
Ex-Dick Mann AMA championship bike, two owners from new,1962  Matchless G50 Roadracer Engine no. 102
Ex-Dick Mann AMA championship bike, two owners from new,1962  Matchless G50 Roadracer Engine no. 102
Ex-Dick Mann AMA championship bike, two owners from new,1962  Matchless G50 Roadracer Engine no. 102
Ex-Dick Mann AMA championship bike, two owners from new,1962  Matchless G50 Roadracer Engine no. 102
Ex-Dick Mann AMA championship bike, two owners from new,1962  Matchless G50 Roadracer Engine no. 102
Ex-Dick Mann AMA championship bike, two owners from new,1962  Matchless G50 Roadracer Engine no. 102
Ex-Dick Mann AMA championship bike, two owners from new,1962  Matchless G50 Roadracer Engine no. 102
Ex-Dick Mann AMA championship bike, two owners from new,1962  Matchless G50 Roadracer Engine no. 102
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