Bonhams : 1934 Matchless 592cc Silver Hawk Frame no. 964 Engine no. 34B 1855
1934 Matchless 592cc Silver Hawk Frame no. 964 Engine no. 34B 1855

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Lot 610N
1934 Matchless 592cc Silver Hawk
Registration no. not registered Frame no. 964 Engine no. 34B 1855

Sold for £ 41,400 (US$ 53,830) inc. premium
1934 Matchless 592cc Silver Hawk
Registration no. not registered
Frame no. 964
Engine no. 34B 1855
• Rare 1930s four-cylinder motorcycle
• An older restoration
• Purchased some 40 years ago

Reviewing the v-four Silver Hawk at its launch in the autumn of 1930, Motor Cycling stated that this exciting overhead-camshaft model was 'designed primarily to give really high speed, and to give this speed with silence and the added safety of a spring frame'.

The early 1930s was a period of severe economic depression, yet the 1931 Motorcycle Show at Olympia, London witnessed the launch of not one, but two four-cylinder models aimed at the very top of the market. The ultimate fates of the two newcomers would turn out to be very different however. Ariel's offering – the Square Four – would enjoy a lengthy production life lasting into the 1950s, whereas the rival Matchless Silver Hawk would be gone within four years.

Matchless had introduced another vee-engined model, the twin-cylinder Silver Arrow, the previous year, and the Silver Hawk's design shared many of the 'Arrow's features, most notably the narrow-inclined angle of the cylinders: 26 degrees. Displacing a total of 592cc, the latter were contained within one casting and topped by a single 'head, just like the Arrow's, but the Hawk was intended to be a luxury sports-tourer and so enjoyed the advantages conferred by overhead-camshaft valve gear. Drive to the upstairs cam was by shaft and bevel gears, and there was no denying that the v-four Silver Hawk's was one impressive looking motor. The frame and cycle parts followed Silver Arrow lines, incorporating cantilever rear suspension broadly similar to that adopted later by Vincent-HRD. Expensive to make and introduced at the wrong time, the Silver Arrow failed to sell despite its mouth-watering specification and was quietly dropped in 1935.

This Silver Hawk had already been restored when it was purchased for the vendor's private collection some 40 years ago. Offered with Italian ASI homologation papers, the machine is described by the vendor as in working order, having been cared for by the owner's in-house mechanic.

Footnotes

  • As with all Lots in the Sale, this Lot is sold 'as is/where is' and Bidders must satisfy themselves as to the provenance, condition, age, completeness and originality prior to bidding.
Contacts
1934 Matchless 592cc Silver Hawk Frame no. 964 Engine no. 34B 1855
1934 Matchless 592cc Silver Hawk Frame no. 964 Engine no. 34B 1855
1934 Matchless 592cc Silver Hawk Frame no. 964 Engine no. 34B 1855
1934 Matchless 592cc Silver Hawk Frame no. 964 Engine no. 34B 1855
1934 Matchless 592cc Silver Hawk Frame no. 964 Engine no. 34B 1855
1934 Matchless 592cc Silver Hawk Frame no. 964 Engine no. 34B 1855
1934 Matchless 592cc Silver Hawk Frame no. 964 Engine no. 34B 1855
1934 Matchless 592cc Silver Hawk Frame no. 964 Engine no. 34B 1855
1934 Matchless 592cc Silver Hawk Frame no. 964 Engine no. 34B 1855
1934 Matchless 592cc Silver Hawk Frame no. 964 Engine no. 34B 1855
1934 Matchless 592cc Silver Hawk Frame no. 964 Engine no. 34B 1855
1934 Matchless 592cc Silver Hawk Frame no. 964 Engine no. 34B 1855
1934 Matchless 592cc Silver Hawk Frame no. 964 Engine no. 34B 1855
1934 Matchless 592cc Silver Hawk Frame no. 964 Engine no. 34B 1855
1934 Matchless 592cc Silver Hawk Frame no. 964 Engine no. 34B 1855
1934 Matchless 592cc Silver Hawk Frame no. 964 Engine no. 34B 1855
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Lot symbols
N NOVA declaration

If purchased by a UK resident, this machine is subject to a NOVA declaration, undertaken by Bonhams upon a successful sale, to facilitate the registration of the machine here in the UK.