Offered directly from the estate of the late Les Williams, 1930 AJS 346cc R7 Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 145260 Engine no. 145260

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Offered directly from the estate of the late Les Williams, 1930 AJS 346cc R7 Racing Motorcycle
Registration no. OG 4277 Frame no. 145260 Engine no. 145260

£ 25,000 - 35,000
US$ 31,000 - 43,000
Offered directly from the estate of the late Les Williams
1930 AJS 346cc R7 Racing Motorcycle
Registration no. OG 4277
Frame no. 145260
Engine no. 145260
• Ridden to 10th place in the 1930 Manx Grand Prix Junior Race
• Long-term ownership 1932-1993
• Dry stored and not ridden since 1957
• Restored by Les Williams

In 1927 AJS's works racers appeared with a new overhead-camshaft engine. Instead of the customary shaft and bevel gears, the camshaft was chain driven, its distinctive cast-alloy case extending forwards to the front-mounted magneto. After initial problems had been sorted out, works rider Jimmy Simpson rode the 350cc version to victory in the Belgian, Swiss, Austrian and European Grands Prix. A catalogued model from 1928, the 'cammy' AJS was built in 350cc (K7) and 500cc (K10) capacities initially. Both models were extensively improved for 1929, boasting redesigned frames, Webb forks, a stronger crankcase, different camshaft, larger brakes, a four-speed gearbox and the fashionable saddle tank. By the season's end the 350cc model had chalked up victories in the German TT and the Grands Prix of Austria, Ulster and Europe.

This AJS R7 was prepared in the Racing Department at the Wolverhampton factory for The Premier Motor Co of Birmingham, to whom it was first registered on 1st September 1930. Eight days later it was entered in the Manx Grand Prix Junior Race ridden by Noel Jordan, who finished the wet event in 10th place. It would be Jordan's only MGP finish out of six attempts. On 24th June 1931, the AJS was registered to Jordan and then back to Premier that same day, passing to its next (effectively first) private owner, T Cross of Acocks Green, Birmingham on 3rd July 1931. On 16th April 1932 the machine was registered to L Wooldridge of Erdington and then on 24th June that year to Frank Thornhill, then of Small Heath, Birmingham, who would own it for the next 60-plus years. Last taxed in 1957, the AJS was kept in Frank Thornhill's garage at his home in Coventry and never ridden again.

When Frank Thornhill died in 1993 his daughter sold 'OG 4277' to Les Williams, the legendary Triumph Racing Department foreman and creator of that best known of all racing Triumphs, 'Slippery Sam'. Les laid up the machine for several years before restoring it to its original racing specification. (Following the 1930 Manx Grand Prix, its only race, the AJS had been used as a road bike.)

'OG 4277' comes with an extensive history file containing copies of the original and continuation logbooks; correspondence with cammy AJS authority Ivan Rhodes; a selection of 'as purchased' and in-restoration photographs; copy V5C document; and a quantity of photocopied articles, press cuttings and photographs.
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Offered directly from the estate of the late Les Williams, 1930 AJS 346cc R7 Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 145260 Engine no. 145260
Offered directly from the estate of the late Les Williams, 1930 AJS 346cc R7 Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 145260 Engine no. 145260
Offered directly from the estate of the late Les Williams, 1930 AJS 346cc R7 Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 145260 Engine no. 145260
Offered directly from the estate of the late Les Williams, 1930 AJS 346cc R7 Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 145260 Engine no. 145260
Auction information

This auction has not been published. Catalogues are usually available four weeks before the auction. If you are interested in consigning property, the last consignment date for this auction is Friday 6th March 2020.