AJS Four of the five Stevens brothers (sons
of a blacksmith) produced their first motorcycle in 1897 using a proprietary
engine. In 1910 to protect the existing name of their engines, it was thought
necessary to introduce a new name for their motorcycles. After much deliberation,
they chose to use initials only, and as only one brother, Jack, had two
Christian names (Albert John), the new marque was christened A.J.S. Up
until the take-over by Colliers in 1931 they produced a wide range of machines,
some of which gained distinction in the TT. By 1930 the company held 117 world
records but was in financial trouble. After 1931 the only true AJS's were the
racing 7R's, Porcupines and the AJS Four.
Matchless was the trade name of Collier & Sons who
originally produced pedal cycles in the late 19th century.
The first motorcycle was produced in 1912 and like AJS and other manufacturers
they offered a wide range of motorcycles to the public. After the take-over
of AJS there was a move to conformity between the two marques. In 1953 the
Clubman range of 350cc and 500cc singles was produced, which was the basic
stock of the post-war AMC singles we know so well.
AMC In 1938 Associated Motorcycles (AMC) were formed and
eventually encompassed the marques of AJS, Matchless, Norton, Francis Barnett,
and James. Post-war landmarks start with the production of 350cc and 500cc singles,
developed from the legendary war-time Matchless G3 produced for the Army.
From 1948 competition models of the singles were produced which gave the
company some memorable wins.
In 1949 the first twin (500cc) was produced, later to be joined by a
600cc and 650cc twin in 1956 and 1959 respectively. On the racing circuits
AMC were represented by the Porcupine (500cc forward facing parallel twin),
the 7R (350cc o.h.c. single), the G50 (500cc Matchless variant of the 7R)
and the G45 (500cc vertical twin).
In 1958 the range was joined by the 250cc and in 1960 by the 350cc
lightweight series of singles.
In 1966 AMC went bankrupt and were taken over by Manganese Bronze Holdings,
who formed Norton-Villiers, to take over operations. Four-stroke production
ceased within a couple of years. Although the two-stroke trials and scrambles
machines are still manufactured today under the AJS banner, the well-known
four-stroke models became part of history. The Club is here to continue and
preserve that history.
Click here for information on the Club History.