Rare & For Sale: 1937 Matchless Model X

Offered here is a late 1937 (1938 model) Matchless Model X; it is the revised version having a longer wheelbase, which was re-launched as a sports tourer. Brough Superior used this engine in the SS80 and also (in overhead-valve form) in the SS100.

The Matchless was purchased by Mr Jackson of Jackson’s motorcycles, Burton-on-Trent sometime in the 1950s and remained in his storeroom, untouched, until the late 1970s. When Mr Jackson died, all his motorcycles were sold. A Mr Eardley of Uttoxeter purchased the Matchless and started work on it only to abandon the project. The machine remained untouched for the next 35-or-so years until the current vendor acquired it in November 2013. Mr Eardley did not register the machine in his name; Jackson’s Motorcycles are shown as the only former keeper and the current vendor is the second. Unfortunately, there is no old-style buff logbook that could shed light on its earlier history.

‘DPO 580’ comes with a letter from the AJS & Matchless Owners Club confirming matching frame and engine numbers. There are fewer than 90 of this model known to the club. The machine has had very little use and its engine has never been re-bored, the pistons being stamped standard. It is quite probably the most original example in the world, as it has stood for so long and nothing has been replaced. The levers are all stamped ‘Bowden’ and the footrests are original, as is the speedometer, horn, exhaust pipes, headlight glass, tinware, forks, etc.

The 80-year-old wheels were replaced as a precaution, and the nuts are all stainless steel (the original fastenings and wheel rims are included). The vendor even managed to obtain an unused Lycette saddle cover of the correct vintage. The dynamo is exceptionally rare, as the originals had Bakelite end-caps that quickly disintegrated and are not repairable; most have been replaced over the years with different types. An electronic voltage regulator has replaced the original but is not visible.

‘DPO 580’ comes with (copy) V5 and current V5C documents; sundry restoration invoices; hundreds of restoration photographs on CD-ROMs; the original instruction book; and a Matchless repair and maintenance book of the period. Restored to the highest standard possible with no expense spared, this Model X can justifiably claim to be one of the best in the world.

Learn more about the Model X at auction here

Report by bonhams.com

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