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Photo ID #787644 10/20/19 11:11 pm
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 5
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Dwight V Offline OP
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Joined: Sep 2018
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Photo of me and my father on grandad's Matchless of some sort:
[img]https://scontent.fagc1-1.fna.fbcdn....a71b0ba1cc9df0adde07b8d8&oe=5E18DA4E[/img]
Curious as to the model and general thoughts on it good or bad.
It still exists, currently owned by my cousin after a stint in Eddie Fisher's collection. It's on display in a museum in Ronks, PA.

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Re: Photo ID [Re: Dwight V] #787657 10/21/19 1:04 am
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Rohan Online Content
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Great photo ! Is that you in command ?

OK, so its got the chrome tank panels with winged round tank badge, a tin primary cover,
a painted front mudguard (fender) and a full width alloy front wheel.
And a twin, obviously. All pointing to somewhere in the mid-late 1950s.

I'm going to plump for a 1957 Model G11 Matchy, a 600cc twin.
Click for a bigger pic
These sold in large numbers, particularly in the USA.
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]
(more there, darned if I can link them )

Someone who really knows their models may be better able to totally pick if its 500cc, or 550cc though,
all very similar and similar era. Apart from some having a slightly fragile crankshaft setup, a good seller,
and Matchless were renowned for the quality of their finish. USA models often had more chrome.

P.S. The engine number will often include the Model type AND year, so if your cousin could confirm that
you would have it 100% nailed down. What was exported will often vary slightly from what was in the British
brochures, which can lead to some variations in identification.

Re: Photo ID [Re: Dwight V] #787680 10/21/19 5:10 am
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Matchman62 Offline
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I reckon by looks, the extra chrome(though it may very well have been done after market) makes me concur with Rohan. As Rohan has stated and to elaborate if it is a 1957 600cc twin it will most likely have 57/G11 xxxx under the front, on the crankcase, of the drive side cylinder. If it is a 500 twin it will have 54/G9 xxxx, a 550cc 55/G9B xxxx (years are for example). If your cousin has the full history and there hasn’t been an engine swap this is probably the easiest way to identify exactly what she is. The frame number is another way though this would probably mean contacting the AJS & Matchless club in the U.K and paying for a dating certificate. I believe the North American section keeps records also(?).

Re: Photo ID [Re: Dwight V] #787879 10/22/19 10:35 pm
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Dwight V Offline OP
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Thank you both.
To the best of my knowledge the bike was purchased new by my grandfather from Fisher's Cycles in Parkesburg, PA. It's obviously been accessorized with windscreen, bags, etc. It looks the same today though with a definite 'patina' as it sat in an unheated, earthen floor garage for most of it's life before being sold at the estate sale in the mid 1970s. It was bought back by Mr Fisher and kept in his collection until my cousin hounded him enough that he sold it to him. He's not ridden it much, says it leaks copius amounts of oil so leaves it at the farm museum in Ronks, PA on display. I've been meaning to get there to have a close look at it but things haven't happened yet.

My father didn't want it at the time because "the foot controls are all backwards". He'd owned a few Hondas by then and didn't see the appeal of an out-of-production model. Ironic now that I have an interest in Brit bikes. Matchless seems to be a rather rare brand here in the US and when they are found command a price higher than I'd have expected. I actually had a Clymer manual for that bike but sold it on eBay years ago before my motorcycle interest developed.

Re: Photo ID [Re: Dwight V] #787888 10/23/19 12:38 am
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 130
Matchman62 Offline
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The oil leak is something that could be an easy fix, or could be a major job. An example is, these bikes have geared oil pumps which when worn have a propensity to let the oil past when sitting which dumps the oil into the crankcase which then can leak out the drive side, also the pressed tin primary is notoriously hard to seal, a common place for letting oil out, I believe there is some seal solutions that people have made and sell to solve this also.
These bikes are reasonably simple to work on if you have the ability and facility. I have a few tips to help keep the twins fairly oil tight if you head down the Matchless road. Is it a possibility your cousin would sell it to you?
The U.S was a big market for AMC as for all the other marques and were certainly a major influence for the Matchless twin eventually being taken out to not quite 750cc. Though probably not as popular as Triumph, Norton and BSA they had their fair share of success in competition too. Good luck on your Britbike journey!


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