1929 AJS 350cc 'Purple Tank' Motorcycle
|Colour||Black & Purple|
The company A.J.Stevens & Co. was founded in 1909 by the four Stevens brothers in Wolverhampton, with motorcycle production commencing the following year. Although of conventional design, the earliest AJS motorcycles proved very successful on the track, culminating in taking out first, second, fourth and sixth places in the 1914 Isle of Man Junior Tourist Trophy. In the Twenties, AJS made a name for itself with a new OHV single-cylinder engine that helped the Wolverhampton company score wins in the 1921 and 1922 Junior TTs. However, it took until 1923 before an OHV road bike was available, the 350cc engine nicknamed 'Big Port' thanks to the diameter of the exhaust pipe. With plenty of power and a lack of weight, the new AJS handled superbly and became one of the best regarded bikes of the era. By the late Twenties, the depression was biting and motorcycle sales fell drastically, with the company moving into light car production (building the Clyno Nine under licence) in an attempt to remain profitable. In 1938 AJS was absorbed by Associated Motor Cycles and their bikes sold alongside Matchless, although the name continued to be linked to success in racing through the legendary 7R models.