1938 AJS 38/19 Silver Streak 500cc Motorcycle
The A.J.Stevens Company was founded in 1909 by the four Stevens brothers, with motorcycle production commencing the following year. 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. Despite expanding into light cars and other products, AJS were struggling by the late Twenties and the manufacturing rights for their motorcycle production passed to Matchless (and ultimately Associated Motor Cycles) in 1931. The Silver Streak range was announced in 1938 and, to quote the sales brochure, "?became recognised as the aristocrats of the motor-cycle world." Available in 250, 350 or 500cc form, each Silver Streak came with a specially tuned engine with polished single-port cylinder head (with 5.9:1 compression for the 500cc). The unique appearance of the Silver Streak was achieved through extensive use of chromium plating on the mudguards, headlamp, fork links, front and rear chain cases, oil and petrol tanks, tool-box and more. The end result is certainly one of the most eye-catching bikes of the era and dazzling in the sunshine, although the rider's view is protected by the black tank top panel housing the instruments. The Model 39/18SS employed a Burman Type C.P. four-speed gearbox with foot control and triple plate clutch. The Silver Streak is one of the most desirable English bikes of the pre-war era and would be a fantastic addition to any collection.