2021 Shannons Winter Timed Online Auction
1938 Matchless Model X Solo Motorcycle
This lot is no longer available
One of the most established names in the motorcycle industry, Matchless was founded by Henry Collier in 1891, who developed his first engine by 1899 and began manufacturing motorcycles in Plumstead, South London just three years later. A wide range of models were produced under the Matchless name, ranging from diminutive two-stroke to 750cc four-stroke twins and the company enjoyed both commercial and racing success. Early Matchless bikes used proprietary JAP engines but, from 1912 onwards, the firm developed their own 500cc single followed by a series of V-twins. Post Armistice Matchless launched a modern v-twin designated the X/2 in 1925, a 982cc side-valve unit that would serve as the mainstay of production until the outbreak of World War Two and was even supplied to Brough Superior to power the SS80 from 1935 onwards. Initially designed for sidecar work, the Model X would remain in production until 1940 and was progressively improved, most notably in 1937 when a shorter frame was adopted. Badged the Sports Tourist, the revised Model X also came with a front-mounted Lucas magneto and new fuel tank design. Capable of reaching a top speed of 80mph, the Matchless relied on a Burman four-speed gearchange and clutch with chain final drive. The largest model in the pre-war Matchless range, the Model X was overshadowed by the more glamorous Brough Superior and Vincents and remains a far more affordable route to classic British V-twin ownership.