1937 MODEL X
Founded by the Collier family in Plumstead, South London, Matchless built its first motorcycle in 1902.
The company gained worldwide recognition when a JAP-engined model ridden by Charlie Collier won the single-cylinder class of the first ever Isle of Man TT race in 1907. Further wins TT followed in 1909 and 1910, cementing the marque's reputation for sporting prowess.
As well as sporting singles, Matchless offered v-twin sidecar tugs from its earliest days and from 1914 concentrating exclusively on this type of machine.
Designated 'X/2' on its launch in 1925, this 982cc side valve v-twin would remain in production until 1939, its engine being supplied to Brough Superior for use in the SS80 and SS100 from 1935 onwards.
The Model X remained a fixture of the range and was progressively updated until 1940.
The most significant upgrades along the way were introduced for 1937 when the Model X adopted a lighter and shorter frame, re-styled fuel tank and front-mounted magneto. The shorter wheel-base improved road holding and steering.
An excellent Brampton girder fork sat up front, with the links forged and not stamped. Two large rotary friction dampers were on the sides, focused on vertical movement—the 1930s equivalent of air-adjustable fork legs.
Road tests from 1937 reported the steering as being “light” even when cruising at over 60 mph (97 kph) and the engine performance as “delightful” and capable of exceeding 80 mph (130 kph).
This 1937 Model X was extensively and lovingly restored over a two-year period.
The 982cc twin kicks over easily and had good compression, an abundance of torque and a wonderful exhaust note.
All the chrome work and paintwork has been restored to showroom condition.
With new Avon Speed Master tyres, she handles well through the curves.
The motor has had a full top end rebuild with new pistons and valves, under the care of the previous owner – the bike was previously displayed in a private museum.
With less then 90 known to exist in the world, this is an extremely rare and collectable bike. The connection with the legendary Brough Superior should not be overlooked and this bike is more than equal to its cousin.
ENGINE: 982cc V Twin Cylinder
FUEL DELIVERY SYSTEM: Single Amal Carburettor
TRANSMISSION: 4 Speed Burman
PAINT: Black & Silver
TRIM: Single Sprung Seat