Matchless G50

Matchless G50 classic GP racing motorcycle

To name your new company 'Matchless' requires self-confidence! Which is what Charlie and Harry Collier clearly possessed, in 1899, in Plumstead, south-east London. Both brothers were racers, of some renown. Indeed, Charlie rode a Matchless to victory - in the single-cylinder category - at the first TT. That was in 1907. Brother Harry performed the same feat two years later. At the time, then, the Matchless moniker must have seemed pretty much justified!

Fast-forward to the '60s - and Matchless were still dominant. Now, it was the turn of the G50 to hold all-comers at bay. First unveiled in the late Fifties, the Matchless G50 was - to all intents and purposes - an AJS 7R, re-badged. Matchless had acquired AJS in 1931.

More evidence of self-confidence within the Matchless set-up can be found in its logo. It takes some hutzpah to rely on a single letter to get your marketing message across. But, Charlie and Harry obviously felt that a winged 'M' was all that was needed to identify a motorcycle as a Matchless! There is a fine line, of course, between self-belief and hubris. The former is a prerequisite for success - the latter, a cast-iron guarantee of failure. However, it would appear that the two young Londoners got it spot-on. Matchless motorcycles began winning races at the turn of the 20th century. They are still doing so - at classic bike events - well into the new millennium!

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