The Transport Sale, to include The Lord Braybrooke Collection of Fine Live Steam Locomotives from Audley End, Saffron Walden, on 12 March, also includes a dashing vintage motorcycle – a restored 1963 Matchless 250cc Sport.
First registered on 6 December 1963, the motorcycle bears the registration plate 522 HWE and is estimated £3,750-4,250 (+fees).
Matchless was one of the oldest marques of British motorcycles, in business from 1899-1966, and with manufacture taking place in Plumstead, London.
The firm produced a wide range of models, from small two-strokes to 750cc four stroke twins and had a strong history of racing success: a Matchless motorcycle was ridden by Charlie Collier in the single-cylinder race at the first Isle of Man TT which took place in 1907.
Matchless was the trading name of Collier & Sons, and the business was run by Henry Collier and his sons, Charlie and Harry.
A winged ‘M’ was the Matchless tank badge, and along with many other similar businesses, Matchless started out as bicycle manufacturers.
Charlie Collier’s average speed in the 1907 Isle of Man TT race was a steady 38.21 mph, and he won the race with a time of 4 hrs, 8 minutes and 8 seconds. His brother Harry was not able to complete the same race in 1907, but went on to win in 1909, with Charlie winning again in 1910.
The Collier brothers’ participation in the Isle of Man races was instrumental in bringing Matchless to the attention of the public.
The Matchless 250cc model was launched in 1958, and as reported in the publication Motor Cycling was developed to give speed without temperament, with a well-mannered yet forceful engine matched by handling qualities to inspire confidence in even the ‘newest-comer’ to motor cycling.
The review also said, ‘Allied to semi-drop handle bars, lavish chrome and a stylish red and black colour scheme, these features make a cycle tailored to the sports rider’.
The model ceased manufacture in 1966.