Matchless, founded by the Collier brothers, remained one of the strongest performers in the industry, even in the 1930s depression, a period which saw many of its rivals in serious trouble. Despite this, both Matchless and rivals Ariel launched four-cylinder models in 1931; the technically-brilliant Matchless lasting for four years only, the less-radical Ariel going on into the ‘fifties. The Matchless Silver Hawk was launched during the 1930 Motorcycle Show at Olympia, London as their range-leading luxury model.
The amazing example you see here has not only been comprehensively restored, but also comes with continuous ownership from new. Built in 1931 on what is now recognised as the oldest surviving Silver Hawk frame, this amazing survivor has only 5 recorded owners from new, with incredibly only one owner from 1956 to 2014.
The first registered keeper was a Mr. Leslie McEvoy from Sidcup, Kent, who enjoyed his new motorcycle until 1951, after which he passed it on to a Mr. Peter Barnett from Chesham, and then to a Mr. Patrick Coates from Thames Ditton, who kept the Matchless until 1956. In 1956 the Matchless was sold to Mr. Alan Lewis, who owned the bike for 58 years. Mr. Lewis used the bike for commuting and cross-country dashes, where he found the sprung frame and flexible engine both highly capable, and very entertaining. After some years it was placed into long term storage, only to be unearthed last year. During 2014/2015 the bike enjoyed a highly comprehensive restoration, which has only just been completed. The mechanical work was undertaken by leading Matchless specialist Roger Ashby, who rebuilt the engine and gearbox, amongst other mechanical components.
This magnificent bike is said to run very well, having had its maiden journey in early October after nearly 58 years in storage and an 18 month restoration. This motorcycle is the earliest frame recorded by the Matchless Silver Hawk register and will be sold with its original instruction book, parts book, two 1950s tax discs and restoration file. Supplied with a current V5 and original buff log book, this is a fabulous example of an iconic motorcycle, and a genuine once in a lifetime opportunity.