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Bonhams 1793 Ltd – Motorcycle dept
101 New Bond Street, London
W1S 1SR
Tel:  020 8963 2817
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1953 MATCHLESS 498CC G45 RACING MOTORCYCLE (LOT 397) SOLD by Auction

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  • £28,000 Auction Estimate
  • 1953
Message the seller
Price £28,000 Auction Estimate
Ad Type For Sale by Auction
Category Motorcycles
Make Matchless
Model G45 RACING MOTORCYCLE
Year 1953
Country UK
Region Oxfordshire
Telephone 020 8963 2817
Status Trade
Date 21-Jul-2020
Ref C1248065
This motorcycle is to be auctioned at our Live and Online Summer Sale, Hanger 113, Bicester Heritage, OX26 5HA.

SALE TIMES
Friday 14 August Spares & Memorabilia (Lot 1 - 212) 10am
Saturday 15 August Motorcycles (Lot 301 - 462) 10am
Sunday 16 August Motorcycles (Morbidelli Collection) (Lot 501 - 704) 10am

VIEWING
In light of the current government guidelines and relaxed measures we are delighted to welcome viewing, strictly by appointment. All the lots will be on view at Bicester Heritage in our traditional Hangar 113. We will ensure social distancing measures are in place, with gloves and sanitiser available for clients wishing to view motorcycle history files.

Please contact Bonhams Motorcycles with your preferred date, time and vehicle registration number to book an appointment.

VIEWING TIMES
Wednesday 12 August 1pm to 5pm
Thursday 13 August 9am to 5pm
Friday 14 August 9am to 5pm
Saturday 15 August 9am to 5pm (Lots 501-704 only)

LIVE AND ONLINE AUCTION
Please note that whilst public viewing is available by appointment, the auction itself will be conducted from a remote saleroom, behind closed doors without public access, in accordance with the current government guidelines. All bidding will be conducted via Online, Telephone and Absentee Bidding. Please contact our Bids Department to register.

AUCTION ADDRESS
Hangar 113
Bicester Heritage
Buckingham Road
Bicester
Oxfordshire
OX26 5HA


1953 MATCHLESS 498CC G45 RACING MOTORCYCLE (LOT 397)
REGISTRATION NO. ESL 578
FRAME NO. G45 129
ENGINE NO. G45 129
• One of the most beautiful and desirable British racing motorcycles ever made
• One of circa 80 made
• Last run in 2010

The prototype of what would become the G45 first appeared at the '51 Manx Grand Prix with Robin Sherry in the saddle, eventually finishing 4th after a promising debut. In fact the machine was not an entirely new design but essentially a hybrid comprised of AJS 7R-based cycle parts into which was installed a tuned Matchless G9 roadster engine. The engine's bottom-end remained more-or-less stock G9 and retained AMC's unique centre-bearing crankshaft, but above the crankcase there was a new aluminium-alloy cylinder barrel and 'head, the latter sporting distinctively finned exhaust rocker boxes. Fuel was supplied by a single Amal TT carburettor and exhausted via short, megaphone-ended pipes.

In 1952 the prototype G45 garnered much valuable publicity and not a little controversy when Derek Farrant - later an AJS works rider on both Porcupine and 7R3 - won the Senior Manx Grand Prix after leading from start to finish. Strictly speaking, a works prototype had no business running in an event for amateurs riding over-the-counter machines, but AMC quickly announced that a production G45 would be available for 1953.

Apart from revised valve gear and the eventual adoption of a forged crankshaft, the G45 changed little over the course of its life and what developments there were did not keep pace with the opposition. At the end of the 1954 season, AMC announced a cutback in its racing programme, which meant the end for the Porcupine and the 7R3, though the G45 and 7R continued to be developed and raced. Production of the G45 ceased in 1957 after around 80 machines had been built, of which approximately half are believed to survive worldwide today. Before then, the works team's best result at international level with the G45 had been Rod Coleman's 2nd place in the 1954 Ulster Grand Prix.

Previously road-registered in Austria, this rare Matchless G45 has been registered in the UK since 1999 (incorrectly) as '750cc' and '1956'. However, the vendor has uncovered the Reynolds Tube Company stamping on the frame indicating that it is in fact of 1953 manufacture. Len Haggis had brought the Matchless back to the UK in 1998/1999 having purchased it in Austria from collector Gerhard Tempel. The G45 had been delivered new from Matchless to an Austrian buyer and was actively campaigned on circuits throughout Europe, where the G45 was a popular mount in period (riders unknown).

On repatriation, the Matchless was sold to a Mr Maslen of Horley, Surrey, who road registered the machine with the first MoT issued on 5th August 1999. At some point it was sold on to a Mr Searle of Loughton, Essex and later on was re-acquired by Mr Maslen. The current vendor, a prominent UK-based private collector and classic racer, purchased the machine from Verrall's of Handcross in 2010. The Matchless is now CRMCC registered (no.110454).

The original magnesium front hub having cracked, a new front wheel has been built by Conway's using a new Molnar hub, brake, rim and spokes (the original wheel is included in the sale). Last run at Cadwell Park in 2010, the machine will require re-commissioning to a greater or lesser extent before further use. A rare opportunity to acquire one of the most beautiful and desirable British racing motorcycles ever made.

£28,000 - 38,000
€31,000 - 42,000

As with all Lots in the Sale, this Lot is sold 'as is/where is' and Bidders must satisfy themselves as to the provenance, condition, age, completeness and originality prior to bidding.

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