|The example shown is a 1961 year model, pictured in
1970. As seen here, it aspired to "all original" equipage but inched down the
slippery slope of "California Hot Rod" here and there, mostly due to the
original stuff being missing. The seat is a Bates scrambler, in every way superior to the
original. The fuel tank appears to have come off a P-11; it is non-orig by way of the
alloy gas cap (see detail on next page). That cherry bomb automotive glass-pak was a
pretty decent solution to the problem of keeping a big pump on the right side of the law,
and while perhaps inaesthetic the price was definitely right. And all you had to do to
mount it was weld a strap on the side in the right place; no nice chrome to worry about
The rear fender is a Wassell alloy front 4 incher with a small Lucas tail lamp assembly on a cheapy steel bracket. Under the right side of the seat is a Zener Diode for charging control, mounted on a radially finned heat sink which was original equipment for some Brit Iron (late 60's vintage).
This motorcycle has been owned by a collector for a number of years and it is not known whether it is ever run and ridden or not. The engine was completely overhauled in the early seventies and may have less than a hundred miles on it since!
These were very pleasant motorcycles to ride. Not particularly quick handling and on the stout side weight wise. Certainly they would have benefitted from a softer, longer travel rear suspension. The front was pretty good, though, especially in the rough.
Of course the single leading shoe front brake could only be described as minimally effective. Diehard Matchless mavens are quick to point out that they were pretty good compared to a Norton Atlas SLS front brake, but that is arguably straw grasping!
The next page shows some unusual details.