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The tricky follow up single

The Matchless G50 – effectively a 500cc version of the AJS7R - was immediately popular and, like the 7R, while slightly less sophisticated than the Norton was far simpler to maintain and its lightness made it more agile. Swipe left for more photos. The reinventor of the AJS 7R as a Matchless was Jack Williams, a man who would endlessly fine tune it in search of fractions of a horsepower to keep the G50 competitive during its short five short years of life. Williams was AMC's legendary development engineer, whose son Peter would in turn to achieve some of the most remarkable Isle of Man TT performances ever wrought on a single-cylinder racer with the Arter-framed G50. Sadly even he could never turn the G50 into a TT winner, something that would have to wait until Dave Roper’s run in the 1984 Historic TT with Team Obsolete. Only around 180 original G50s were built in AMC's East London Plumstead factory during those five years of production with just two colour options: bright blue with a tan seat or bright red and black with a black seat. Despite such a limited run the Matchless nonetheless had remarkable success at all levels of road racing, and in the US allowed Dick Mann to clinch the 1963 AMA Grand National Championship. The AMA (American Motorcyclist Association, the US equivalent to the ACU) had initially decided that the G50 couldn’t race in the US as it wasn’t based on a road legal model. Matchless solved the problem by announcing a limited production, road legal, G50 CSR by fitting the G50 engine into the G80CS Scrambler frame. Designated the CSR, AMC parlance for Competition Sprung Roadster, used from 1958 for off road racing models with rear suspension. Even so, when subsequently used on road going models many assumed it stood for Coffee Shop Racer. In any event the G50 CSR itself became known as the Golden Eagle after the name was used in advertising due to the gold finish of the engine casings, protecting the similarly coloured magnesium alloy they were cast from. More in my Classic TT Racer book. Photo courtesy of Bonhams



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