The matchless history of Britain's oldest Motorcycle Company
Henry Collier, design-engineer, successfull entrepreneur and winning rider, founded, together with his sons, Machtless Motorcycles in 1899, which soon became the most important British motorcycle brand.
All motorcycles were marked by a winged M on the tank, symbol that shortly became synonymous of quality and top feeling driving.
Riding his Matchless, Charles Collier, Henry's son, won the first Tourist Trophy in 1907 (and again in 1910), the historic motorcycle race, which still runs today on the Isle of Man.
Following their great market success, the sons acquired other famous brands such as AJS, Sunbeam and Norton and established AMC (Associated Motorcycle Companies).
Their production factory, in Plumstead Road,
in the very heart of London, became a place of reference for every motorcyclist. The Collier brothers were farsighted businessmen.
Matchless was in fact the first motorcycle manufacturer to think about riders' safety. They opened a special department to develop garments for motorcyclists' protection. Clothes that were then tested by the best riders of the time.
In the 1920s and 1940s Matchless developed an
invaluable know-how in working leather for garments to be worn in speed races.
In the post-war period, it expanded production to technical fabric for off-road outerwear, chosen for racing by the great Malcom Smith, a real icon of enduro and motocross racing. In Collaboration with Malcom Smith Matchless developed a functional line of technical wear, that soon was seen everywhere on the race tracks, and then used and appreciated by enthusiast riders.
Famous riders from all disciplines like Mike Hailwood, Jack Findlay, Peter Williams, Phil Read or Sammy Miller, as well as amateurs motorcyclists, were choosing Matchless for the wonderful mix between design, performance, safety and elegance.
During the Second World War, Matchless manufactured 80000 G3 and G3L models for the armed forces, another numerous Matchless model was the G3WO supplied between 1940-1942.
Post-war, Matchless started with the production of 350cc and G80 500cc singles, developed from the G3 produced for the army.
Matchless advertising in the '60s shows for the first time the link between motorcycle and elegance.