1954 Matchless G45

Highlights


• Extensively restored over several years
 • Never been used since the restoration finished
 • Rare and sort after racing bikes

The Appeal


After much success with their AJS 7R, AMC decided to switch things up in 1954 with a new and more powerful motorcycle. On paper the G45 was a glorious proposition, using the slightly altered 7R frames but with a more powerful 500cc twin-cylinder engine it should have been the next big thing. With a lack of commitment from AMC towards the end of the programme the G45 ultimately didn’t sell well and faded into the history books. This lack of sales is now the collector's dream, with genuine G45s few and far between it is rare to find one like this. 

Having raced in period with Graham Murphy this bike is race-proven, winning the Rhodesian (known today as Zimbabwe) and New Zealand TTs and finishing 8th in the 1958 Isle of Man TT. This G45 is documented as being the last one ever built. 

Having been restored twice in its life, with the latter being an extensive rebuild with genuine or one-off manufactured parts, it now sits today in perfect condition. The Matchless G45 is a rare beast, a perfect opportunity for any classic racer or collector you cannot afford to miss out on this one.

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The History and Paperwork


 • Built-in 1954 this G45, frame number 202, is documented to be the last one to ever leave the factory
 • In the hands of Graham Murphy this bike storms to victory in the Rhodesian and New Zealand TT, and a commendable 8th place in the 1957 Isle of Man TT
 • For around 20 years after the Isle of Man in 1957, the whereabouts of this bike is somewhat unknown.
 • It turns up on the doorstep of a classic dealer in Croydon, where it is sold to a Brian Angus of AC Cars who was building a collection of competition bikes at the time.
 • There is an advert for Ken Bryant Motorcycles that appears to show this bike was restored in 1983. The text mentions that it is the ‘most desirable machine’, they aren’t wrong 
 • This bike is then displayed at the National Motorcycle Museum near Birmingham, unfortunately, it is caught up in the fire of 2003, it was a total wreck.
 • This is when the current owner picks the bike up, well, what was left of the bike after the fire
 • After they collected the bike another extensive soon ensued with a good friend, who themselves has a brilliant vintage racing motorcycle
 • There are countless invoices from the time of the most recent restoration, some of the parts had to be specially ordered as one-off parts due to the rarity of G45s.
 • Since the restoration wrapped some years ago now, the current owner has not had the chance to use it, or even start it up. 
 • The next owner will have an extremely rare and sort after the vintage bike. It has already lived a brilliant life, now is your chance to write the next chapter. 

The Interior & The Exterior


 • The bike has been a ground-up restoration 
 • Many genuine matchless parts were sourced from around the world
 • The paintwork is in great condition
 • Has not been used since the restoration wrapped 
 • The G45 is THE bike to have
 • Looks fast sitting still

When the current owner bought what was left of the bike after the fire it obviously looked nothing like this. During the next few years, the current owner and his friend rebuilt it to look as good, if not better, than new.

As you can see from the photographs the features that you engage with the most, items such as the seat and handlebars, are in great condition. Since the restoration finished it has not been used out on the track so there are no battle scars to speak of. The only item that was not able to be sourced during the restoration was an original Smiths tachometer, but in the grand scheme of things this is only a tiny detail, and when the rest of the bike looks this stunning then this can be forgiven. 

Once you set eyes on the Matchless G45 you will fall in love with its charm and looks. Built to win the exterior elements have been shaped in a way to help achieve the highest average around the TT courses of the day. Today the sculpted front screen and sweeping fuel tank are presented in great condition with the latter proudly wearing the flying M matchless logo, there are also no marks or damage to the paintwork.

When the restoration was finished this motorcycle was placed in storage, unfortunately, the environment it was stored in may not have been ideal. As a result, there is some slight pitting to the chrome elements like the dual exhausts and front forks. These appear to be the only areas of visible damage to the exterior elements of this bike. 

Whoever gets the opportunity to own this bike next will be getting one amazing example of one of the most desirable and sort after vintage racing bikes in the world. 

The Mechanics 


 • Entirely rebuilt mechanically
 • Never been used since the restoration finished 
 • Race winning pedigree

When AMC decided to upgrade the AJS 7R rolling chassis with a bigger Matchless G9 roadster engine they were on to a winner with a win at the legendary Isle of Man TT in only its second attempt. Fitted with a 498cc parallel twin-cylinder engine that uses pushrod actuated overhead valves, twin Amal 9300 carburettors, a Lucas competition magneto, and a 6-volt electrical system the G45 was able to push up to 54hp in the later years with a top speed of 130mph. 

With this bike being caught up in the unfortunate fire at the National Motorcycle Museum in 2003 it needed a major mechanical rebuild, step in the current owner and his friend. They spent years scouring the planet to find genuine parts for the rebuild, when original parts could not be sourced, they would commission artisans to manufacture one-off parts. 

There is almost every invoice from the rebuild in this bike’s history file. These invoices show such works as a rebuilt gearbox, an engine rebuild, and a racing clutch. It is clear to see that the rebuild of this bike was done properly. Since the rebuild was completed the bike has never run, but with the internals being like new it should run well out on the track.

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Summary


The Matchless G45 is one of the most sought after vintage bikes on the market, so it is rare to see an example come up for sale, and even rarer to find one in such a condition as this example. This could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the next owner. 

You cannot afford to miss out on this G45, whether you wish to display, parade, or race this bike it could be the best purchase you ever make. 

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1954
  • Make Matchless
  • Model G45
  • Colour Black
  • Odometer 0
  • Engine size 498
  • Town Marlow
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location Buckinghamshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
30 bids
  • phillip•••• £23,500 27/06/22
  • bob-row•••• £23,000 27/06/22
  • phillip•••• £22,250 27/06/22
  • karl.gr•••• £22,000 27/06/22
  • bob-row•••• £21,000 27/06/22
  • karl.gr•••• £20,000 27/06/22
  • robert-•••• £19,000 27/06/22
  • NortonF•••• £18,250 27/06/22
  • karl.gr•••• £18,000 27/06/22
  • leygoni•••• £17,500 27/06/22

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