1957 AJS Model 18S 500


  • Rare 500cc example
  • Well presented throughout
  • Part of a private collection

The Appeal

Initially created in 1945, the AJS Model 18, was virtually identical to the Matchless G80, since AMC owned both companies. Like many British post-war bikes, it was developed from a 1930s design, although the frame was adapted to accommodate the swinging arm rear suspension, along with improved rear shocks. Happy to run on low-grade fuel, the low-compression engines gained a reputation for being easy to start and offered favourable performance and fuel economy in the process. The AJS Model 18 also gained a reputation as a worthy scrambler competition bike, it also developed an excellent club back-up.

A shorter-stroke, larger bore model, this 1957 Model 18 S has been in the current owner's collection of historic bikes for three years after being dry-stored by a previous owner for 15 years. It is largely unmodified with original specifications, with recent tyres and evidence of restoration in the past. Used sparingly over the last few years, it's still ready to run perhaps serving as an ideal bike for a vintage bike collector to fettle and tinker with to make it perfect. 

The History and Paperwork

  • First registered in August 1957
  • Current V5c
  • Historic V5c also included
  • AJS & Matchless Owners Club authenticity certificate 
  • Acquired by the current owner in 2020 and recommissioned
  • It had previously been kept in storage for 15 years
  • Part of a collection
  • Being sold due to lack of use and collection reduction
  • Selection of historic MOTS
  • Workshop Instruction Manual
  • Handwritten notes to its starting procedure 
  • MOT and Tax exempt
  • Currently on SORN
  • Covered less than 4,000 miles in 30 years
  • Some spare decals included

The Exterior 

  • Frame in solid condition with no discernible corrosion
  • Black paintwork has a little patina, but overall has aged well
  • The fuel tank is in very good shape, with intact rubber knee pads
  • Brightwork is in excellent shape
  • Lighting intact with new light switch
  • Mirror fitted
  • Black-painted mudguards intact with light signs of age
  • Seats intact with minor signs of past repairs
  • Instrumentation fully legible
  • All controls said to work
  • Rear footrests and start lever rubber show wear
  • Hand grips in decent order
  • Wheels and spokes are intact but may benefit from a little renovation
  • Fitted with both centre and side stand
  • Avon Road Rider MK II tyres are around three years old 
  • The owner retained previous tyres

The Mechanics 

  • 498cc 4-Stroke motor
  • 4-speed gearbox
  • Said to start up without issues
  • The owner has assured us that the motor runs well with no undulations
  • Said to brake with no issues
  • Dampers fit for purpose
  • Engines presentation very positive with decent hoses
  • Engine cooling fins in good shape
  • No visible leaks on the day
  • Exhaust in excellent condition
  • SLS Drum brakes appear to be in good shape
  • Its Teledraulic spring forks are in good shape, with age-related surface fitting noted on the lower arms
  • Taut chain
  • All electrics are reported to be working, some connections and components may need fettling
  • Chrome tyre pump included


It appears to have had a cherished recent history, having spent 15 years in storage before being subject to a light recommissioning by its current owner. Considered a ‘character’ bike, where speed wasn’t the point, its emphasis was more on the enjoyment of the journey. Its forgiving handling and torquey motor made it an ideal introduction to the joys of vintage motorcycling and a wonderful way to see out the rest of the summer. 

Notice to bidders

This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.*

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1957
  • Make AJS
  • Model 18
  • Colour Black
  • Odometer 40,181 Miles
  • Engine size 500
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Aylesbury
  • Location Buckinghamshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
2 bids
  • roxanne•••• £1,500 23/09/23
  • IWJF Sa•••• £1,000 21/09/23

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