Launched immediately after World War II, the AJS Model 16 was derived from the Matchless G3/L – a bike that unassumingly became of the most historically important motorcycles in existence, its significance due in no small part to the role it played in the war.
It was developed quickly in 1939 for use in the conflict, with over 80,000 of them manufactured. From 1942, following the bombing of the Triumph factory in Coventry, it became the most prolific motorbike in the UK.
The rigid framed AJS Model 16M 350 single was developed in from the military-spec Matchless. Well proven in war service, the 348cc single remained in production selling large numbers to the civilian market well into the 1960s. Simple and practical, the Model 16 needed minimal maintenance and was very economical—ideal during petrol rationing. The company also produced an almost identical motorcycle under the Matchless name as the Matchless G3L.
In 1953, the Model 16M was modernised with a dual seat replacing the saddle and rear pillion seat. In 1956 the Burman gearbox was replaced with a new four speed unit of AMC's own design and in 1957 further improvements included replacement of the outdated generator with a crankshaft mounted Lucas alternator. This is a Model 16 MS model, meaning it’s a post-1949 model with pivoted rear suspension controlled by hydraulically dampened spring units – far more comfortable than the original rigid Matchless models.
THE HISTORY AND PAPERWORK
Original buff logbook showing all original registration details
First registered in Cambridgeshire in 1959, original plate retained
Matching engine and frame numbers
Restored to a high standard by previous keeper
Tax and MOT exempt
Lovely restored condition
Very good chrome and trim
No scrapes, marks or evident damage
The AJS is a wonderfully presented old bike in fabulous overall condition, having been subject to a through restoration by its previous owner.
He was careful to retain as much originality as possible, and both the frame and the engine are factory items with matching numbers, preserved in excellent order.
The paint finish is superb and there are no notable marks to the body, wheels, tank or underside. The original gold leaf detailing has been lovingly reproduced and the bike is fitted with authentic period tyres.
348cc single OHV
Starts well and runs
Points an alternator model – easy to start and maintain
The AJS is in running order and starts well, with a simple points-operated ignition system and alternator charging to make life easier. The vendor reports that it is very easy bike to start and that it rides well, with no known faults or problems.
This is a wonderful example of one of the most significant post-war British motorcycles, presented in lovely overall order and restored to an exceptionally high standard. It’s a gorgeous thing, ready to be preserved, shown and enjoyed.
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.
UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Car & Classic are run through an online HPI check. On the HPI report, this vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft. It is currently not covered by a finance agreement.
A non-refundable buyer’s deposit is payable on this item, refer to FAQs and T&Cs for the applicable percentage.
Car & Classic's secure payment system protects buyers and sellers. At the end of the auction, the winning bidder transfers payment into a third-party escrow account. Once the transfer of the vehicle is complete, both parties confirm they are happy with the sale and the money is released to the seller.
1959 AJS Model 16 MS
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