In association with Coys and Godin, this year's Classic Bike of the Year 2017, saw an array of some highly impressive machines.
But there can only be one winner. This year saw Les Phelps crowned winner, with his 1939 Matchless SS100.
Les, from St Ives in Cornwall, is a serial Matchless Model X owner who took the decision to create this fantastic bike.
Les says: “I had two Model X Matchlesses before building the SS100; Matchless made V-twin ohv engines which they sold to Brough Superior and Morgan, but they didn’t fit them to the Model X, which was always a side-valve.
“I came into a bit of money a few years ago and decided to buy a Matchlessengined Morgan three-wheeler, but while looking for one I found a guy who had the bones of an overhead-valve engine and a new thought occurred to me – why not build an ohv version of my Model X"
And that's what he did.
“I liked the idea of a more powerful Matchless with Brough performance, so I bought the engine. But there are differences between the Brough and Morgan engines. On the Morgan, because the engine sits across the front of the car, the exhaust ports face outwards rather than down and the fins on the left side [rear on a Morgan] of the barrels are planed-off to fit around the chassis.
"Luckily my barrels were Brough, not Morgan, and then I had another bit of luck – I got talking to a Morgan Club guy who told me that he had been planning to recreate a Brough and had bought a pair of newly-made Matchless-brough cylinder heads and was happy to sell them to me for the price they had cost him ten years before.”
Congratulations to Les and join us again next year for our London show.
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