Photo OF Grandad On Matchless G3!

Discussion in 'Vehicles' started by Jonah13, Sep 1, 2021.

  1. Jonah13

    Jonah13 Member

    Hi All,

    I'm new to the group and wondered if anyone could help point me in the right direction!

    My Dad emailed me a photo he found of my Grandad "Tommy" who was a dispatch rider in WWII and it has a reg number on it! My parents told me, he returned home after the war with shellshock and was never the same man. I'm really keen to find out about the bikes history and would be grateful of any help. Ultimately, it would be great to know if the bike is still in existence and who ownes it, possibly purchase it, but I think thats a bit fancyful as I'd need to get a motorbike licence!

    Anyway, I've attached a photo of my Grandad, proudly sitting on the bike with reg no. C63949 and any help in advising where to get more information would be very much appreciated. I think it's a Matchless G3? Tried FOI via MOD, but they advise pre-their records??

    Finger crossed and Stay Safe.

    Grandad Tommys WW2 Bike.png

    Attached Files:

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  2. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    It's a Matchless G3/WO...The earlier wartime Matchless based more on the pre-war model...distinct from the later G3L with telescopic forks.

    C63949 was part of contract C5247 for 4000 machines delivered to the RASC depot at Feltham commencing November 1939. It would have had a frame number between 845 and 4844 and an engine number between 40-G3WO 3862 and 7861.

    Unfortunately, there was no fixed link between numbers on these early-war RASC was the 363rd serial number but that doesn't mean it was the 363rd frame number...dozens were delivered each day and no attention paid to sequence....Logically, a frame number somewhere around 1200...but it's a guess.

    There aren't all that many survivors of these early-war bikes....most went through several rebuilds and lost their identities. They do come onto the market from time to time. Unfortunately the 'powers that be' have made it quite difficult to obtain a licence to ride one of these 20 bhp rocket-ships...the full Compulsory basic training and testing...and once you've done all that, you'll have to un-learn changing gear with the left foot and learn to do it the proper way !:)
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  3. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

  4. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

  5. Jonah13

    Jonah13 Member

    Thanks for all this great information. If one came available, what sort of money would be about right, for a restoration project and a ready to enjoy one?.
  6. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I'm really not good at prices. Maybe about £7500 privately for a rideable example...projects are often disproportionately expensive but of course vary a lot. A lot of the specific early parts are very difficult to find and correspondingly expensive too.

    There is one for sale at the moment with a dealer but it almost certainly has a fair sprinkling of later parts. MATCHLESS G3- 350cc O.H.V -1940. UNRESTORED EXAMPLE IN DESERT FINISH- ROAD REGISTERED. | Stuart Bray Motorcycles
  7. Jonah13

    Jonah13 Member

    Thanks for input. Reason for asking was because I saw the one on Stuart Brays, its the G3 so has same front forks as the one my grandad is pictured on. Wondering if I'm just being fanciful about spending that kind of money on a bike I dont have a licence for and the Mrs may wonder where her new kitchen money has gone!
  8. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Perhaps read this thread on HMVF and get up to speed on the details.

    Restoration 4 - Matchless G3 Panel Tank

    Personally, I wouldn't rush in....there will be others. They're scarce but not non-existent and most are in the hands of private owners, some of whom buy and sell, and others leave the's not like German armour or something...
    Jonah13 likes this.
  9. Jonah13

    Jonah13 Member

    Thanks Rich, will try and keep my powder dry for now. Also thanks for restoration link, I wish I had the skill set and time to take on this type of project, looks very rewarding.
  10. Jonah13

    Jonah13 Member

  11. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Completely different, I'm afraid...The traditional model designation 'G80' just means that it was the 500cc OHV single cylinder in the Matchless range. By 1961, it had swing-arm rear suspension and an alternator engine with alloy head. I doubt if it has a single shared component with a wartime machine.

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