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Lot 289: 1931 Matchless 394cc Silver Arrow

Sale of Collectors' Motorcycles, Bonhams & Butterfields (12 November 2005)

By the early 1930s Matchless had no fewer than three different vee-engined machines in the range: models X, A and B, the latter pair being better known as the Silver Arrow and Silver Hawk respectively. Introduced for the 1930 season, the 394cc Silver Arrow looked like a single cylinder machine but was in fact a narrow-angle (26-degree), flat-head (sidevalve) v-twin, the closely spaced cylinders being contained within one casting topped by a single cylinder head. Its engine aside, the Silver Arrow was conventional enough, though linked brakes and a sprung frame were features found on few rivals. Like many advanced designs before and since, it failed to fire the imagination of the enthusiast with sporting pretensions and sales were disappointing, fewer than 2,000 being sold in the four years of production. Today the Silver Arrow is both rare and sought after.

This machine is offered with a Certificate of Title.

Lot Details
Auction Sale of Collectors' Motorcycles
Bonhams & Butterfields, Petersen Museum, Los Angeles, CA
TypeMotorcycle
Lot Number289
Estimate$4000-$5000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price$3200
Hammer Price (inc premium)$3680
Year1931
Condition rating
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis number
Engine number620
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors