Matchless is one of the oldest brands of British motorcycles being founded in 1899, the same year when the first bike of the company was officially built. The company became famous mostly thanks to the 750cc models, Silver Hawk and Silver Arrow, but also thanks to its long history of racing.
In 1931, the Collier & Sons, the real owner of the company, decided to buy AJS, another motorcycle firm, both of them being then included in the Associated Motor Cycles (AMC) founded in 1938. AMC was actually a large company started by the Collier brothers which then also included Norton.
During World War II, the company produced no less than 80,000 G3 and G3L motorcycles especially addressed to the local army. After the war, the manufacturer rolled out the first Matchless/AJS 500cc twin, shortly followed by the 600cc and the 650cc. During the same period when AJS rolled out and promoted the 7R and the Porcupine models, Matchless released the G45, a motorcycle which could be described as a major success for the company. The two companies then made a partnership to create a series of singles of 250cc and 350cc.
At the beginning of the '60's, AMC, the parent company which included AJS, Matchless and Norton, decided to focus on Norton twins and Matchless/AJS singles. However, the sales did not improve, so the production of these motorcycles was shut down.
Moreover, the things went ever worser for the company as the Norton plant in Birmingham was closed. As a way to revamp the firm, the owners merged the Norton and the Matchless production line trying to develop a better motorcycle that would include the best parts provided by the two brands. The G15 bike and its three versions, the G15Mk2, G15CS and G15CSR, as well as the AJS Model 33 and the three editions, M33Mk2, M33CS and M33CSR, were seen as the perfect rescue. However, they didn't manage to impress so the company's financial problems continued.
In 1966 AMC was bought by Manganese Bronze Holdings, a company which then founded the Norton-Villiers brand in order to create new motorcycles.