This year also saw the return of the Classic Bike of the Year competition, won this time round by a 1939 Matchless SS100. Owner Les Phelps is remarkably modest about the build considering his SS100 is the world’s first overheadvalve Matchless V-twin.
ÒI had two Model X Matchlesses before building the SS100,Ó said Phelps. Òmatchless made V-twin OHV engines, which they sold to Brough Superior and Morgan, but they didn’t fit them to the Model X. A few years ago I found a guy who had the bones of an overhead-valve engine and I thought Ð why not build an OHV version of my X?
ÒI 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.
Òluckily my barrels were Brough, not Morgan, and then I had another bit of luck Ð I got talking to a Morgan Club guy who had bought a pair of newly-made MatchlessBrough cylinder heads and was happy to sell them to me for the price they had cost him 10 years before.ó