Wolverhampton-based A J Stephens first experimented with an overhead-valve engine in 1918 and by 1920 felt sufficiently confident to try their new 350cc racer in the toughest test of the day: the Isle of Man TT. After victory in the 1920 Junior race, when works rider Cyril Williams was able to push over the finishing line, so great was his lead, AJS's new overhead-valve 350 scored a memorable double the following year, Tom Sheard winning the Junior race and Howard Davies the Senior, the first time such a feat had been achieved on a 350. The production version duly made its debut in November 1922, delighting clubmen everywhere with its 'racer on the road' performance. A right-first-time design destined to achieve countless successes in the hands of privateers, the overhead-valve AJS - initially built only as a '350' and known as the 'Big Port' - became available as a '500' for the first time in 1926. Coded 'Model 8', the new 3½hp model followed the general lines of its successful smaller sibling and distinguished itself in the 1926 Isle of Man Senior TT when AJS works rider Jimmy Simpson became the first man to lap at over 70mph.
Previously forming part of an extensive private collection of racing motorcycles, the dismantled example presented here is offered for restoration. Some renovation has been carried out - the frame, forks and brakes have been painted and the wheels re-spoked leaving the mechanical restoration for the next owner. There are no documents with this Lot, which is sold strictly as viewed.