Rebel Without a Clue: 1954 AJS Model 20

If you own a rare classic for a number of years, you probably know a lot of details about it.  You have probably read the history books and period magazine articles about your bike.  From that you probably even know details about your bike in contemporary popular culture.  Like if a famous actor rode it in an iconic film (or not).  Find this 1954 AJS Model 20 for sale in Knik, AK for $7,910 via craigslist.

Tip from Zach Z.

The AJS Model 20 was built by the British company Associated Motorcycles for 10 years starting in 1948.  Associated Motorcycles was an amalgamation of Matchless and AJS, and as such the Model 20 was also sold as the Matchless G9.  The Model 20 was equipped with a 498cc aircooled twin, powering the rear wheels via a chain thru a 4 speed transmission.  Not quite capable of doing The Ton, its top speed was 85 miles per hour.  However one needs to make sure they have plenty of runoff room for the contemporary drum brakes to slow you down.

The seller links to a NADA guide for motorcycles and says they value an excellent condition example at $7,980.  Because of a dent in the tank and a scratch in the fender, the seller is willing to knock $70 off.  No mention that you still have to get the bike down to the lower 48 most likely.

The seller also mentions that an example of this bike was ridden by Marlon Brando in his iconic performance in “Rebel Without a Cause”.  Hmmm, I seem to remember another actor that didn’t die of old age driving something with 4 wheels in that moving picture show.  He also mentions that The Fonz rode the Matchless version of this bike in Happy Days.  Could be, but again they could be wrong, and it was a Triumph Trophy.

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Gianni is Daily Turismo’s Pacific Northwest correspondent.