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The father of the founder of AJS Joseph Stevens Sr. was a blacksmith, and in 1984 founded in Wolverhampton Forgings. Harry Stevens supported his father and began to study with him. Start the motorcycle company's history marked the acquisition of Joseph Mitchell's four-cylinder engine. Harry realized that it was his calling, and with this began the history of the brand AJS.
Soon Stevens made his own engine, which was appreciated, but experts recognized as one of the best in his time. In 1899 he founded the firm Stevens Motors Manufacturing Company. Four years later, was made and the first car, though, in the sale, he did not reach.
Next model, dubbed Motett, resembled rather a motorcycle, which, however, went on three wheels. Was appointed not the highest price, but buyers still were not happy. And Stevens returned to what brought him success - to produce engines. Their popularity was so great that soon the old factory was not enough space and had to find a more spacious factory complexes. Under this brand soon began to produce more and carbs, as well as the gearbox, but in 1907 the volume of sales began to fall.
The company began a struggle for survival. Success brought the search for new areas of marketing. In particular, for Vearswell Company Clino steel supply engines and frames. In 1909 the company moved again and was in pereimenovanj AJ Stevens Company. And just then began a large-scale production of motorcycles. The first models of the reorganized company began motorcycles A and B. Both have a capacity of 2.5 horsepower, but the Model-B was more functional and cost more.
The first motorcycle exhibition for AJS was the show at Olympia. Introduced a new motorcycle with chain drive and a V-twin engine with a capacity of 3.5 horsepower. A little later, began production of the new model D. It was more powerful than their predecessors - had the same V-twin engine with two cylinders and two-stage gearbox, though the unit has a capacity of 5 horsepower. In addition, for the first time on the model AJS was established kick-starter.
In 1914 the company history and sports. In the "small TT Isle of Man" was attended by five new sports 2.75-strong motorcycle brand AJS. It was a real success. Were occupied the first two places, 4, 6, and a more modest 29. Immediately nearly doubled the number of buyers. This meant only the beginning burst production and profits, as well as the emergence of new problems: the place again not enough, and therefore had to urgently taken for the construction of new production facilities, which was interrupted by the First World War.
In 1918, it is the construction resumed, and as a result moved to a new location not only belts, but the company's management. Separate building was allocated for production even wheelchairs, for which demand is also growing steadily.
New model of motorcycle racing was made in 1920, and again the bike AJS won first place in the first competition. Customer did not rebound. The company experienced its golden years. Almost immediately came and new victories. So racer Howard Davies took first place in the "main TT", and in a class all Juniors 6 motorcycles, representing the company, entered the top ten, with the first 4 places it remained for the AJS.
Suddenly, the company returned to producing Model-B. In the early 20-ies of the last century bike upgraded by installing a new engine. So there were B1 and B2, and soon - even more recent versions - B3 and B4. Besides, was put into production machine Big Port, also belongs to the class of sports motorcycles.
In production at that time was already involved 600 people and this number is steadily growing. Soon it was decided to rename all motorcycle models "B". They were assigned the letter "E", more later - «G», and then the "K". Introduced and replenishment in the class of motorcycle racing - motorcycles were presented GR7 and GR10. Their engines equipped with a volume of 498 cubic centimeters.
After a couple of years with these bikes in competitions became involved two more models - K7 and K10, already equipped with other engines in the volume of 349 cubic centimeters. Soon began a new series of Model-M, consisting of a few successful models. Their interesting feature is the gas tank of a new form, in which the embedded and speedometer. Because of this had to do and new frame. They brought a second place at the next TT Juniors.
Surprisingly, until then still maintain a relationship with the company Clino, which gradually damages suffered under the influence of the economic crisis. Supply for this firm body frame becomes unprofitable, and AJS was decided to release along with more bikes and cars. The model is a series of motorcycles added a new series of R, on the machine that puts the best of the engines - OHV.
The most serious models in this series have become car R8 and R9 with bottom valves and 498 cc engines. But, despite the best efforts of staff, AJS also gradually dumped into the pit. Attempts have been made to return the old sales volumes.
In 1930, on the model of R7, which became famous thanks to the development speed of 160 kilometers per hour, tried to beat the record for the three-hour Montreal competitions, but do it eventually failed. However, Jimmy Guthrie still achieved a victory on lung CT, but it does not improve the situation.
The next attempt to escape was the release of brand new models, really high quality and at the same time is not expensive. The result exceeded all expectations, but with a minus sign. The company not only does not improve his position, but got into huge debts. Share price has been steadily falling, and endure to the return of loans banks are not wanted. And in the early 30-ies of XX century, the company had to be liquidated. This is the story of another victim of the Great Depression years 1930-1934.
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