The father of the founder of the AJS JOSEPH STEPHENS company Sr. was a smith, and in 1984 in Wolverhampton based forge production. Harry Stevens supported the father and started to study at it. The beginning of motorcycle history of the company put acquisition of Mitchel's four-cylinder engine by Joseph. Harry understood that this his calling and the AJS brand history began with it.
Soon Stevens made own engine which was appreciated, and experts is recognised as one of the best in due time. In 1899 the Stevens Motors Manufacturing Company firm was based. In four years it was made and the first car, however, in sale it did not arrive.
The following model which has received the name Motett, had similarity more likely with a motorcycle which, however, went by three wheels. The highest price was appointed not, but buyers all the same went not willingly. And Stevens returned to that brought it success — to production of engines. Their popularity was so great that soon at old factory the place began not to suffice and it was necessary to look for more spacious factory complexes. Under this brand soon began to be issued also carburettors, and also transmissions, but in 1907 sales volumes began to fall.
The company began fight for a survival. The success brought search of new areas of sale of production. In particular, for Vearswell Company Clino engines and frames began to be delivered. In 1909 the enterprise again moved and was переименованj in AJ Stevens Company. And then large-scale production of motorcycles began. A and B motorcycles became the first models of the reorganised company. Both possessed capacity in 2,5 horsepowers, but Model-B appeared more functional and was more expensive.
Display in Olympia became the first motorcycle exhibition for AJS. The new motorcycle with a chain drive and the V-shaped engine in capacity in 3.5 horsepowers was presented. Production of new model D a bit later began. It was more powerful than predecessors – had the same V-shaped engine with two cylinders and a two-speed transmission, the truth the unit possessed capacity in 5 horsepowers. Besides, for the first time on the AJS model the kik-starter was established.
In 1914 the sports history of the company began also. Five new sports 2,75-strong motorcycles of the AJS brand took part in «small TT of the Isle of Man» at once. It was the real success. The first two places, 4, 6, and also more modest 29 were taken. Almost twice the number of buyers at once grew. It designated only the beginning of surge in production and profits, and also emergence of new problems: places did not suffice again, in this connection it was necessary to be accepted to construction of new production complexes which was interrupted with the First World War quickly.
In 1918 this construction renewed, and as a result to a new place moved not only conveyors, but also company management. The separate building was allocated even under production of carriages demand on which also steadily grew.
The new model of racing motorcycles was made in 1920, and again the bike of AJS won first place in the first competitions. From buyers there was no release. The company worried the gold years. Practically also new victories at once came. So racer Howard Deyvis won first place in «the main TT», and in the class Juniors of all 6 motorcycles representing the enterprise, entered into leading ten, and the first 4 places remained for AJS.
Unexpectedly the company returned to production Model-century. In the early twenties the last century a motorcycle modernised, having established on it the new engine. So appeared В1 and В2, and already soon – later updatings – В3 and В4. Besides, the Big Port car which was also belonging to the class of sports motorcycles was started in production.
600 people by then were involved in production already, and this figure steadily grew. The decision to rename all motorcycles of the model "V" was soon made. The index «Е», still later – «G», and then and was appropriated to them "To". There was also a replenishment in a class of racing motorcycles – GR7 and GR10 motorcycles were presented. Them equipped with engines in volume in 498 cubic centimetres.
Later few years together with these baizes two more models began to take part in competitions – К7 and К10, equipped already other engines in volume in 349 cubic centimetres. Release of the new Model-M series including some successful models soon began. Their interesting feature was the fuel tank of a new form which the speedometer was built in also. Because of it it was necessary to do and new frames. They brought the second place on the subsequent TT of Juniors.
Surprisingly, but until then were still kept in touch with the Clino company which gradually incurred losses under the influence of an economic crisis. To deliver for this firm body frames it became unprofitable, and in AJS the decision to let out along with motorcycles also cars was made. A modelling number of motorcycles replenished with a new series R on which cars put the best engines of the company – OHV.
R8 and R9 cars with the bottom valves and 498-kubovy motors became the most serious models of this series. But, despite all efforts of employees, AJS too gradually fell down in a hole. Attempts to return former sales volumes were undertaken.
In 1930 on the R7 model which became speed known thanks to development in 160 kilometres per hour, tried to break a three-hour record at the Montreal competitions, but to make it finally it was not possible. However Jimmy Gatri after all achieved a victory on easy TT, but also it did not improve a situation.
The following attempt release of absolutely new models, really qualitative and thus not so expensive began to escape. The result surpassed all expectations, but with a minus sign. The company not only amended the situation, but also got into huge debts. The price of actions steadily fell, and to suffer with return of loans banks did not want. And already in the early thirties the XX century the company should be liquidated. Such is history of the next victim of the Great depression of 1930-1934.1 - 14
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