Models - 1928 -1977

AJW started out producing thundering V-twins to rival the Brough Superior marque. In the early 1930s the firm turned to sports singles, powered by Rudge Python and latterly J A Prestwich (JAP) engines. These were supplemented by utility Villiers lightweights.

After WWII, Jack Ball’s new AJW company again turned to JAP before frustrations with engine supply caused the firm to fit imported Italian lightweight power units.

What follows is a gallery of surviving AJW machines, photographed by Martyn Barnwell

1977 Fox Club

1977 Fox Club

This is AJW’s last motorcycle design and again features a Minarelli engine, this time enclosed in unusual glassfibre bodywork. The apparent petrol tank has a removable lid, revealing inside a steel fuel container and space for tools or luggage. By this time AJW had evolved into its third iteration – called Chinwood. The new company…

1975 Whippett

1975 Whippett

This sports moped is typical of AJW’s final years, by which time the company had moved to Andover, Hampshire. The Italian imported Minarelli engine is a 50cc two-stroke, powering a unit construction 3-speed gearbox. Roy Wheaton found this machine in Doncaster in a poor state, restoring it to his usual high standard.

1952 Fox Cub prototype

1952 Fox Cub prototype

This 1952 prototype was the new AJW company’s effort to make a popular lightweight machine. It features a 3in diameter single tube backbone frame, a telescopic front fork and cantilever rear suspension controlled by a spring unit under the deeply valanced rear mudguard. The 125cc unit construction two-stroke engine canted forward, is a BSA Bantam…

1934 Red Fox racer

1934 Red Fox racer

The Red Fox was John Wheaton’s bargain basement model, being £20 cheaper than the luxurious Flying Vixen – necessary in the tough trading conditions of the early 1930s. Simple blade mudguards and no petrol tank rain gutter helped to cut costs, as did a reversion to a 3-speed hand change gearbox, a lightweight front fork…

1934 Flying Vixen

1934 Flying Vixen

This top of the range model is again fitted with a Rudge Python engine. However the power unit is a high performance Ulster version with a bronze cylinder head. The valve gear is of the ‘semi radial’ layout, where the two exhaust valves are widely spaced and operated by a complex arrangement of levers. The…

1933 Flying Foxes

1933 Flying Foxes

  By 1933, John Wheaton had simplified the frames on his machines. There were fewer tubes and the oil tank was now a separate component sited below the saddle. Leather fronted toolboxes were employed – a typical feature of this period. The unusual handlebar levers were made by Amal, the Birmingham carburettor firm, and were…

1932 Flying Fox

1932 Flying Fox

This was the first of AJW’s single cylinder models, using a 500c Python twin exhaust port engine and a 4-speed gearbox from the same Coventry firm, Rudge Whitworth. John Wheaton designed a new frame to accommodate these powerful single cylinder engines, with six tubes radiating from the steering head. An enclosed section above the gearbox…

AJW 1928 Single

1928 Single

This machine is an experimental AJW, designed to test out whether the firm could manufacture a new machine using a single cylinder engine. Its frame probably comes from a Coventry company, Packman & Poppe and is matched to a Druid front fork, which AJW were using on their V-twin machines at the time. This motorcycle…