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Ajs

The meaning of «ajs»

A. J. Stevens & Co. Ltd was a British automobile and motorcycle manufacturer in operation from 1909 to 1931. The company was founded by Joe Stevens in Wolverhampton, England. After the firm was sold, the name continued to be used by Matchless, Associated Motorcycles and Norton-Villiers on four-stroke motorcycles till 1969, and since the name's resale in 1974, on lightweight, two-stroke scramblers and today on small-capacity roadsters and cruisers. The company held 117 motorcycle world records.

Joe Stevens, father of Harry, George, Albert John (‘Jack’), and Joe Stevens Junior, was an engineer who owned the Stevens Screw Company Ltd, in Wednesfield, near Wolverhampton. Stevens had a reputation for quality engineering before the company built its first motorcycle in 1897, using a Mitchell single-cylinder four-stroke imported from the USA. Before long, Stevens began making engines, starting off with a better-built version of the Mitchell but the family soon developed their own designs, including parallel-twins and V-twins, which were sold as proprietary engines to other manufacturers, including Werner, Wolf and Clyno.[1][2]

In 1909, after a Wearwell motorcycle fitted with a Stevens side-valve single-cylinder engine won a trophy for a 24-hour non-stop run in 1909, Jack Stevens decided to contest the Tourist Trophy in the Isle of Man. A new company, A J Stevens & Co (AJS), was founded, with premises in Retreat Street, Wolverhampton, to manufacture motorcycles and the first model appeared at the Motor Cycle Show in 1910. Its engine, a two-speed 298 cc side-valve, was made to come within the 300 cc limit for Junior machines in the 1911 Isle of Man TT races and was slightly larger than the 292 cc used for the proprietary engines. Jack Stevens came 16th on AJS's official entry, one place behind private owner J.D. Corke on an identical machine.

Albert John Stevens lent his initials to the company, but it was a family concern. In 1922 for example, Harry Stevens acted as managing director, George Stevens as commercial manager, Joe Stevens Junior managing the experimental section and Jack Stevens as production manager.[1][3]

AJS did not contest the 1912 TT as it was busy satisfying the demand for its products, but was 10th in the 1913 Junior. With the Junior limit raised to 350 cc for 1914, the AJS motorcycle had grown to 349 cc, with four-speed gears and chain final drive. AJS achieved their first TT victory in the Junior 1914 Isle of Man TT race that year through Eric Williams, whilst also taking second, third, fourth and sixth place. The old Screw Company's facilities could not cope with the demand and with the company reconstituted as A.J. Stevens and Company (1914) Ltd, AJS moved to a new factory built around Graiseley House, in the Blakenhall district, a short distance south of the Retreat Street premises, which were relegated to the being the company's office and repair department.[4] The 349 cc machine (known as the .mw-parser-output .frac{white-space:nowrap}.mw-parser-output .frac .num,.mw-parser-output .frac .den{font-size:80%;line-height:0;vertical-align:super}.mw-parser-output .frac .den{vertical-align:sub}.mw-parser-output .sr-only{border:0;clip:rect(0,0,0,0);height:1px;margin:-1px;overflow:hidden;padding:0;position:absolute;width:1px}2+3⁄4 hp) was most in demand but the company also produced an 800 cc (6 hp) V-twin.

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