At the end of the 40s and start of the 50s, the AJS Porcupine, a 500 cc forward facing parallel twin, and the AJS 7R 32 bhp, 350 cc OHC single were being raced alongside their AMC stablemates the Matchless G50 which was a 500 cc 7R and by 1951, the Matchless G45 a 500 cc vertical twin.
The AJS Porcupine had been designed for supercharging, before the rules changed banning supercharged racing motorcycles, but even so, Les Graham won the 1949 World Championship on an unsupercharged AJS E90 500 cc Porcupine.
In 1951 AJS development engineer Ike Hatch developed a 75.5 mm bore x 78 mm stroke, three valve head version of the 7R making 36 bhp. It was called the AJS 7R3, and was Ike's response to the Italian multi-cylinder racers.
They did well enough in their first year, not as well the second. For 1954 Jack Williams, the works team manager, developed the bike further, lowering the engine in the frame, and making some tuning changes that gave 40 bhp at 7800 rpm.
It immediately won the first two rounds of the World Championship and took first at the Isle of Man TT. These were factory specials, but one has survived, and a second has been reconstructed from spares.
AMC withdrew from the world of works and one-off road racing at the end of the 1954, with the death of Ike Hatch, and in the face of fierce competition from the other European bikes.
After this AJS made a production version of the standard two valve AJS 7R, for privateers.
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