The Matchless name, sold by Bonhams in 2006 for £45,000, was purchased by a mini-consortium of four Greek motorcycle enthusiasts; Panagiotis Mariolopoulos (an architect, and secretary of the motorcycle commission of FIVA), Dr. Nikolaos Stoumbos (medical doctor and motorcycle enthusiast), Ms Ilayali(Yla) Galani (owner of a classic bike shop), and Panagiotis Zarifopoulos (also a classic bike shop owner racer). These four intended to design a new range of modern bikes and begin production of the marque, as stated at the time of purchase. But motorcycling is an unforgiving industry, requiring vast amounts of cash; given the weak financial situation in Greece, loans for the immense startup costs for manufacturing were no doubt impossible.
|Franco Malenotti with a BSA Gold Star|
Franco Malenotti, paterfamilias of the motorcycling and clothing family (son Michele was CEO of Belstaff), secured the deal for Matchless, and hopes to revive the brand as he did with Belstaff. According to Omnimoto.it, they plan to build a series of 'limited production' motorcycles, inspired by the Matchless G80, Silver Hawk, and Silver Arrow models.
|The Malenottis brought huge media attention to Belstaff with Kate Moss fashion shoots, and product placement in prominent films.|
Note: the last time a Matchless-badged motorcycle was produced was 1990, the end of Les Harris' run of Rotax-engined machines. See the story here.