Peter Bennett’s AJS – WKR best in show

Distinguished Gentlemen! Peter Bennett and the AJS accompanied by Raleigh rider Steve Hallam. (Photo: Peter Bennett)

The report on the International West Kent Run in November’s issue of the magazine rather glossed over the award of ‘Best in Show’ that went to the 1928 AJS K1 V-twin, entered and ridden by Peter Bennett.

The bike will doubtless be familiar to some readers, for around 30 years it was owned by Steve Mills. After Steve had initially restored the bike he exhibited it and attracted the attention of Geoff Stevens, of the Stevens family.

Steve wrote the book ‘AJS of Wolverhampton’, soon regarded as an authoritative work on its subject. The AJS name retains the power to instil brand loyalty, but the book is now out of print and second-hand copies command asking prices that might deserve pause for thought.

Through a third party, Peter Bennett bought the bike early in 2018. Once he became familiar with it he found the 800cc V-twin side-valve an extremely competent machine and looked for events where he could use it.

As an enthusiastic member of the VMCC, the AJS soon became his bike of choice for section rides in East Anglia. The Banbury Run in June made a further outing and getting the top accolade at the West Kent was totally unexpected. The Distinguished Gentlemen’s Runs have attracted much interest and the AJS and its rider proved eminently suitable for the occasion.

No plans for resting up the bike just yet! 

Alan Turner.

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