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General => Douglas Racers and Racing History => Topic started by: cardan on 09 Aug 2014 at 11:40

Title: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 09 Aug 2014 at 11:40

Searching for 1932 TT Rudge info, I came across this rather nice illustration of the 1932 TT Douglas motor, from the Motor Cycle of June 23, 1932.

The drawing shows the neat arrangement of the twin carburettors, close coupled to the cylinder heads but still drawing air from a central airbox, in the time-honoured manner dating back to, at least, the 1923 TT bikes (RAs). In fact the main mechanic features of the motor are not too dissimilar to the RA and its progeny - the TT and DT.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 10 Aug 2014 at 11:48

And here's the beast itself. Note the Webb fork and non-cross-over gearbox.

Prior to the race the chances of the Douglas team were summarised thus: "The Douglases are not quite ripe, and their jockeys are not 80 m.p.h. men." These observations were confirmed in the race itself. Cammy Nortons finished 1, 2 and 3 in 1932 Senior T.T., with the Rudges best of the rest.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: oil baron on 10 Aug 2014 at 22:53
Hi There Leon

Just a few thoughts on the machine,  I wonder what brakes were used as they do not appear to be Douglas, so were they using Enfield or similar proprietary hubs.  The machine does not have a flywheel clutch, and being a non crossover box, I suspect is it using a Sturmey Archer box set up as was fitted to the very similar looking Dr Joe Bailey/Len Cole and later Colin Clifford 750 cc sidecar outfit.  Though that machine seems to use a modified small air box and conventional carb set up rather than that shown in the first picture, the crankcase and sump appears the same. It also appears to use standard 8" Douglas brakes, with the front brake on the left-hand side. otherwise the machine is looks very similar to the one shown in your post, apparently a total of 3 machines were built.

Thanks for the interesting posts Leon

Regards  SteveL
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: oil baron on 10 Aug 2014 at 23:03
Hi Leon

Found a better photo of the Dr Joe Bailey/Len Cole/Colin Clifford machine, It uses the same air box as your first photo, but with a conventional carb set up, interestingly the boss at the bottom left-hand side is for mounting the gear change lever.  See the photos on Bonhams Website

http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/19766/lot/322/

Regards  SteveL

Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Doug on 11 Aug 2014 at 00:45
The 1931-32 Douglas works machines allegedly used Douglas brakes, but they were 9". However I have not seen inside one to see if they used the Douglas band brake. The gearbox was a Sturmey-Archer unit explicitly made for Douglas. Initially with an external posi-stop gear change as see in the Bonham auction advert and then in mid 1933 or '34 with an integral posi-stop like used on Norton 'dollshead' 'box and the Norton retrofits in Douglases favored by the vintage sprinters. Examples of these Douglas-Sturmey-Archer gearboxes survive, but were only used on the Works machines and are very rare. Hence folk modifying Norton 'boxes.

The machine in the Bonhams auction is not Joe Bailey's machine (which was a 1926-28 TT model). It is one of the Works sidecar machines. It was assembled and sold at a Bonhams auction a few years back by Collin Clifford. Then in 2012 it was in the sale again. Bailey's machine initially went to his son, who then after a few years sold privately to a Douglas enthusiast.

I know of about three of the 1930-32 Works bikes. The outfit, a solo, and a Works frame built into a sprinter. There was a fourth, the Bury Brothers outfit, but that burned up in the National Motorcycle Museum fire and disappeared. I think I read somewhere that in 1933 they just used the '32 machines and in 1934 the factory had no official involvement, but they did lend the same machines (which at some point received updated gearboxes) to private entries. The engines were described as sounding a bit "flat" by the journalists (I forget which year this was quoted, but I don't think it matters in the results!), and the entries did not gain any merit.

They used a wider angle between the valves than the earlier DT/TT. From what I can tell (an this is still a bit of a learning curve) the 1930 machines had horizontal ports. In 1931 the exhaust ports pointed downward. In 1932 the inlets also pointed downward (or up if going with the flow.) The inclined inlets can be seen in the engine photo Leon posted.

-Doug


[fix typo. 11Aug14  -Doug]
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 11 Aug 2014 at 11:36
Here's the description of the 1932 TT Douglas from The Motor Cycle in May 1932:

"LAST week the first of the T.T. Douglases was to be seen down at Brooklands. C. T. Atkins, the well-known Douglas exponent, who is largely responsible for the "upbringing " of this model, was putting it through its paces over the half-mile for the first time.

"ALTHOUGH, at first glance, the Douglas resembles the standard 494 c.c. production model, in actual fact it is entirely different. The cooling area of the barrels and cylinder heads has been considerably increased, even down to the extent of finning the rocker standards, which are cast en bloc with the heads. The 14 mm sparking plugs are centrally disposed between the rocker standards, while the inlet ports lead up from the two carburetters at an angle of 20 degrees to the horizontal. The well-known Douglas air-balancing chamber is, of course, incorporated.

"DRY-SUMP lubrication is employed, a large finned aluminium sump being bolted to the bottom of the crank case. A departure from the normal Douglas practice is the fitting of a Sturmey Archer four-speed gear box, the pedal for the positive foot gear change being neatly mounted at the bottom of the air-balancing chamber. With this gear box the final chain transmission is on the near side, where a large chain sprocket is mounted on the drum of an extremely powerful 9in. brake, heavily ribbed, and well protected from wet.

"THE whole engine unit is mounted in a particularly rigid duplex-cradle frame, fitted with a steering head much larger and longer than has hitherto been favoured by the Douglas people. Special Druid forks are used in conjunction with a heavy type and business-like Enfield front brake and hub assembly. The brakes are interconnected and operated by a near-side pedal. Finally, a large, sloping two-section built-up tank, holding four gallons of fuel, is mounted on the lower tank rail.

"A MEMBER of The Motor Cycle staff who was allowed a short trial trip found that the machine possessed immense power and terrific acceleration from low speeds. The gear ratios were very close together, and it was most difficult to appreciate the difference between top and third gears. But the outstanding feature was undoubtedly the steering over a bumpy road. The machine was rock-steady, and gave the impression that it was absolutely light in weight, so easily did it handle. The brakes were superb, being both light and extremely powerful in operation."

A couple of comments. Re the front fork, it looks much more Webb than Druid to me. Until about 1930 Druid were still using twin side springs on some of their forks, but the "go faster" model was the ES (enclosed spring) that looked a bit like the Webb but had an enclosed central spring. Of course the fork could have been changed between testing at Brooklands and racing in the IOM a month later. Re the cooling fins: those cylinder look like OB items to me (OK, the fin shape is OB), and at least some TT heads from about 1926-7 on had finned rocker standards.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: oil baron on 11 Aug 2014 at 20:59
Hi Leon

I suspect that in the photo you published it also had an Enfield rear hub as well, if you compare the position of the rear brake actuating lever with the photo of the 750cc outfit which uses the 9'' Douglas brake.  On that machine the brake actuating lever operates through the brake anchor point in normal Douglas fashion, whereas the TT machine has a separate actuating arm, and the brake diameter certainly looks smaller than 9",  Interesting!
Keep up the good work

SteveL

Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 11 Aug 2014 at 23:32

Hi Steve,

Yes the rear brake on the 1932 TT bike doesn't look like the Douglas "TT" item (9" brake drum with bolt-on sprocket, usually on the off side of the machine), so given the parlous state of Douglas in the early 1930s it is likely to be a bought-in item. Since the fornt brake is named as Enfield in the Motor Cycle article, the rear could well be Enfield as well.

The restored sidecar works racer is an interesting machine, but keep in mind it is "restored". If you read the Bonham's description carefully, it doesn't promise exact originality anywhere, so there is some scope for fitting parts that are in keeping with a racing Douglas of the period. The problem of reproduction racers has been a huge problem with sorting out the (genuine) 1932 Works Rudge. I've given up looking at photos of restored machines, because most seem to be relatively modern recreations.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 19 Nov 2018 at 20:27
Here's the description of the 1932 TT Douglas from The Motor Cycle in May 1932:

"LAST week the first of the T.T. Douglases was to be seen down at Brooklands. C. T. Atkins, the well-known Douglas exponent, who is largely responsible for the "upbringing " of this model, was putting it through its paces over the half-mile for the first time... special Druid forks are used...

I found a photo of Atkins at Brooklands in May 1932. While the powerplant is certainly the 1932 TT job, the cycle parts are pure "outer circuit", with no front brake, dropped bars, and so on.

Indeed the front fork is Druid ES - changed to Webb for the TT.

The Tommy Atkins track Douglas was campaigned at Brooklands and elsewhere, first by Atkins himself and in 1937 by legendary Norton tuner Francis Beart. For most of its outings the bike was fitted with a supercharger above the front cylinder. At Brooklands - fitted with Brooklands "can" silencers - it was notably noisy. For sprints and hillclimbs - with twin megaphones - the noise was close to unbearable.

The 1932 TT-pattern motor - with its upward-angled inlet ports - was used in both normally-aspirated and supercharged versions of the bike. The unusual ports can be seen in the photo of the bike from the front.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Doug on 20 Nov 2018 at 03:41
Some pictures of a 1932 TT cylinder head.

There seems to have been a machining error drilling for the rocker spindles!

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2018/1932TT/P6110168.JPG)

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2018/1932TT/P6110170.JPG)


Here you can see the angulation of the ports to good effect.

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2018/1932TT/P6110161.JPG)

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2018/1932TT/P6110163.JPG)


Rather than the 'diamond' head gasket groove, a spigot on the cylinder fitted into a recess in the cylinder head.

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2018/1932TT/P6110164.JPG)

Here is the cylinder. Note too, the cylider base does not envelope fully the cylinder studs.

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2018/1932TT/P6110005.JPG)


Comparison to a DT cylinder head. The included valve angle is greater and so the rocker spindles (and perches) are wider to accommodate. The DT is 82 degrees and the TT is more like 90 degrees.

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2018/1932TT/P6110176.JPG)

The perches are also taller. Perspective in this view diminishes the apparent difference in width between the two.

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2018/1932TT/P6110175.JPG)


The rocker arms need to be longer, and were entirely different forgings. Again, a comparison to DT rocker arms.


(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2018/1932TT/1932-tt-rocker-1.jpg)

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2018/1932TT/1932-tt-rocker-2.jpg)

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2018/1932TT/1932-tt-rocker-3.jpg)

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2018/1932TT/1932-tt-rocker-4.jpg)

-Doug
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 20 Nov 2018 at 06:12

Nice one Doug - those parts are obviously quite specific to the 1932 race bikes. Under the funny airbox, was the bottom end of the motor laid out like a DT, or was it "twin cam" like some of the racers in the late 1920s?

Here's a photo from Peter Carrick's Douglas book, where it is captioned "A 1923 TT model being assembled in the Douglas race shop".

Clearly not 1923. The bike is 1932 TT-pattern - as is the motor on the bench - but the mis-matched front and rear rims and the rocking pedal for the gearchange on the frame (rather than the lug for it cast under the airbox) add to the mystery.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Doug on 20 Nov 2018 at 12:41
Leon,

Regarding the picture from the Peter Carrick book, the airbox does look like it may have the lug for the foot shift pedal. Apparently unused because of the presence of the rocker pedal on the frame. 

The engines were single-cam. The Dixon twin-cam engine appears to have been short lived and in my opinion never stood a chance due to design flaws. I have seen a 1931 engine up close (inlet port horizontal and exhaust pointing downward.) The aluminum crankcases look to have been slightly reinforced versions of the DT type. Other than extra ribbing around the cam bearing boss and whatever was done at the bottom to facilitate the sump, it looks 'standard' DT.

I have also heard that the factory cast the drive side half of the crankcase in bronze to strengthen it. This is plausible, as cracks around the main bearing boss were not unknown. One example has been seen in photos with both the drive and timing side cast in bronze, but otherwise following DT practice. However one has to be careful as there was an individual about twenty five years ago making replacement casings in bronze that developed a reputation for making replica factory race machines that subsequently were passed off as the real thing! So I am not sure if the replicas copied the factory use of bronze, or were used to create the legend of the factory using bronze.

-Doug



Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 20 Nov 2018 at 21:03
Thanks Doug - shall I wait for the racing Douglas book?

Here's Francis Beart at Gatwick in AUgust 1937. Supercharged Douglas + megaphones = spectators in pain!

"Francis Beart - A Single Purpose", another Jeff Clew book, plots the evolution of the Atkins 1932-TT-pattern track bike after Beart acquired it from Comerfords in mid 1937. He ditched the Douglas flywheel clutch and cross-over gearbox for the usual Norton/SA conversion, rebuilt the motor with new atmospheric cams, and rebuilt the supercharger and reconfigured the inlet system. At the end of the year it went bang and he sold it on.

When he bought the bike it came with spare 600 and 750 cc motors, but I don't know if they were also 1932 TT style.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 23 Nov 2018 at 04:13

Here's the missing link between the Tommy Atkins 1932-TT-based outer circuit racer and the Francis Beart version.

The Stilltime Collection has four photos of Tommy Atkins (?) with the bike in supercharged form, but still with the Douglas transmission (flywheel clutch and cross-over gearbox): http://www.stilltimecollection.co.uk/search/a/0-0-3-20-0-0-0-3-3-1,2,3,4-0-1-atkins.html

Quite a beast.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 26 Jun 2020 at 10:13
I came across this photo of C. T. Atkins at Brooklands during 1931 in The Motor Cycle 19 Nov 1931. I know nothing about this machine, but given the date I suppose it was based on the 1931 TT bikes: the 1932 TT engines were finished only in the lead up to the TT.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Doug on 26 Jun 2020 at 18:44
Leon,

I think it is a earlier frame, based on some circumstantial evidence. The following picture shows Atkins on what is basically a 1926-28 I.o.M./TT frame, though having the engine sump that was introduced for 1930 (I believe) on the Works racers. I do not know how long after 1928 (last year in the catalog) one could get these frames, but of course it certainly could be an older frame with some updates. The picture is captioned "1930 TT". If this is the I.o.M. TT, then I have a problem with that. The racing number, refreshingly impromptu, is a little sloppy for a prestigious event. Second, according to the www.iomtt.com site C.T. Atkins only competed in the 1931 Senior TT, with a DNF result. But there were other races titled "TT" and of course the caption might be in error. Third, I think one would want a front brake in the Senior TT!

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/Atkins-1930-TT.jpg)

The primary reason for including this photo is the front fork. If you look closely you can see the brake cable anchorage for the 1926-28 I.o.M./TT models (upper circle) on the far girder, which is distinctive to those models. The lower circle denotes the drum brake lever anchorage.

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/Atkins-1930-TT-detail.jpg)

If you look at the photo you posted, you will see the same style cable anchorage on the front girder. Of course that does not prove it is the same frame (or even just another I.o.M./TT girder), but there is a strong possibility it is the same bike with a bigger fuel tank.

The next picture shows the same bike with the front brake drum fitted. If I am not mistaken, this is at Brooklands and that is the base of the test hill in the background. Brooklands was a favorite haunt of C.T. Atkins and he maintained a workshop/business there; High Efficiency Motors. In the previous photo I think the motorcyclist beyond the spectators in the background strapping on his helmet has his back against the same fence, but it is not entirely clear. 

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/CT-Atkins-on- 600TT-1930.jpg)

What is clear is that it is post-race by the grime on Atkins' face!

Then in chronology (probably!), we have the photo you posted in the previous message. Even if not captioned one could have guessed it was taken at the bumpy Brooklands circuit by the fact the machine is fully airborne! I think this shows an interim fuel tank. That the evolved into the 'big' fuel tank shown here:

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/Motor-Cycling-3-11-1931.jpg)

And here, same picture, different caption. Still prior to the attempt.

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/Motor-Cycling-Atkins-500cc-100mph-attempt.jpg)

The front girders are now braced, but you can still make out the redundant 1926-28 I.o.M./TT brake cable anchorage. Also visible from this side are the induction conduits used on the 1930-31 Works engines. As the carburetors are horizontal, it is not a 1932 engine.

It is hard to say, but this frame could have went on to become the bike Atkins supercharged in 1936, with different fork girders. The supercharged bike lacks details of the 1930-33 Works frames, but the features do not preclude the 1926-28 I.o.M./TT frame.

-Doug


[fix typo. 27Jun20. -Doug]
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 27 Jun 2020 at 13:35
Hi Doug,

A lot to process here!

The Atkins bike carrying number 3/16 at Brooklands is certainly an "earlier" machine, which makes sense because Douglas didn't enter the TT in 1929 or 1930, so there were likely no works road racers between the unsuccessful twin-cam Dixon machines in 1928 and the 1931 TT bikes. (Dirt Track was booming in 1928 and 1929, and the DT Douglas was more-or-less the only machine to have. In 1930 Dirt Track racing went wild, and suddenly - and probably unexpectedly for Douglas Motors - the DT (and everything else) was completely outclassed by the Rudge and sales must have plummeted. Coupled with the onset of the depression... no wonder the TT wasn't high priority.)

You mention the first Atkins photo is captioned "1930 TT". There were TT Races at Brooklands, on a circuit delineated by tyres, barrels etc., but the bikes used were in "TT trim", meaning they had brakes and mudguards. Atkins doesn't look ready for that! So I'd say he was racing in typical track events, on a machine prepared by himself, but likely using earlier works race parts. More thought needed...

The 1931 Atkins machine I posted has me confused because it seems to have a large triangular tank, reminiscent of the style Rudd used at Brooklands in 1927. Does it sit between the frame tubes like on OC? Or is it a saddle tank that might hide the top bar?

I suppose the 100-miles-in-the-hour bike is the same machine, re-tanked?

Perhaps there are other 1931 Brooklands photos that will explain all?

Fascinating, but puzzling. Perhaps Atkins wrote a memoire?

Cheers

Leon

Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Doug on 28 Jun 2020 at 16:49
Leon,

I agree, it does look like a triangular petrol tank going by the hint of a fold line along the top. If on the 1926-28 I.o.M./TT frame (as I think), there really would not be any room to fit it under the top tube. Not in that size and shape. More likely it went over the top tube like a proper saddle tank, or used two 'pannier' tanks with just a trim strip over the top; like the factory was doing on their Works racers 1930-32. Earlier in this post is a picture of Atkins on another 'triangle tank' machine. But that is certainly later as it clearly has the 1932 Works engine and the Druid (?) front forks. But perhaps the earlier triangle tank was resurrected and panel painted?

-Doug
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 29 Jun 2020 at 01:26
Hi Doug,

Some good points again - perhaps a chronology is falling into place?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think there were any Douglas Works road racers for 1930. At least there there were no Douglases entered in the 1930 TT.

The Atkins photos from Brooklands in 1930 show a "late 1920s-style" bike, at least in its main frame, fork and tank design. The engine it also pretty "1920s" - even "pre-1928 Freddie Dixon twin cam" - with the carbs mounted close to the central airbox. I'm not sure about the sump - could it be the 1928 Dixon design? Have to check that.

The Motor Cycling, 11 March 1931, article shows that someone (Douglas? Atkins?) was developing the engine, with the carbs back on the inlet ports (Dixon-style), still horizontal, but with a central airbox.

Now Douglas did enter the TT in 1931, and I'd thought they used the same style engine as on the Atkins machine at Brooklands. However the attached photo (Motorcycle, 11 June 1931) shows a more conventional setup. A photo you'd posted in a thread on ISDT Douglases shows a similar machine with a single-tube loop frame.

Can anyone confirm the spec of the 1931 TT Douglases?

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 29 Jun 2020 at 02:22
I'm not sure about the sump - could it be the 1928 Dixon design? Have to check that.

No, not the Dixon sump. https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=5122

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 30 Jun 2020 at 10:33
Here's one that got away. Third from the left is Bejarano on what looks to be a 1932 TT Douglas, apparently in Spain in the early 1930s.

https://memoriasclubdeportivodebilbao.blogspot.com/2011/11/blog-post.html

The Rudges are both hot stuff, although they may be the over-the-counter TT Replica model rather than genuine Works racers.

The Douglas on the right might be feeling a bit outclassed. No sump is evident, so maybe one of the sports roadsters from the F31/G31 family.

Cheers

Leon

Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Doug on 30 Jun 2020 at 18:54
Leon,

No angled exhaust ports on Bejarano' machine, so I think a 1930 or '31. I would say you are right, the machine on the extreme right looks like a F/G31 model, 'tuned-up' by bracing the front forks and removing the exhaust silencer. BUT, the aluminum valve covers of the F/G31 engine ought to be prominently visible on the front cylinder. So they have been removed or 'naked' DT or TT heads have been fitted. Or maybe even the entire engine, on cannot see enough of it to be really sure which model engine it might be.


[Clarification.  10Aug20 -Doug]
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 30 Jun 2020 at 23:17
Hi Doug,

Higher in the thread you mentioned that works bikes were loaned out to privateers, so maybe a bit of that going on here.

Re the bike on the right: I'm not sure either. Interesting that your scrapbook clipping of the "1931 TT" bike has no sump (forget the loop frame for a moment) so I'm not even sure if no sump rules out works bike. Photos of Douglas racers from the period seem to be in very short supply, not surprising since there were few of them, they were not very competitive, and they didn't get out much.

The reason I went for "1932" for the Bejarano bike is that the frame with the long steering head was supposedly new for the 1932 TT: see the description above "particularly rigid duplex-cradle frame, fitted with a steering head much larger and longer than has hitherto been favoured by the Douglas people." The frame and tank on the Bejanaro bike look quite different to the 1931 TT bike pictured in The Motor Cycle 11 June 1931. (If the Atkins bike with the big triangular tank at Brooklands in March 1931 was new, there was time for the 1931 TT entries to look like this too, but I don't think they did. Perhaps because the company, like everyone else, was broke...)

Re the heads with the angled inlet and exhaust ports: perhaps a comment about what went on with Rudge and their out-of-date works racers. When these were out to Australia the race shop kept a few good bits for spares, notable the cast alloy brake plates and the two-cable handlebar-operated steering dampers, replacing them with lesser parts from production "TT Replicas". If Atkins liked the heads with the angled ports - and I bet there were only a handful ever cast and machined  - it wouldn't surprise me if they were held back for spares when the bikes went off for promotional duties in export markets like Spain.

More questions than answers? Any more 1931-1932 racing Douglas photos out there?

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 01 Jul 2020 at 00:47
Longman and Johnston on their Works Douglases at the 1932 Senior TT, from the Keig Collection. Interesting detail of the tanks, but a pity the photo cuts out the all-important engine detail.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 01 Jul 2020 at 05:06
Leon,

Those big tanks remind me of this picture I found for sale on ebay (I think) quite a while ago. No I didn't buy it - maybe I should have!. I didn't know who was astride the Douglas at the time, then more recently I came across this website when looking into the similarities between Douglas and BMW twin designs in particular the Victoria connection.

http://victoria-rad.de/?p=3366

So I think the person on the Douglas is Toni Babl maybe around 1934?. See Clew's The Best Twin page 241 ed. 2   6/H and 75/F engines.


Edit - so Babl's engines might have been the final racing incarnation of Bailey's RA ?

cheers

Ian
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 01 Jul 2020 at 09:23
Hi Ian,

Sorry, no ideas at all on that one. The bike on the right is a mid-1920s Triumph Ricardo, so I doubt the photo is as late as 1934, and the Douglas is more super luxury than super sport. A E Reynolds produced specials of this style based on Scotts (for which he was an agent), and this looks to be a similar effort based on an ohv Douglas.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 01 Jul 2020 at 10:15
Yes Leon it could definitely be earlier. than 1934. I re-read the google English translation of the article on Toni Babl and it appears that Nöckl,discovered a fast 750cc Douglas in the UK and that it was maybe purchased around 1931? if I get the timing correct that is ,as a specific date isn't mentioned. In that year Babl appears to be involved with a Victoria KR6 outfit before switching to the Douglas,, but that doesn't of course preclude him having another Douglas earlier. I did not intend to imply that the bike in the picture had anything to do with the engines listed in Clew's The Best Twin going to Toni Babl, only that I thought the person on the Douglas looked like Toni Babl that was all. As usual more research to do!

-Ian
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 01 Jul 2020 at 10:21
One of the sidecar bikes maybe?

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 02 Jul 2020 at 04:13
Here are some specs of the 1931 TT Douglases, from The Motor Cycle magazine in June 1931:

Frames are "almost standard touring ones from stock"

Both engines - junior and senior - are "square" (same bore and stroke)

Valves and springs are longer, with "noticeably different" external cylinder head shape

Lubrication system with two separate "sumps" - the sump scaveneged by the pump is separate from the main supply sump

Separate Amals "bolted close up to the inlet manifolds" with a cautionary note (4 June): "there may not be time to incorporate a very satisfactory air-balancing system which is at present being developed"

3-speed gears with "heel and toe" foot change, pivotting on the right footrest tube

Pannier fuel tanks, bolted together with a cover plate over the join; 3 1/2 gallons. (The caps look like Coventry Movement quick-release as used on many TT bikes of the day.)

Wired-on tyres, 26 x 3.25 rear, 27 x 3 front

I like the comment from early on in the coverage (4 June) even if I don't necessarily believe it: "Originally the Douglas firm had intended to stay out of the T.T., as they did last year, but demand from the riders who wished to enter stirred the spirit, and almost before they realised it they were getting down to the job with a zest which every enthusiast hopes will be rewarded withing the next few weeks."

Leon

Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Doug on 02 Jul 2020 at 04:35
Leon,

You are getting too far ahead of me! Now I have to catch up.

Quote from: Leon
Interesting that your scrapbook clipping of the "1931 TT" bike has no sump (forget the loop frame for a moment) so I'm not even sure if no sump rules out works bike.

Well HY2863 is captioned as a Junior machine, so as a 350cc could be an entirely different kettle of fish. I think that same variant, with a loop frame, was also used as a Douglas ISDT entrant along with more conventional models. And yet you have HY2878 also as a Junior entrant, in a duplex frame and using the 1930-32 sumps like the Senior mounts. A variety of different frames to attach the Junior entry list, different years (both have tartan tanks, so 1931 or later), or maybe the caption on HY2863 is in error and it was mistakenly identified as Junior entrant/contender.

I do not know the history of the I.o.M. TT in depth, so will have to defer to others about who did or did not race in a given year. I just know the highlights as related in books like "The Best Twin". Nor do I have (unfortunately) any of the Keig albums.

Quote from: Leon
The reason I went for "1932" for the Bejarano bike is that the frame with the long steering head was supposedly new for the 1932 TT:
I have read that too, but I think the 1930-31 models started a trend towards a taller head stock. Of course, now I will have to look to see if I can find any pictures to back that up. The scarcity of images or survivors of a reliable provenance make it difficult.

The Works bike Henry Body has was I though supposed to be a 1930 frame and it has a tall head stock. Yet I am not so sure now as it does have 1932 engine, or at least set of heads. The frame might be '32, '31, and the whole thing could be a mix of years. It does appear to have been built after the change to Sturmey-Archer gearbox as it has the accommodation for a brake drum on the left, not right. But I have reason to believe the frame is not '32 (more anon).

This bike is supposed to be a 1930 Work model. Rear brake drum on the right to suit the cross-over Douglas transmission. The bike was sold to Japan years ago.

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/Pete-Lee-Douglas-Works-racer-1.jpg)

There seems to be a bit more gap between the upper and lower head stock lugs the normal, but perhaps that is just an illusion. Built up more at the top too, I think. Though maybe not as tall as the '32 model.

Next we have a picture of what is supposed to be Jack Douglas' Works sidecar bike prior to restoration. It had the transmission from a 1934-35 OW/OW1 road model fitted (poor choice!) but the frame was built for the chain line to be on the left, so would have had the Sturmey-Archer gearbox originally. I think this was supposed to be a 1931 entrant.

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/Reputed-Jack-Douglas-Works-bike-with-OW1-gearbox.jpg)

And here after restoration. Though note not the same petrol tank as the previous picture.

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/Jack-Douglas-outfirt-restored.jpg)

Then we have the late Bob Jones' sprinter that is supposedly based on a 1932 Work frame. Or so he told me.

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/bob-jones-sprinter-1.jpg)

With one of the unique feature identifying it as a '32 being the special lower rear lug to have a cross over brake shaft.

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/bob-jones-sprinter-2.jpg)

Presumably passing the shaft through the lower frame tube was out, as that was needed for the sidecar mounting. It also has the high foot rest mounting position seen on the Works bikes. But there are problems. The frame has the provision for the brake drum on the right. If it was a 1932 frame, it would have had a Sturmey-Archer gearbox, chain line on the left, and no need for a brake drum on the right. Unless they wanted to separate the brake drum and the sprocket for some reason. The bike as shown is set up for a sprocket/brake drum on the right (it is an earlier, and rare, 1926-28 I.o.M./TT brake drum), but the anchorage appears to be an addition rather than using the Douglas axle lug with the built-in brake anchorage. The other problem is the use of the DT type transmission platform. All the other 1930-32 Works have the platform projecting straight forward, rather than sweeping down. So I have my doubts. Unfortunately I did not have the presence of mind twenty-three years ago to look for a frame number when I took the photos.

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/bob-jones-sprinter-3.jpg)

It does have a tall head stock, but it is possible this and the other features are well engineered modification to a DT frame done long ago and having over time acquired the story (and a pannier petrol tank) of being a Works frame. 

-Doug
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 02 Jul 2020 at 04:43
Here's Tommy Atkins fettling his Senior entry No. 32 prior to the TT. Note the orthodox location of the carburettors adjacent to the airbox - looks likely that the carb-on-head config didn't make it to the 1931 TT.

The registration seems to be HY2878; if so, and Douglas were not sharing license plates, the photo of HY2878 I posted earlier is incorrectly captioned as a Junior model, instead being the Atkins Senior entry. Maybe the Junior bikes (I think there may have been only two) did have a loop frame and no sump...

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 02 Jul 2020 at 04:45
Oh dear, this is serious. Posting the same conspiracy theories (different Junior and Senior bikes in 1931) at the same time...

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 02 Jul 2020 at 12:30
Thanks for posting the "survivor" pics Doug.

I do like the "1930 Works Douglas". Although it's impossible to say too much from just a photo, I'd say that this bike has all the hallmarks of one of the Douglases as used in the 1931 Senior TT. It would be fun to inspect in detail. Any more photos of this bike? History? Engine and frame numbers would be interesting given some unusual prefixes listed in Clew.

Still looking for pics of the two 1931 Junior TT entries, ridden by Antice and (New Zealander) Bray. A photo during the race would be a rare thing as neither made it to the end of the first lap!

For the moment, I'm sticking with "There were no Works Douglas road racers in 1930", but happy to be proved wrong.

Cheers

Leon

Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 02 Jul 2020 at 12:53
I like the Bob Jones sprinter too, but I don't think the frame has anything to do with the 1931 or 1932 TT bikes. Doug makes some good points about the "DT-like" features of the frame; I'd add that the angle at which the top frame rail meets the steering head is quite unlike the 1932 TT frame on the bench posted higher up in the thread, but quite DT-like.

The 1931 TT bikes used the un-DT-like flat gearbox mount that Doug mentions. Here's the 1931 TT gearbox platform arrangement.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 02 Jul 2020 at 13:14
Finally the sidecar bike. I confess ignorance on this one.

There was no sidecar TT in the early 1930s, so what was the purpose of this machine? Brooklands I guess? Was it manufactured as a sidecar bike, or "upsized" from a 1932 TT bike?

Or could it be the bike that Tommy Atkins was campaigning at Brooklands from March 1931?

Cheers

Leon

Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Doug on 04 Jul 2020 at 03:21
Leon,

According to an article by Bob Currie in the June 1988 issue of The Classic Motorcycle on the Bury Brothers outfit, three sidecar outfits were built c1933 for "... the sidecar TT, the revival of which mooted at the time (it never did take place...) " These were built up from 'engines that had been laying around the Works'. It is not said if the frames were laying about too, or made for the purpose. One became the Bury Brothers outfit, one was the outfit Collin Clifford sold at Bonhams 2007 Stafford sale (see prior pic), and a third had belonged to Jack Douglas. The auction catalog stated they 'believed' their machine was the Jack Douglas bike... It sold for 26k sterling, so someone else believed it too.

Anyway, the problem is that I would have thought it a lot of trouble to go to without a firm commitment that the sidecar race would be definitely be held. Also, 1933 was a very bad year for Douglas, with hardly any production to speak of and presumably money extremely tight. Spending money on a racing project, even if recycling components from prior years, does not seem likely. Lack of money is after all why 1932 was the last year for official Works entries in the Senior. But who knows what they were actually able to pull out of the hat. There must have been some money as they did lend the bikes out to private individuals. Also, they came back in 1934 with a full range of models; and that development must have occurred in 1933. Some all new like the Bantam, or with major engine updates to the big side valve and ohv models. So there must have been some money available.

-Doug


[fix typos. 04Jul20  -Doug]
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 04 Jul 2020 at 04:36
Thanks for that Doug - an excellent article as was the norm from Bob Currie. Very believable too, because Currie probably knew all of the people involved. Fair to say that the Bury brothers' bike is a ripper because of the provenance; other survivors might vary but the "No 34" bike looks pretty good too. I had assumed these two were the same bike!

I think we could safely call all of these long-steering-head pannier-tank bikes "1932 Works", even if Atkins using was a similar frame at Brooklands during 1931, and if some frames were specially built for sidecar racing after 1932. Three bikes were entered in the 1932 Senior TT (Johnston No.11, Longman No. 25, and Williams No. 30) so presumably there would have been at least half a dozen frames and engines (Bury brothers' engine number 7-E1 suggests 7 or more?) built originally. In 1932 the TT bikes were massively outclassed as solos, so using excess parts for clubmen's sidecar racing machines in larger capacities made sense: at least the product could be seen and competitive.

I see Douglas listed a racing sidecar in the 1931 catalogue, specifically said to be for SW5/SW6. Presumably this is the sidecar we see on the surviving 1932 Works bikes that ended up doing service in sidecar racing. One of these sidecar chassis has turned up recently in Australia, but I don't know whether or how the racing chassis differed from the other sidecars on offer.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 04 Jul 2020 at 04:48
In the 1932 Senior, Longman finished 15th, Johnston and Williams both retired after 2 laps. Longman's average speed was 68.99 mph, compared with Stanley Woods' winning 79.38 mph.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Doug on 04 Jul 2020 at 05:31
Quote from: Leon
Fair to say that the Bury brothers' bike is a ripper...

Was a ripper; more like RIP. It was destroyed in the 2003 fire at the National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull, UK.

-Doug
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: roger h on 04 Jul 2020 at 11:52
Doug,
Re the survivors - I had a good look at (and sat on )  a 1932 TT bike about 30 years ago, when owned by a friend in the Bristol area. He has since died and the bikes' present whereabouts unknown.
There was a racing Douglas sold by a dealer up here about 10 years ago, which was claimed to be the ex Francis Beart supercharged bike, the only difference from a DT/SW I could see was the very large saddle tank. Don't know where it is now.
Wandering off thread - regarding the earlier TT model gear ratios - one of the buyers of the new gears we are making has access to "an original TT model", and has passed on the internal ratios, as 2.4:1, 1.55:1 and 1:1. he doesn't know the gear teeth numbers, as the box is not likely to be dismantled. These ratios compare to the 2.16:1, 1.56:1 and 1:1 ratios provided by the gears you made and which we are also now producing. So do you think we finally know what the TT ratios were?
Another super thread, thanks everyone.
Roger
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 04 Jul 2020 at 12:36
Roger, the ratios you mention are the "TG" set, as fitted standard to the OC in 1927. Pretty wide ratio for a TT, but I'm sure Douglas would supply if asked. A summary of ratios is here: https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=7809.msg30271#msg30271

Here are a couple of photos of C J Williams (riding number 3) with his 1932 TT Douglas road racing at the Senior Grand Prix at Brooklands, 23 July 1932, the month after the TT. As mentioned earlier, bikes in these "road races" at Brooklands were in TT trim with brakes, Brooklands-spec silencers and mudguards. Photos from Bert Perryman's "A Clubman at Brooklands".

Leon

Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: roger h on 05 Jul 2020 at 09:07
Leon,
Thanks for this, I hadn't realised that you had done a summary of the gearbox ratios, its very helpful. So we still don't know the teeth numbers on a UG box!?
Roger
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 06 Jul 2020 at 08:47
Photos of Atkins and Palmer in the 1931 Senior (500cc) TT, from The Motor Cycle 25 June 1931.

The unanswered question remains the spec of the 1931 Junior TT bikes: sump/no sump, single/double cradle frame.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 09 Jul 2020 at 13:15
I can give a positive id to Doug's "1930 TT" photo of Tommy Atkins on Douglas No. 3.

It was taken at the BMCRC meeting at Brooklands on Saturday 11 October 1930, and the bike was Atkins' own 596 Douglas. On it he won the first heat for the Wakefield Cup (at 95.09 mph), just beating home the eventual winner of the final Bill Lacey on his 586 Norton (at 106.19 mph, with his final lap at 110.92 mph). Handicap race, of course. Atkins lost his clutch in the final.

At the same meet Atkins also won the Phillips Cup Race, for "private owners", at 96.52 mph.

The Motor Cycle report (which contained a clipped version of Doug's photo) noted that Atkins' bike was the same one on which he finished second in the 200 Mile Race (Doug's other Atkins photo, No 16). This event was held two weeks earlier, and of the 10-or-so starters in the 1000cc race, only Atkins and one other were "non-trade members", or in BMCRC parlance "private owners". Atkins had a couple of unscheduled stops, but outlasted many of the faster bikes to finish second at 89.4 mph.

These races were at the end of the 1930 season at Brooklands, and the last outings for Atkins on his "vintage" Douglas.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 11 Jul 2020 at 04:05
Atkins was awarded a "Gold Star" for a 100mph lap of Brooklands in the 750cc class during 1930. I can't find the exact date, nor confirmation that he was riding his 596 Douglas in the previous post, although this seems highly likely. Someone probably knows the details...

There were a number of fast track/sprint Douglases like the 1930 Atkins bike, in 500, 600 and 750 sizes and based (more or less) in the production 1926-28 IOM TT Model. G D Brown, for example, competed at Brooklands during 1930 on his well-known machine https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=885 , on at least one occasion in the same race as Atkins, so they were certainly different bikes. Brown seems to have been less successful than Atkins?

Regarding "vintage" survivors, it would take a braver person than me to link these directly to the racing bikes of the day. The Bayley/Cole bike is sometimes linked to Atkins (presumably his 1930 bike). The "nickel plate frame" bike in Whitewebbs Museum of Transport in Enfield is linked to the Dobson brothers - one web post is quite definitive: "1928 Douglas 750cc Brooklands Special. Built by Rex Judd for the Dobson Brothers. The machine gained a gold medal for lapping Brooklands at over 100 mph. It came back into Rex Judd's hands through Mike Hawthorn's father's garage at Brooklands in the early 1950s and was rebuilt by Judd's staff." Sounds good, but Arthur Dobson didn't get his Gold Star until 1933, by which time the bike was a bit long in the tooth to have been built for him by Judd.  Time-line-wise, the Dobson bike could easily be the 1930 Atkins bike, since (as we shall see) Atkins had a new Douglas that he campaigned through 1931. The old one - the personal property of Atkins if The Motor Cycle is to be believed - must have gone somewhere...

Anyway these vintage speed Douglases were close to IOM TT spec, while Judd's ultimate Brooklands Douglas for 1927 used a different frame with a straight top bar and a triangular tank. According to Bayley, Judd's 1927 bike was the only 500 Douglas to lap Brooklands at 100+ mph in the vintage years. Atkins' 596 lapped at 100+ in 1930. I'm beginning to think that Atkins' 1931 machine owed something to Judd's 1927 Brooklands racer: perhaps the same frame, or a new frame with the Judd geometry.

Cheers

Leon



Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 11 Jul 2020 at 06:02
Yes Leon it could definitely be earlier. than 1934. I re-read the google English translation of the article on Toni Babl and it appears that Nöckl,discovered a fast 750cc Douglas in the UK and that it was maybe purchased around 1931? if I get the timing correct that is ,as a specific date isn't mentioned. In that year Babl appears to be involved with a Victoria KR6 outfit before switching to the Douglas,, but that doesn't of course preclude him having another Douglas earlier. I did not intend to imply that the bike in the picture had anything to do with the engines listed in Clew's The Best Twin going to Toni Babl, only that I thought the person on the Douglas looked like Toni Babl that was all. As usual more research to do!

Hi Ian,

Indeed Toni Babl had a number of racing Douglases. Here's a photo (from the Technical Museum of Vienna) showing him on an outfit with a reasonably unimpressive petrol tank - maybe 1931 or so. Clearly not the twin-headlight deep-tank bike in your original photo; perhaps the UK 750 you refer to. Despite Babl not making it to the index of the Best Twin, Clew lists frame AND engine prefixes from two machines built for Babl, around late 1934 or early 1935. Frame prefix FS was a "special 750cc racing model for Toni Babl, Germany", FT was "special 750cc racing model for Toni Babl, Germany" (followed by FU, built for CTA, probably for the supercharged racer). The engines for the Babl bikes were 6/H (600cc) and 75/F (750cc), same sort of date.

So most likely the later Babl bikes (the twin headlight bike?) were built new at Douglas (?) and were not the 1932 TT bikes upsized. Why is a mid-30s bike in a photo with a mid-20s Triumph Ricardo. Just weird.

For a broke company, Douglas messed around with some very small projects!

The list of engine numbers in Clew is fascinating. Tempting to think that the engine number on the Bury Bros bike was 7/F 1 (rather than 7.E 1 in the Classic Motor Cycle article), as this would tie the Babl bike to the Bury bike (which debuted in May 1935) rather nicely. Ireckon if they stamped 5/ on the 500s, 6/ on the 600s, 7/ could be a lazy stamping of 75/

Cheers

Leon

Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 12 Jul 2020 at 05:24
A long way back up this thread, Doug's pic of Tommy Atkins from Motor Cycling 11 March 1931 shows him on "his new Douglas which he will race at Brooklands during the coming season". In the photo the bike is wearing a monster tank, for a (non-stop) 1 hour record attempt. Nothing came of the record attempt, but there were notable outings during the year including a Gold Star for a 100mph lap as a 494 in the 500cc class (Atkins already had one with his 1930 596 bike, in the 750 class), and a win in the Holliday Cup in July.

The attached photo shows Atkins and his 494 Douglas with Bill Lacey on his 588 Norton. This photo is usually captioned with the riders' names and "1931", but it very likely shows Lacey and Atkins after the Holliday Cup. The riders look happy! It was a 19 lap race, with a small field made smaller by retirements. With 5 laps to go Lacey was down by 3/4 lap but was closing so rapidly that the final margin was 1 second! Atkins had 3 minutes 10 seconds on handicap, so it's no wonder both look like winners.

in this photo a few things are evident: Atkins' 1931 frame was very "Judd like" and could fit a tank inside the frame (so no 1932-style brace between the tank and top rails of the frame), it has Douglas fork and "short" but high steering head, and (through Lacey's spokes) the carburettors were bolted directly to the inlet port.

The bike was used as both 494 and 596cc during 1931. In reports Atkins was no longer singled out as a "private owner", so he was likely in some arrangement with Douglas

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 13 Jul 2020 at 23:03
Here's the description of the 1932 TT Douglas from The Motor Cycle in May 1932:
"LAST week the first of the T.T. Douglases was to be seen down at Brooklands. C. T. Atkins, the well-known Douglas exponent, who is largely responsible for the "upbringing " of this model, was putting it through its paces over the half-mile for the first time.
... Special Druid forks are used...

In the photo above, it's not hard to imagine Tommy glancing enviously at the solid steering head and Druid ES fork on Bill Lacey's Norton and thinking "I could do worse that have a front end like that..." And, for 1932, he did.

I'm now convinced that any Douglas racer with a long steering head, Druid or Webb fork, and Sturmey Archer non-cross-over gearbox was born no earlier than 1932.

Atkins' 1931 track bike owes a lot to Judd's 1927 track bike, with the carburettors bolted directly to the inlet ports harking back to Dixon's 1928 2-cam TT bike, listed in the 1929 catalogue as the TT Model. It was the design for the 1932 racing bikes - Atkins at Brooklands, and a Works teams in the Senior TT - that had the real innovation. Clew's engine and frame number tables suggest bikes of this "1932 TT" pattern were built for special customers (like Babl in Germany, maybe Bejarano in Spain, Atkins and the Bury brothers at home) beyond 1932, perhaps as late as 1935.

Here's a photo - from the stilltime archive - of a race at Brooklands showing TWO of the 1932 TT bikes in action. Almost certainly the same event (Brooklands Senior GP, July 1932) shown in the Perryman photos above. Students of Brooklands might be interested in the track layout. The event used the short Mountain Circuit, in the clockwise direction, which involved a hairpin bend at The Fork, from the the exit of the Members' Banking onto the Finishing Straight. The Perryman photos are taken at The Fork: the first from the outside of the corner, the second from the inside. Look at the first photo, and in the distance, beyond the Vickers building but before the Members' Banking, you can see a barrel in the middle of the track.

In this photo, you can see that the race started on the outside of the track, ran alongside the Vickers shed, then did a U-turn around the barrel in the middle of the track onto the Mountain Circuit proper. The barrel is partly obscured behind the second Douglas rider. I haven't seen a barrel in the middle of a race track for a while.

Cheers

Leon



Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 16 Jul 2020 at 01:38
There are more mentions of Jack Douglas in this thread than there are in the pages of "The Best Twin"!

Doug posts an older photo of an interesting bike with an unusual fuel tank "supposed to be Jack Douglas' Works sidecar bike prior to restoration", and another of it after restoration. But is this the same bike? How did it grow an extra frame lug on the lower right chainstay, adjacent to the rear wheel rim? Could it be a different bike Doug?

When the "ex Colin Clifford bike" (No. 34) sold at Bonhams (a couple of times, e.g. https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/15321/lot/366/ ) it was described as "1931/32", "believed to be one of just three examples of this ‘Works’ model built", and "thought to be Jack Douglas’s own machine".

Bob Currie's June 1988 article about the Bury Bros 750 racer also goes with the "three bikes" story. In addition to the Bury brothers bike, "... a sister 746cc Douglas is currently owned by Colin Clifford, and Jack Douglas at one time held the Brooklands Mountain Circuit record on a third one."

Anyway, I'm pretty sure than none of these bikes pre-dates 1932, and there's good evidence for a 1934-ish date for the Bury Bros bike. Yes the Bury boys were racing a Douglas outfit in 1931, but not the one under discussion.

And Jack Douglas was riding on the Mountain Circuit at Brooklands in 1931, but I'm prepared to bet is wasn't on "No 34", but an earlier machine. In April 1931, for example, Jack Douglas won the 10 Lap Mountain Passenger Handicap at Brooklands, riding a 744cc Douglas outfit. The Motor Cycle was impressed and noted that "his big engine (was) positively crammed with horses", and reported that when the power came on after the hairpin at the fork (see photos above) the outfit "squirmed like an eel". Nice!

So, any photos of Jack Douglas racing a Douglas outfit in the 1930s? None found yet. Help please.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 16 Jul 2020 at 01:59
I didn't want to muddy the waters in the previous post, but here's another Jack Douglas reference. Motor Sport magazine, December 1969, contained the following request for information:

"Information is sought by a reader about the Douglas sidecar outfit which was built for the abandoned 1934 Sidecar TT and later raced at Brooklands by Jack Douglas. It has a Swill-built Dixon banking sidecar and a 596-c.c. o.h.v. engine, No. 10, the frame number being OF 218. The outfit may have held the 750-c.c. class Mountain lap record. Letters can be forwarded."

I see OF 218 (a 1926-28 IOM TT frame number) is in the Register of machines, now fitted with a DT motor. Ignoring the speculation about the 1934 Sidecar TT, frames like this were used at Brooklands (by Atkins in 1930, for example), and could have been used by Jack Douglas on the Moutain Circuit in 1931.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Doug on 16 Jul 2020 at 03:23
Quote
Doug posts an older photo of an interesting bike with an unusual fuel tank "supposed to be Jack Douglas' Works sidecar bike prior to restoration", and another of it after restoration. But is this the same bike? How did it grow an extra frame lug on the lower right chainstay, adjacent to the rear wheel rim? Could it be a different bike Doug?

Well we probably will never know for certain. Regardless of which bike was the ex-Jack Douglas machine, one might expect the trio built would have been similar. As they (the '32 Works bikes) were not standard road frames, nor were they earlier (1926-28 TT/I.o.M. frames) adapted frames one would imaging they were specially built new for the occasion, built together, and all had that footrest lug on the rear chain stay. I think part of that lug remains in the photo you mention, in line with the tire tread. If you look closely, there is a 'fattening' of the chain stay tube where the lug would be. I think it is the part of the lug that wrapped around the tube. If it is the same bike that was auctioned, I don't imagine it would have been too difficult to replace the missing portion during restoration. Colin Clifford also built a replica frame for the Dixon twin-cam, a 'tribute' 1932 Works bike, and a batch of new 1930-32 oil sump castings to support these projects.
 
There is some tenuous circumstantial evidence that the un-restored and restored bike in the auction are the same; beyond the default 50-50 chance (since it is not the Bury Brothers outfit that leave one other bike of the trio). When Colin Clifford sold off his remaining Douglas parts, there was a sole 1934-35 foot shift gearbox for an ohv Dougie; same as seen in the photo. Collin never had a OW/OW1 to the best of my knowledge, and those gearboxes are not very common. It is possible it was surplus when replaced with a more period correct Sturmey-Archer box. Whether it is the ex-John Douglas outfit is a entirely different matter. I do not know the chain of ownership, or what supporting evidence there was to support such a claim.

I say '1932 Work bikes' but as the info I was told about the ex-Bob Jones sprinter being a 1932 frame being suspect, one has to consider that maybe they built new frames in 1930 or '31 and just kept using them over. Or in 1932 they built new (or altered?) frames with taller head stocks and non-Douglas gearbox. If the Motor Cycling reporter got that right; though news reporting in the past tended to be more accurate than what we have come to expect today!

Quote
"Information is sought by a reader about the Douglas sidecar outfit which was built for the abandoned 1934 Sidecar TT and later raced at Brooklands by Jack Douglas. It has a Swill-built Dixon banking sidecar and a 596-c.c. o.h.v. engine, No. 10, the frame number being OF 218.

If the bike the reader was seeking information on used the 1926-28 TT/I.o.M frame (OF prefix) then the gearbox platform would have swept down like a DT, and not sprung directly forward like the 1930-32 Works bikes. Indeed it would have been a lot like a DT/SW5 frame, the major difference being the top tank tube shape and the use of a taper roller bearing head stock vs. the loose bearing balls of the DT/SW5 (that harked back to the RA model). So if OF 218 was really built for the abandoned '34 TT and then later raced by Jack Douglas at Brooklands, then it would have been quite an old frame brought back into service and owed little in common with the 1930-32 Works bikes*. Not that it couldn't have been a entirely different machine. After all C.T. Atkins was still altering and racing a 1926-28 TT/I.o.M. based frame into the thirties and either it or a DT frame then became the basis of his supercharged special in 1936. Or the reader making the query could have been entirely mistaken about the machine's provenance.

-Doug

* Assuming there even were any 1930 Works bikes.


[Clarification. 10Aug20 -Doug]
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Doug on 25 Jul 2020 at 04:14
For those that are unfamiliar, I found a good representative picture of the 'straight' gearbox platform that has been mentioned from time to time in this thread. Compared to a DT gearbox platform seen immediately below.

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/straight-gearbox-platform.jpg)

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/DT-gearbox-platform.jpg)

These 'straight' platforms showed up on the F/G31 models (example shown), and continued on to the 1934-35 OW/OW1 models. This same lug was used on the thirties Works bikes. A similar - though not identical - lug was used on the short-stroke DT frame on c1932. 

-Doug

Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 28 Jul 2020 at 22:26
Here's the Bury brothers' 750 Douglas outfit in action at Donnington in July 1935. The caption says W. E. Bury riding - presumably Ted? Bob Currie (CMC June 1988) says the bike's debut was at the same track in May 1935, and the likely build date was 1934. Hard to argue, given the special frame and engine prefixes issued for these large racers that fit in after the 1934 production bikes - see the appendix in The Best Twin. I'd be pretty certain that although they looked like the 1932 TT bikes, they were built after. Probably without the upward-angled inlet ports.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 30 Jul 2020 at 07:12
More info on the 23 July 1932 outing of the Douglas team at Brooklands, from "All the Years at Brooklands" by Gerry Belton. (Great book - get a copy.)

The Stilltime collection photo from earlier in the thread is reproduced full page, and there is enough detail to note that - since the TT the previous month - the cylinder heads with the angled inlet ports and carburettors "close coupled" have gone, replaced by the vintage setup of carburettors (probably 15TT32 AMALs) close to the central airbox. The air intake atop the airbox has its opening pointing forwards.

I don't have a photo showing the offside of a Douglas actually running in the IOM TT, but anoraks will notice that in the 1932 TT photos posted higher up show cables running towards the front cylinder head, so presumably the carbs were bolted directly to the heads in the TT race.

Belton tells us three Douglases ran in the Brooklands Senior GP (the TT riders C. S. Williams, C. W. (Paddy) Johnston, and Frank Longman), with a fourth Douglas (model unknown by me) ridden by amateur J. H. Fell. Fell finished fourth.

On the same program, C. S. Williams won the three lap senior handicap race on his 494 Douglas at 102.06 mph. This race was on the outer circuit, so unless he swapped out his mudguards, handlebars and braked front wheel I doubt he used the same bike he rode in the Senior GP (on the "road" Mountain Circuit). Still, nice to see a Douglas lapping at over 100 mph. The usual twist: he beat Hewitt (Excelsior JAP) who put in a lap at 115.29 mph and Bickell (Bickell JAP) who managed 112.71 mph, both well above the 500 lap record that had stood since 1929. Winning a handicap race at Brooklands in the 1930s might have been fun, but it didn't "mean" much.

Doug I think the angled-port TT head you posted photos of is an EXTREMELY rare beast.

Cheers

Leon

Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 31 Jul 2020 at 00:34
Interesting now to revisit the workshop photo higher up in the thread, and comment that the airbox on the engine on the bench has a circular opening for the carburettor mouth. The 1932 TT engines must have had an elongated hole or slot - maybe 3" long? - for the large air manifold. Has anyone seen an original 1932 TT airbox?

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 02 Aug 2020 at 04:58
Leon,

Thanks for the links to the pictures of Toni Babl at https://www.technischesmuseum.at/

I had a little bit of a look into the racing history of Toni Babl. It seems there is a bit of information here and a bit there, but I have not found a complete list of his achievements. So it appears to be difficult to piece together a definitive list of his racing results and then use this as a means to work out when he was racing Douglas machines, and in particular which machines they were. He was certainly using them between 1931 and 1935, and possibly earlier in 1927 and later in 1936.

On the Victoria website there is the statement that he had 31 wins from 35 “big race” starts. The first reference to Toni Babl winning that I can find is in the 1927 Ratisbona race. If this is correct (I have not found any other information yet to prove or disprove this) then Babl appears to have had 4 Douglas machines – the 1927 one, the 750cc outfit bought in pieces in 1931 with the help of Toni Nöckl and the two listed in the Appendix of Clew’s The Best Twin.

At least one website cites that Babl was killed in practice for the Eifel race at Nürburgring  in 1936 on a Douglas rather than a DKW. One would have assumed he would have been practising on a DKW rather than a Douglas at the time? This is a mystery that I have not found any answers to. The politics of the time may be of influence here?

To get an idea of some of the races Toni participated in here is a newsreel of the day for Klausen Hillclimb in 1934 where Toni won his class. Pity we don’t get to see the full length of the material Pathe would have filmed;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Qho8wskWA0

Results I have found so far – please let me know of any additions of corrections;
•   1927 Ratisbona -Bergrennen  Douglas (what model?)
https://www.automobilclub-muenchen.de/dateien/echo-2004-02.pdf
(page 22)
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratisbona-Bergrennen

•   1931 international Freiburg berg-Recordrennen 1st Victoria 600cc
http://victoria-rad.de/?p=3366

•   1931 Kesselberg Victoria KR 6 600cc
http://victoria-rad.de/?p=3366

•   1931 Thiersee Douglas 750 cc
http://victoria-rad.de/?p=3366

•   1932 Kesselberg Douglas 750 cc
•   1932 Freiburg (by 4?)
•   Taunus-rennen (Feldberg?)
•   May 26th 1932 Gaisburg (Saltzurg) Sidecar up to 1000cc 1st Douglas (also ran Victoria 600cc)
https://www.automobilclub-muenchen.de/dateien/echo-2004-02.pdf
(page 23)

•   11th September 1932 Lietmeritz, broken front axle crash. Toni Nöckl died as result of his injuries. Douglas
http://victoria-rad.de/?p=3366

Babl out for all of 1933 with shoulder injury from crash

•   1934 Kesselberg 1st Douglas
https://www.technischesmuseum.at/motorsport-in-oesterreich/person/articleid/1794

•   1934 Klausen hillclimb Douglas
https://www.technischesmuseum.at/motorsport-in-oesterreich/person/articleid/1794

•   1934 Feldberg Mountain Race 2nd 600cc Douglas Julius Beer
https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feldbergrennen
http://www.feldbergrennen.de/feldberg%20-%20bergpreis%201934.htm

•   12August 1934 Luckendorf - Bergrennen under 600cc 2nd Douglas and over 600cc 2nd Douglas
https://www.yumpu.com/de/document/read/59436058/abschlussberichte-von-1923-2017
https://docplayer.org/45501580-Walchensee-ziel-start-kochel-see-km-st-72-km-67.html

•   1935 Feldberg Mountain Race 1st 600cc Douglas Julius Beer (stated as a “G33” Douglas?)
https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feldbergrennen
http://www.feldbergrennen.de/feldberg%20-%20bergpreis%201935.htm

•   1936 2nd place, Hanoverian Eilenriedoren DKW (Eilenriede Rennen at Hannover)
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toni_Babl

•   Solitude Stuttgart Leonberg 600cc 1st DKW
http://www.solitude-historic.de/sr02-his-r22-37.htm

•   26th April 1936 Barcelona GP DKW 600 with Julius Beer
I have misplaced the reference to this one therefore need confirmation…..

•   3rd May 1936 Swiss grand Prix 1st 600cc DKW
http://www.hammondlighthaulage.co.uk/racingmemo/M%20GRAND%20PRIX/MGP-PALM-SUI.htm

•   24th May 1936  Kölner-Stadwald Rennen DKW  600 cc
https://www.kuladig.de/Objektansicht/O-120305-20150330-2

•   June 11-13th 1936 Nürburgring Crash in practice for Eifelrennen on DKW or Douglas?
http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus.php?db=ms&n=3330

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_t%C3%B6dlich_verungl%C3%BCckter_Motorradrennfahrer
https://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/hnn1936/1395?&navmode=fulltextsearch&leftcolumn_compactview_hidden=0

So not a complete list yet. Will update it if I find any more information - looking in particular for pictures of the machine Babl supposedly used in 1927!

cheers

Ian

Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 03 Aug 2020 at 03:28
Phew - that's a lot to take in.

What is clear is that Babl's 750 Douglas was a very fast machine. It seems he started racing it in the second half of 1931.

"Soon the Victoria was no longer fast enough for them. Nöckl [Babl's passenger, until he was killed in a crash in Sept 1932] discovered the fast Douglas 750cc in England. It was purchased at enormous cost and delivered in individual parts. The two of them did the assembly themselves. Financial support was provided by Babl's parents, who had a well-running carpentry. Now Toni Nöckl moved to Miesbach and the two were together every day, screwed [sic!], trained and improved constantly. The team should not remain unknown for long. In 1931 Toni Babl's star rose. It was his first mountain race and it was in the motorcycle mecca of the legendary Kesselberg. With its Victoria 600 still at the start, [Babl was] faster than the stronger 1000 class. But the 750 cc Douglas was now ready to race. There followed victorious races with new records in both classes. Nöckl proved to be an acrobat in the sidecar and also had a large share in the victories."

I wonder if this fast, expensive, 750 Douglas that was raced so successfully by Babl/Nöckl through 1931 and 1932 was the bike Jack Douglas was racing on the Mountain Circuit at Brooklands in April 1931? I suspect so, or maybe a sister bike. The specs were likely along the lines of the 1931 Senior TT entries.

A photo of Jack Douglas at Brooklands would be most illuminating.

Cheers

Leon

[Edit: If you didn't notice immediately that Babl was a real racer, look again at the photo!]
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 03 Aug 2020 at 23:57
Photos of C.T Atkins and Ben Bray at the Senior TT in 1931 (used with permission from the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand).

Cheers

Ian
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 04 Aug 2020 at 00:15
Oh very nice Ian! I suspect these 1931 Senior TT bikes and the larger-engined Babl bike (immediately above) had something in common...

Let me raise you, with a pic of Max Reheis on his (his? I suppose he could have borrowed it from Babl, although I doubt it) 750 Douglas at the Kesselberg Hill Climb in Germany, 15-16-17 June 1934. Toni Babl also rode in this event (as you've noted above), and in one class used a 600 Douglas - probably the one with the 6/H engine listed in the appendix to the Best Twin. Note the pivot for the gear change lever on the frame, as we've seen before in the "workshop photo".

Ian I wonder is your photo of "possibly Toni Babl" actually Max Reheis? Many similarities in man and machine - tank-side rev counter, tapes inlet ports, brace front guard and so on.

I wonder how many of these "big" racers Douglas built around 1934?

Cheers

Leon

[Edit: Although the photo I posted earlier of Babl on the Douglas outfit No. 78 is said to be at Kesselberg in 1934, I don't think it's taken at the meet discussed here. Babl's 596 Douglas at this meet was no. 204, and his 746 Douglas was no. 234, however it's possible he was still riding the "old" (1931) 750. As usual, photos needed to tell the full story.]
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 04 Aug 2020 at 02:08
Here are photos of Babl on his 596 Douglas no. 204 and his 746 Douglas no. 234, take on the same day (Kesselberg, Germany, 17 June 1934) as the photo of Reheis on his 746 Douglas no. 185. A bit small and blurry, but both appear to be deep-tank bikes, build date c1934.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 04 Aug 2020 at 03:18
Great picture of the big tank Douglas at the 1934 Kesselberg Leon!....and more questions :-). I don't know. I think the Douglas could be the same machine but obviously at different times as some features such as the lights / number plate / screen in front of the engine are different - or as you say another 1934 big tank machine has come out of the woodwork? (EDIT:- I'm erring towards them being the same machine.)

Not unknown for machines to be raced on the same day as an outfit and a solo......but if Babl was to loan a special machine to Reheis he would have had to have been a very good friend I would think! (also I guess, just because Babl ordered two special machines from Douglas doesn't mean he was the full owner of those machines?)

I have added a 3 way comparison picture of Reheis, the person on the dual headlight big tank Duggie and Babl from the Victoria website. I cannot say one way or the other. - I will leave that to someone better at facial recognition than I ! :-)


Cheers

Ian
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 05 Aug 2020 at 00:21
I'd be pretty sure "the man on the twin-headlight bike" is Max Reheis, but I don't think it matters very much. We know he had a "big tank" 750 Douglas at an event in 1934, when Babl was competing with his two machines.

Like Babl, Reheis raced Douglas machines before his "big tank". At an event in 1932 he was riding a pretty stock-looking Douglas - very G31 with a single carburettor (see no. 83 below - unfortunately he must have entered late because Babl on no. 81 is the highest entry number in the program). In 1933 Reheis rode something much more interesting: the photo shows him at the Semmering Hill Climb in September on no. 60. Could this be his "G31" fitted with a hot engine? Or some iteration of Babl's 1931 racer? Babl sat out 1933 after the crash that killed his passenger in 1932. No idea!

What is clear is that Austria/Germany had a couple of enthusiastic Douglas riders in Babl and Reheis, and they got their hands on some pretty interesting machinery.

[Edit: Woops. I found No. 83 squeezed in by the printer at the bottom of a page after No. 62, and the rider is Rudolph Runtsch NOT Max Reheis, who rode a Standard No. 38 in that event.]

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 06 Aug 2020 at 03:20
Very Interesting information and great pictures of the Reheis Douglii, Leon!,

I noticed that the Reheis bike does not have the big finned sumps of the works bikes, but does appear to have a mechanical oil pump and oil feed from the bottom of the crank case (also some other engine features similar to the earlier Reheis machine (?)). The oil maybe is held in the saddle tank (between them?) and might explain what appears to be 3 filler caps on the big tank?. I have not seen any other of the big tank bikes with this feature.

 
The list of engine numbers in Clew is fascinating. Tempting to think that the engine number on the Bury Bros bike was 7/F 1 (rather than 7.E 1 in the Classic Motor Cycle article), as this would tie the Babl bike to the Bury bike (which debuted in May 1935) rather nicely. Ireckon if they stamped 5/ on the 500s, 6/ on the 600s, 7/ could be a lazy stamping of 75/

You may be close to the mark there Leon, the Reheis bike does appear to have some very similar features to the Bury machine. A) Unused lug, B) Unused rear stand lug (not needed for an outfit but also not used on Reheis machine (indicating dual use as an outfit?), C) What appears to be a join in the tube?? and D) Tap on tank on the Reheis machine and what appears to be an unused fitting in a similar location on the Bonhams machine in 2007.

EDIT:- I had a closer look at "C" and it appears to be racing number plate bracket on the Bonhams bike not a join and coincidentally on the Kesselberg Bike of Reheis there is a shadow there - so I was reading too much into it! (silly me).

Tank on Bonhams machine does not have the third filler cap (or whatever it is) that the Reheis machine appears to have - but there is something mounted in a similar location - hard to tell from the Kesselberg picture. There is nothing in this position on the Bury machine in the TCM article from 1988. So the Reheis machine and the Bury bros. outfit would appear to be  fairly similar in quite a few areas from the old grainy pictures we have.....

I found another poor picture of Babl but the person in the picture looks more like Reheis ! :-)
cheers
(Edit:- Fixed some typos in text and picture)
Ian
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 08 Aug 2020 at 02:00
Hi Ian,

Yep there's a lot of detail that could be studied! In particular I'd love to study in detail an original pair of pannier tanks. I wonder if the fittings you highlight are related to linking the two sides together.

Interesting to revisit Atkin's May 1932 Brooklands track bike that appears near the top of the thread https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=5444.msg27514#msg27514   "Big tank" in many ways, but with cross-over gearbox (and hence rear lugs to mount the RH brake plate) and probably longer in the frame too, with even the front valve gear within the frame cradle. Also of interest is the hand gear change - no need for foot change on the Outer Circuit - which seems to mount to the tank rail of the frame.

Amongst Doug's survivor photos, the "said to be Jack Douglas" machine (now restored as "no. 34") has a lug on the tank rail that could have been for hand change. Also the front valve gear protrudes past the frame - the machine looks shorter than the Atkins bike, as it would have to be if it were raced on the Mountain Circuit (which had corners!) by Jack Douglas.

The bike in the "workshop photo" has a plain tank rail. Plenty of variants!

Anyway, here's Atkins (no. 8 ) at the start of a handicap event at Brooklands, 1 July 1933. Presumably the same bike he rode in 1932. The supercharged bike was probably a later frame.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 12 Aug 2020 at 03:56

http://www.stilltimecollection.co.uk/detail/40127-tpt-bike-racing-bmcrc-douglas-rider-williams.html

Williams at Brooklands in 1932, from the Still Time Collection. Presumably his 1932 Senior TT mount.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 14 Aug 2020 at 07:20
Leaving aside the 1931 machines, with their G31-ish frames and lower tanks, I think the "big tank" bikes discussed in this thread have their origins in one of the following three groups of machines:

1. The 1932 Senior TT machines. Three or possibly four machines built specially for the IOM Senior TT in June 1932. These bikes have rather unique specs, notably angled inlet and exhaust ports with carburettors fitted directly to the head, deep pannier tanks, non-cross-over Sturmey Archer gearbox and clutch, Webb fork and 8" Enfield brake on the right side. They had their first outing at the TT, and returned to road-racing events at Brooklands the following month with the induction side of their engines returned to "vintage" spec. Beyond the Brooklands events, the only possible glimpse of one of these bikes is in the hands of Bejarano in Spain: his bike alone alone has the right-side 8" brake, and his engine is likely to the spec as run by the works team on the Mountain Circuit at Brooklands in July 1932. [Edit: The bike in "the workshop photo" has a Enfield 8" brake, so is likely a 1932 TT bike, after conversion to "vintage" intake arrangement.]

2. Tommy Atkins' Brooklands track machines. Although he raced a "TT style" machine in 1930 and a "Judd style" machine in 1931, his first "big tank" machine in April 1932 used a 1932 TT motor in a plated frame fitted with Druid ES fork. Various tanks were used, depending on the event. A later machine was similar, but fitted with a supercharger. Both bikes used the Douglas cross-over gearbox (with hand change) and flywheel clutch, mounted in frames to suit, built using a DT-style greabox mounting lug, and hardware for right-hand rear brake. When Francis Beart acquired the supercharged bike he converted it to non-cross-over drive. In 494 form at least, the 1932-TT-style angled-port cylinder heads were used in both atmospheric and supercharged versions.

3. A small number of 596 and 746cc sidecar racing machines built for favoured riders, mostly around 1934. Although these bikes looked similar to the 1932 TT bikes, they used a (Douglas?) drum brake at the front, on the left side of the fork. The "story" is that three bikes were built, but this may be apocryphal. In the UK the Bury brothers raced one, Jack Douglas is said to have raced one (to be verified - he certainly raced a Douglas outfit in 1931 but this would have been to an earlier design), and it's possible that C. P. "Clarrie" Wood raced another. (Jeff Clew in "British Racing Motorcycles": "The last official TT entry was made in 1932... Several private owners continued to race Douglases, usually at Brooklands, Donnington, and sand-racing venues. At Donnington the Bury brothers raced a 750 cc sidecar outfit; similar to the one used on the sand by C. P. Wood, but this machine was never quite a match for their opponents.") On the continent, there were at least three more machines: a 596 and a 746 in the hands of Babl and a 746 in the hands of Reheis.


Yes there was variation in the spec of different bikes, and because they were racing bikes stuff was changed over time, and because they are interesting bikes things get changed back to someone's idea of "correct" spec during various restorations.

Original photos anyone? Jack Douglas at Brooklands would be good, or Clarrie Wood beach racing? Something outside of a Groups 1 to 3?

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Doug on 14 Aug 2020 at 17:18
Another possible reason for the absence of the 1932 Works cylinder heads (angled inlet ports) on later machines is they were made for the short-stroke experiment of the 1932 Work team. That not being particularly successful, for whatever reason, they simply did not make more copies. The sidecar machines of 1933 likely reverted to the long-stoke engine, being seen as more advantageous for torque and besides might have had more component parts laying about the factory. Also a 600 and 750cc engine gets more difficult to arrange with the 68mm short-stroke crank; having to go further 'over square' with the bore than they would have been accustom to at the time. Though, they did do it with the 1921-23 S2 Sports model... Not that the '32 heads couldn't have been made to work with a long-stroke cylinders and crank; but perhaps they concluded the head design was faulty.

The short-stroke cranks were also tried in a 1932 Dirt Track model. That did permit a shorter wheel based frame; something like 2~2-1/2  inches shorter than a standard DT frame I think I read somewhere. But it was not enough to hold off the Rudges and other singles that had shorter wheel base frames that favored the new foot-forward riding style. Whether the short-stroke DT inspired the 1932 Works bikes, the surplus 68mm stroke cranks inspired the short-stroke DT, or both were developed concurrently, I don't know. Other than shorter barrels and rods, the short-stroke DT used conventional DT cylinder heads and the 'standard' diamond head gasket joint. The shorter rod forgings surplus from all this went on to be used in the Blue Chief side valve engine, that developed into the 500/600cc Aero models. While I am not sure when the 68mm cranks first appeared (ignoring the S1/S2 and RA), the shorter rods were being used in the F/G31 road models with the standard 82mm stroke crank. So those would have been available in late 1930 at least. The same lower end assembly was used in the 1934-35 OW/OW1 models.

-Doug
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 14 Aug 2020 at 23:24
Hi Doug,

Excellent point about the bore/stroke, and one I hadn't thought of.

The 1931 Works Douglas TT bikes were said to be "square", so 68 x 68 for the 494cc "500", as for the 1932 Works bikes. Presumably, then, the bigger racers were 68 x 82 for 596cc and 72 x 82 for 746 cc. Better photos might get us a glimpse of a 596 with angled ports? But hard to get the plumbing right with carbs close to the airbox.

Reading about practice for the 1932 TT there is a comment that one of the Works Douglases "couldn't decide whether to run on one or two cylinders" on the corner where the reporter was sitting. This reminded me of the development of the twin carburettor bikes in the early 1920s (see the thread on Les Bailey) and the problems they had with getting correct mixture across the rev range. I wonder if the carb-on-head updraft setup was a bit fussy at the Isle of Man, or any other track with slow corners, such as the Mountain Circuit at Brooklands (which had a hairpin at the Fork)? Perhaps this explains the reversion to the "vintage" carb setup in the lead up to the 1931 TT, and again immediately after the 1932 TT. Not enough development? But let's guess the angled ports gave good power, thus Tommy Atkins using them on his track (outer circuit) machines at Brooklands where the corners were taken on full throttle!

I'll do a little edit in my post above to point out that the bike in the "workshop photo" has an 8" Enfield brake on the right, so is likely one of the 1932 TT machines, but after the TT in June.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 16 Aug 2020 at 11:00

So if Bejarano's bike https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=5444.msg31650#msg31650 is one of the 1932 TT Works machines, how did he come to have it in Spain later that year?

It turns out Luis Bejarano Murga was quite an identity in Spanish motorcycling as rider, engineer and manufacturer of his own machines (LBM and Lube). Lube (Lu-is Be-jarano) was a major manufacturer in Spain in the postwar years until the late 1960s.

According to his Wikipedia page https://es.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luis_Bejarano_Murga :

"Luis Bejarano was born in the Basque Country in 1900. He competed with some of the best motorcycles of the 1920s as well as working as an engineer at the Douglas factory located in Bristol (United Kingdom). In 1931 he imported Douglas motorcycles and had the idea of ​​producing them in Spain, a fact that was canceled due to the start of the Spanish Civil War..."

Luis Bejarano worked at Douglas? Can anyone confirm?

Elsewhere, it is said that he was liaising with Douglas to supply steel parts (perhaps castings or forgings) for his manufacturing efforts in the late 1930s. Clearly he had ties with Douglas that enabled him to bring a Works TT bike out to Spain.

Here's another photo of him on the "big tank" Douglas, said to be at Cuesta de Castrejana in 1932.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Doug on 16 Aug 2020 at 17:02
A comparison of the later conrods used, possibly in the Works and short-stroke engines, to the typical 'lollypop on a stick' DT conrod at the top.

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/DT-rod-comparison.jpg)

The second conrod down is actually one from either a Blue Chief or Aero. But the same forging with some weight removed by machining around the small end eye was used in the F/G31 and OW/OW1 ohv machines. This seems to be the forging created for the short-stoke engines. But as I do not know anyone that has stripped down a short-stroke engine, it is difficult to say for 100% certain.

The bottom conrod appears to be the final iteration of the long-stroke rod. I have only ever seen four of these; they did not seem to have taken over wholesale from the standard DT conrod. So maybe they were reserved for the long-stroke Works bikes and select DT riders.

Note that the forging numbers for the lower two are consecutive, EXP8638 and EXP3687, suggestive that they were conceived at the same point in time. Experimental (EXP) numbers ran a little behind the general numerical ordered numbering of Douglas spares and drawings. The short-stroke conrod forging die was changed later as the forging trademark and number changed position and size, though the overall profile looks to be the same.

The next picture shows the short rod on a long-stroke crankshaft as used in a 1934 ohv model (would be the same as an F/G31). Note the reduced mass around the little end eye. Also, shorter skirt pistons were required!

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/1934-OW1-crank-assembly.jpg)

-Doug

[Clarification.  -Doug 18Aug20]
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 16 Aug 2020 at 23:30
Interesting Doug. So there are cylinders, heads and con rods. Does a complete 1931/32 68 x 68 Douglas racing engine survive?

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Doug on 17 Aug 2020 at 00:19
Leon,

I have not heard of either a complete short-stroke Works engine or a complete '32 Works type engine with the inclined inlets surviving. Not to say they are not out there somewhere, still buried in someone's shed.

-Doug
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 17 Aug 2020 at 04:26
I wonder what close inspection of "the Japanese survivor" might reveal? https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=5444.msg31683#msg31683  On the surface it looks very "1931 Works TT".

We know the Senior 1931 TT bikes were "square" at 68 x 68, and the photo in the Motor Cycle (see below) show that the barrels are extremely short. Would the motor have used the short throw crank AND the short rods?

At the beginning of 1931 there were two iterations of the "short wheel base" DT. The second photo appeared in the Motor Cycle, 19 March 1931. It shows the motor in the "2nd iteration" bike being tested by Tiger Stevenson and Bert Dixon at West Ham speedway the previous Friday. The lowered frame is obvious. Less obvious are the new, heavily finned cylinder heads - probably the same at those fitted to the 1931 TT bikes?

Unfortunately there is no mention of the STROKE of this unusual DT, but the barrels appear longer than those in the TT motor. Perhaps longer stroke, or longer rods, or both? Or am I reading too much in to rather indistinct photos?

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 17 Aug 2020 at 04:31
Great pictures and info. Leon and Doug,

From way up the thread (...things have moved on a bit since I have had time to post a reply!...)


Yep there's a lot of detail that could be studied! In particular I'd love to study in detail an original pair of pannier tanks. I wonder if the fittings you highlight are related to linking the two sides together....


Yes it would be good to see a set of original pannier tanks in the flesh. It would help with trying to work out detail in the grainy old pictures!. Yes I think you are on the money with the fittings linking the two sides together.

Interesting links between Bejarano and Douglas - great investigation Leon!

I have been slowly collating some information on Jack Douglas and will post that when I get a chance. I have found some information on his efforts and crash at the Brooklands Mountain Circuit on his Douglas outfit and some of his exploits at the Bristol (Knowle stadium) Speedway and other events, but alas,no pictures found so far.

In looking for the information on Jack I came across these interesting links;

https://www.speedwayresearcher.org.uk/bristol1929.pdf
https://www.speedwayresearcher.org.uk/bristol1930.pdf

I think a huge amount of work went into putting together these comprehensive lists of events and well done to the researchers involved! But what interested me was a name popped up that I didn't expect and that was Rudolf Runtsch (see pages 90, 95, 98, 100, 113 Clew's The Best Twin). He obviously visited Bristol and entered at least one race for good measure! (i.e. Saturday 13 April 1929). He appears to have switched marque allegiance by the early 30's (?) but may have been a link between Nöckl Babl and Reheis and the Douglas factory - or at least possibly provided an introduction - or may Runtsch told Nöckl / Babl about the hot 750 Dougie??. They probably competed in some of the same events on the continent? I will dig a bit deeper when I get a chance.

-Ian





Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 17 Aug 2020 at 05:14
More on Runtsch at the Knowle Speedway.....and on a 750!!

-Ian

(Edit: from Western Daily Press Bristol 17th September 1930)
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 17 Aug 2020 at 05:31
Oh dear, I feel guilty now.

Higher up in the thread there is a picture I labelled as Reheis in 1932 on a single carburettor Douglas twin, no 83 https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=5444.msg31984#msg31984 . I mentioned that 83 was not in the program, but reading through (as one does) the other day I found No. 83 inserted by the printer after No. 62 and the rider is... Rudolf Runtsch on a 750 Douglas. Sorry about that - I meant to fix it up but hadn't got around to it.

Runtsch had a long and successful career, but unfortunately not with Douglas. Mostly with Norton, I think, he continued to ride at the highest level even post war. Heaven knows why he was riding a rather ordinary-looking single-carb Douglas (albeit a 750) in a hill climb in 1932 when he had ridden some pretty posh Douglas racers in the 1920s. Clearly DOuglas were doing business in Austria, thus the supply of competitive hill climbers to Babl and Reheis, and no doubt others.

Back to Jack Douglas. Clew had Jack as "widely considered to be one of the best performers at the Bristol track", but the results don't seem to support that. Bristol was not exactly dirt track central, and there are only a few occasions in the results when "the big boys" were in town. Not much success in 1930, but as I've noted before a good Douglas could not beat a good Rudge in 1930.

Cheers

Leon

Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 18 Aug 2020 at 07:50
Not much success in 1930, but as I've noted before a good Douglas could not beat a good Rudge in 1930.

In 1932 someone should have mentioned that to Toni Babl at Aigen , now Salzburg in 1932  :) :) :) (just joking, Douglas were well past their prime by then......except maybe in sidecar racing at particular events with a certain person at the helm....


Sidecar machines up to 1,000 cm³ , open to everyone, ten kilometers

Toni Babl, Miesbach, Bavaria, Douglas, 7: 05.8 min. (85.714 km / h)
Thomas Seppenhauser, Munich, Rudge, 7:28 min.
J. Lohner, Munich, Rudge, 7: 28.2 min.
Karl Abarth, Vienna, Sunbeam, 7:49 min.
Hans Schneider, Wetzling, Norton

from;
https://www.sn.at/wiki/Motorradrennen_Trabrennbahn_1932

cheers

Ian
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 18 Aug 2020 at 08:03
Thorpe Douglas......1954

From The Classic Motorcycle December 1990. I don't have the article referred to in the letter to the Editor.
(Edit: The shape of the "big tank" looks a little different to the 1932 TT version?....a quick look in Clew's the Best Twin appears to confirm that? not sure.....I was more interested in the engine developments :-) )

https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=5132.0

-Ian
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 18 Aug 2020 at 09:45
Spotted on the internet - forgot to note the link but will try and find it again......
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Doug on 18 Aug 2020 at 10:00
Hutch,

That is Peter Lee of Unity Equipe. The bike is the same I pictured here:

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/Pete-Lee-Douglas-Works-racer-1.jpg)

Though the caption says 1931, and I was told 1930. 

-Doug

Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 18 Aug 2020 at 11:00
Not much success in 1930, but as I've noted before a good Douglas could not beat a good Rudge in 1930.

On the dirt track. Douglas was dominant in 1929, with Rudge sometimes competitive. In 1930 Rudge introduced an entirely new frame and fork (based on a bike built by Alan Bruce in Melbourne and sent to Rudge in Coventry by Melbourne Rudge agent Tommy Rogers, in exchange for a supply of year-old Rudge works TT bikes for the emerging Australian road racing scene) and were suddenly unbeatable. OK, unbeatable in top level racing - have a look at the record of Rudge-mounted Vic Huxley in the British-Australian Test Matches during the 1930 season. Awesome. Late in the 1930 season JAP engines began to appear, in chassis based closely on the 1930 Rudge design. Rudge had contracted manufacture of Bruce's front fork out to Webb, and it almost instantly became a universal speedway fitting. Within weeks of the start of the 1931 season even Huxley was forced to adopt the speedway JAP engine in his machines. At the top level the switch in dominance from Douglas to Rudge to JAP was that abrupt. To suggest the Douglas were competitive in top level speedway in 1930 is a bit misleading; why they even bothered with new designs in 1931 is puzzling. Of course at regional tracks, and in the colonies, Douglas still had occasional successes, but they were not important victories, despite how they might be reported in books or period advertisements. Clew's coverage of the demise of the DT Douglas is rather poor. He says in part: "By the end of the 1931 season it was evident that the dirt-track Rudge and the JAP engines "specials" were offering a serious challenge to the Douglas supremacy." Total nonsense. Missed by two years: there had been no "Douglas supremacy" since 1929. This is why (in my opinion) there were no works Douglas road racers in 1929 or 1930, and the 1931 TT entries can be explained as a response to the complete collapse of Douglas as a player on the dirt track.

The article about the Thorpe Douglas in the Classic Motor Cycle, September 1990, is an interesting read as the machine - very much a special at all stages of its existence - used all the bits we discuss in this thread. Starting out at a SW5, a 68 x 68 DT was purchased and incorporated, then a very large box of bits - ex Tommy Atkins - was purchased from Francis Beart after he sold off his track bike at the end of 1937. Lots of 1932 works bit in the box, including the Sturmey Archer TT box, 1932 TT cylinders, crank and heads, alloy sump... All built on to a 1928 TT crankcase, housed in a TT frame, with the TT SA gearbox. Even "racing Druid front fork". The later all the purpose-built cylinders, heads and so on... great stuff.

I do like the look of the surviving 1931 TT bike. Is there an article somewhere?

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 18 Aug 2020 at 23:40
Doug,

Thanks!, your comment jogged my memory,
https://www.raysonsuk.com/pete-the-pipe?lightbox=dataItem-jwcob7dw1

Edit: cannot find the newspaper article link, maybe the web page has changed or I'm on the wrong site !? The link is another picture of the Douglas TT bike shown in Doug's post.

cheers

Ian
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 23 Aug 2020 at 08:34
I'm quite interested in the front fork and brakes used on the group 1 (1932 TT), group 2 (Atkins track bikes) and group 3 (c1934 mostly sidecar bike) "big tank" Douglases. Sad, isn't it?

Forks first:

The Group 1 bikes, at the TT, used a fork that was referred in the Motor Cycle of the day as "Druid". The "Thorpe Douglas" article in the Classic Motor Cycle refers to Thorpe fitting a set of "racing Druid" front forks, presumably from the ex-Atkins cache of "ex-TT bits". Indeed the fork on the grass-track Thorpe Douglas looks very similar to the 1932 TT fork. Although the 1932 TT Douglas fork looks very "Webb-ish", it is different from the Webbs used on other TT entries (e.g. Norton), so let's assume it is a rather unusual Druid racing fork. I've looked pretty hard but can't see an identical fork on any other machine of the period. A distinguishing feature is the friction damper on the lower fork spindle, controlled (in the TT versions) by a hand wheel on the right side. An additional friction disc is anchored to the front fork leg, a couple of inches below the spindle.

Atkin's track racers (group 2) used the Druid ES (Enclosed Spring) fork: very vintage and often used on the outer circuit at Booklands, notably by track expert Bill Lacey on his Nortons. A very distinctive fork, and quite different from the "racing Druid" fork on the 1932 TT bikes.

As for the group 3 bikes, mmm... shortage of period photos. The Reheis bike uses the "racing Druid" pattern, albeit modified in the links and with added struts. Nothing visible in the photos so far of the Babl bikes. The Bury brothers bike used - at least in 1937 and when it was restored many years later - the racing Druid, BUT in its early life (Donnington 1935) it is pictured with its front brake on the left, rather than the 8" Enfield brake on the right as it had from 1937-on. Was the brake the only thing changed, or was the front fork changed too? The ex-Clifford bike ("no 34", reputed to be ex Jack Douglas) uses the 1934-on Douglas heavyweight fork, with the Douglas brake on the left. I don't know what this means, since in Doug's early-ish photo the bike has an OW gearbox, it's hard to say if the front fork and brake came from the same OW or was fitted when the bike was built.

And the front brakes:

The group 1 bikes used the 8" Enfield, on the right. Of the three in the TT, one, Johnston's bike [Edit: not Longman's as I wrote originally], was different from the other two in that his brakes were linked: the front brake was applied when the rear brake was applied, or independently from the handlebar lever.

The group 2 bikes were brakeless at the front.

The group 3 bikes that we have photos of (Bury, Reheis, Babl x 2) started life with brakes on the left. The Reheis bike used a drum outside of a spool front hub, so was probably - more or less - a 1934 heavyweight Douglas brake. Period photos of the Bury and Babl bikes, show no detail of the brake, other than it being on the left. From 1937, the Bury brothers bike used an 8" Enfield brake on the right.


Doesn't sound like much of a story? Here's an observation that makes it a bit more interesting.

The first photo below shows the Bury brothers at Donnington in 1935, the debut year for their "big tank" racer. It's detail from a very small photo in the Motor Cycle, so it's rubbish quality, but it does show the front brake on the left.

The second photo is from The Best Twin, and shows the Bury brothers at Donnington two years later, in August 1937. The front fork in 1937 is racing Druid, and the brake is now 8" Enfield on the right, as per the spec of the 1932 TT bikes. But there is something else to note: the front brake has two operating cables - one linked to the rear brake pedal, and the operated by the hand lever. Just like Johnston's [Edit: not Longman's] 1932 TT entry...

Late photos of the Bury bike, post serious racing and after restoration, show the double drilled brake arm and the double cable anchor on the Enfield brake plate.

Let me unleash some wild speculation. The Bury and Babl bikes (listed in the appendix of Clew) were delivered with "OW" fork and brake. As an upgrade, some time after 1935 but before 1937, did the Bury bothers get the front end of the 1932 Johnston [Edit: not Longman] bike - racing Druid fork, 8" Enfield coupled brake - from the factory as an upgrade??

Cheers

Leon

[Edit: It was Johnston's bike that had the coupled brakes: Motor Cycle, 2 June 1932: "Unlike the other Douglas models [in the Senior TT], Paddy's [C.W. Johnston's] machine has interconnected brakes." No idea why I wrote Longman.]
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 23 Aug 2020 at 23:57
Leon,

Very interesting theories.... Did you notice (also pointed out to me by Doug K.) that the Bray 1931 senior TT machine has two front brake cables on the front fork and the Atkins bike doesn't?

-Ian

Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 24 Aug 2020 at 01:30
Yes, I did.

According to the Motor Cycle, the forks on the 1931 TT Douglas "are a revision of standard touring forks, the central spring angle being altered a little and the handlebar fitting amended. Both standard Douglas brakes are interconnected to the left pedal, with separate hand operation for the front."

Rudge were great enthusiasts for coupled brakes and used them on their Works TT entries from around 1927 until their last effort in 1932. Many other manufacturers joined in: you could even get coupled brakes as an option on your road-going BSA Sloper. Presumably some riders favoured them, others didn't. Atkins was possibly not a fan and ditched his coupled brakes for the race.

Cheers

Leon

Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 24 Aug 2020 at 23:11
Great that you spotted it, I was just checking as it predates the 1932 efforts.

Bray was mainly a speedway rider - maybe he wasn't used to having to use the brakes and needed the assistance of the foot pedal for the front brake?! :-). I don't know why Atkins may have chosen to ditch them.....personal preference most likely, as you say?

-Ian
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 25 Aug 2020 at 00:06
I suppose the Douglas coupled brakes weren't perfect, as they went from being the default at the 1931 TT to the exception (Johnston only, according to the Motor Cycle) in 1932. There were some subtleties in the Rudge implementation, like a spring box in the rear brake rod and identical brakes front and rear - once again the Douglas could have benefited from development.

Here's the front wheel of the Bury brothers bike, from CMC June 1988, showing the disconnected coupled Enfield brake.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 25 Aug 2020 at 07:47
Doug posts an older photo of an interesting bike with an unusual fuel tank "supposed to be Jack Douglas' Works sidecar bike prior to restoration", and another of it after restoration. But is this the same bike? How did it grow an extra frame lug on the lower right chainstay, adjacent to the rear wheel rim? Could it be a different bike Doug?

No. 34 has been quacking at me for a while: I get a certain unease when a bike grows, or loses, frame lugs in restoration. Elsewhere I noted the frame lug on the lower tank rail of this bike, perhaps for hand change, and I see now OW frames have a very similar lug on the frame rail, and no lug on the rear chain stay where one later grew. Does the early, "pre-restoration" photo show OW gearbox, OW forks, with a very OW-ish frame?

Quack, quack,... duck?

The origin story has Jack Douglas riding it at Brooklands. Photos anyone?

Leon

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 26 Aug 2020 at 04:02
As for the group 3 bikes, mmm... shortage of period photos. The Reheis bike uses the "racing Druid" pattern, albeit modified in the links and with added struts.

Let me take that back.

The fork on the Reheis bike is a Brampton Super Sport, with added bracing. See illustrations below.

This fits in well with the info in Appendix 4 of The Best Twin, where the FU (yes, seriously!) prefixed frame built for Tommy Atkins was supplied with "Brampton forks". Shall we assume that the FS and FT bikes built for Babl (and possibly Reheis), and the Bury brothers bike in its earliest (1935) form also used the Brampton Super Sport, with a left-hand Douglas brake?

I've not seen any period photo or info to indicate that "big tanks" bikes were fitted with the 1934-on Douglas heavyweight fork. But I'm always happy to be surprised.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 26 Aug 2020 at 07:17
Here's something weird.

The bikes in the 1932 TT used the "racing Druid" fork, with the hand wheel on the lower fork spindle to adjust damping.

But revisiting the photos, armed with the Brampton information, every other photo - even the photos from Brooklands only a month after the TT - shows the fork with the unusual Brampton bottom links. These have a large-ish, slim, wing nut half way between the lower spindles to adjust the damping.

Other than the lower links, the "racing Druid" and "Brampton Super Sport" forks seem identical, down to detail like the location of the wheel spindle, mudguard stay mounting holes, and the equal-size friction circles on the fork blade and the steering stem (think symmetric "doggy bone" shaped lower links).

Maybe Brampton (parent company Renold the chain people) took over the Druid design around TT time in 1932, and updated Douglas with their latest product? Not sure.

The bottom line is that after the 1932 TT, all the forks I can see in period photos of "big tank" Douglases (Atkins' track bikes excluded) are the Brampton Super Sport with the wing nut adjuster. Not a hand wheel anywhere. Look at the front-on photo of Bejarano, the bike in the "workshop photo", the bikes on the Mountain Circuit at Brooklands, and even the forks that were fitted to the Bury brothers bike at the time of its untimely demise in the fire.

Once you know what to look for, the wing nut is everywhere!

The change from left (Douglas) brake to right (Enfield coupled) brake on the Bury machine was then likely only a brake change. Best guess for the spec of the "group 3" bikes in 1934/5 is Brampton SUper Sport front fork, with Douglas brake on the left.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 26 Aug 2020 at 21:53
Or maybe the racing Druid fork broke, or in some other way disappointed, at the 1932 TT races, causing Douglas to drop them in favour of the Brampton Super Sport. Neither fork was common; I don't think I've sighted a surviving set of either.

The attached illustration is from GB344353 by Brampton Brothers Ltd and John James Richardson of Birmingham, and shows how the damping worked. The patent was filed in late 1929, and accepted in March 1931.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 26 Aug 2020 at 22:37
For comparison, here's Paddy Johnston at the 1932 TT showing his "racing Druid" fork, with the extra friction damper plate anchored to the right-hand front fork leg a couple of inches below the lower fork spindle.

The white-on-black number tells us that the photo was taken during practice - on race day the front number was black-on-white. So Douglas practiced for the TT on the Druid fork, but did they use it in the race? Because two of the team dropped out early, and Longman finished a lowly 15th, there are few photos of Douglases in the actual TT race. One is way back at the top of this thread - reply 1 https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=5444.msg19755#msg19755 - showing Longman with his black-on-white front race plate (the side plates were red in the Senior). Forks? They look more like Brampton than Druid to me, so just maybe the forks were changed during practice. The two forks were quite similar in many features... Better photos may tell.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 27 Aug 2020 at 04:45
Forks? They look more like Brampton than Druid to me, so just maybe the forks were changed during practice. The two forks were quite similar in many features... Better photos may tell.

Well who'd have thunk it.

Here we are on the grid of the 1932 Senior TT. Prince George is chatting with Stanley Woods. In the background a Senior Douglas wearing... Brampton Super Sport front forks. So much for the practice photos showing the Douglases with their "racing Druid" fork: at some time between arriving in the island for practice and being photographed by Mr Keig and The Motor Cycle, and the big day, the front fork was swapped for a different make entirely. One one bike at least.

Bizarre.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 28 Aug 2020 at 07:26
Number "D" would have been the plate for the reserve rider - Tommy Atkins was nominated in this role, and he certainly did do some laps in practice. In The Best twin, Clew tells the story of C. J. Williams' practice incident (not sure if it was on his Senior Douglas, or his Junior Velocette) that had him in hospital getting numerous stitches in a leg wound, putting Atkins close to a race start.

But according to the Motor Cycle, "Spanish rider, L. Bezarano [sic], who competed in The Motor Cycle meeting at Brooklands, may take his [Williams'] place with the Douglas on Monday, "just in case"."

Williams recovered in time to ride, but Luis Bejarano was clearly close to the Douglas factory, explaining his presence in Spain with a TT bike some time after the race - see higher up.

It would be tempting to think that where were four Douglases at the 1932 TT (Williams, Longman, Johnston and reserve Atkins), but the best I can come up with is a pic of three, including "D". I assume the numbers belonged to the rider rather than the bike, so Atkins might have practiced on any of the "team" machines, plated "D". At least three bikes, maybe four.

Leon

[Edit: Are they changing the front forks in the photo? Joke... I'm over front forks, except to note that "D" and the bike on the far right are wearing Druids - you can see the hand wheel adjuster.]
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 29 Aug 2020 at 01:57
Another wild theory!.....Just going back to No.34 briefly. I was looking back through the Bonham's advert and notice the number stamped on the gearbox - "SK 3452" and thought, I wonder what that means?, as it didn't really fit with what I might expect to see on what is a relatively rare gearbox.

So is "S" for special, "K" for 1935 500cc/600cc, 4 speed with foot change, ohv model stub teeth (from Clew The Best Twin) and "3452" is the special order number? I notice the order numbers that are given in Clew do not appear to be sequential from a chronological perspective -  possibly because the order number may be sequential to the order date, not the delivery date by Douglas?

So was 3452 a special order sometime prior to 1935 (maybe 1934?) and who was it for? Or the number has nothing to do at all with this! :-)

Does anyone have any more information on Douglas special order numbers and examples of these being stamped on parts of bikes?

-Ian
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Doug on 29 Aug 2020 at 03:34
Ian,

The K prefix gearboxes is a foot-shift variant for the 1935 OW/OW1 Dougies. Granted an ohv model, but not a Works racer by any stretch of the imagination! Never seen them, or any other Dougie gearbox, with an "S" in front to denote 'special'. But aren't all Dougies special... ? 

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/K108.jpg)

Nor would they have gotten anywhere near a four digit serial number! It looks like from surviving examples that the foot and hand shift variants shared the same serial numbering pool, starting at number 101 for each year (cataloged 1934 and 1935). Highest gearbox reported being 112 in 1934.

The gearbox for the 1932 Works bikes was supplied by Sturmey-Archer for Douglas and I suspect the prefix and numbering are theirs. Though I do not recall a number on another Sturmey-Archer-Douglas gearbox I have seen (with an C.T. Atkins stash connection), but I'll check with the owner.

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/sturmey-archer-douglas-1.jpg)

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/sturmey-archer-douglas-2.jpg)

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/sturmey-archer-douglas-3.jpg)

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/sturmey-archer-douglas-4.jpg)

-Doug
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 29 Aug 2020 at 03:51
Hi Doug and Ian,

The gearboxes in "No 34" and the Bury brothers machine are both slightly different to the 1932 TT gearboxes. One obvious difference is the filler plug at the top of the side cover that was not there on the 1932 TT bikes. You can see the fillerless cover in one of the TT photos, and also in the Motor Cycle artist's drawing. The photo in my previous post shows him at work on the drawing below.

The fillerless gearbox in Doug's photos is therefore officially "nice". The cast-in K1V123 is the Sturmey Archer part number for the TT Douglas gearbox shell. In their 1932 doucments, SA list part numbers for cases for Norton, AJS, Matchless, Raleigh... but do not mention Douglas, presumably because it was not used in a production model.

Re the number: I agree with Doug that SK is likely a Sturmey Archer stamping. The first digits 34 might be the year, so it would be interesting to know if the fillerless gearbox is SK32xx.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 29 Aug 2020 at 03:53
Yes I just realised the error of my wild theory - the number is the Sturmey Archer serial number not a Douglas one - another school boy error on my part - but maybe points to 1934 rather than 1932 as you say Leon?
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 29 Aug 2020 at 04:01
Hi Ian,

Yes, my theory is "1934 build for Group 3 bikes". No comment on build date for No. 34.

Here's the gearbox from the Bury brothers' bike, with the filler cap visible top left of the side cover.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 29 Aug 2020 at 04:07
....of course someone could be teasing us with the number 34 :-) ....
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 29 Aug 2020 at 04:07
....of course someone could be teasing us with the number 34 :-) ....
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Doug on 29 Aug 2020 at 18:27
Quote from: Leon
No. 34 has been quacking at me for a while: I get a certain unease when a bike grows, or loses, frame lugs in restoration. Elsewhere I noted the frame lug on the lower tank rail of this bike, perhaps for hand change, and I see now OW frames have a very similar lug on the frame rail, and no lug on the rear chain stay where one later grew. Does the early, "pre-restoration" photo show OW gearbox, OW forks, with a very OW-ish frame?

If you are asking is it an OW/OW1 frame, then I can say no, as the owner of a 1934 & '35 OW1. There are several details to use as indicators.

First a refresher of the image in question:

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/Reputed-Jack-Douglas-Works-bike-with-OW1-gearbox.jpg)

Not the greatest resolution, but the best I have.

We compare this to a 1934 OW1 Douglas frame. (The 1934-35 500 & 600cc OW/OW1 frames are identical.)

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/1934-OW1-frame-1.jpg)

I will point out here the presence of three tank mounting brackets. The one just in front of the hand-shift lug is used to mount the accumulator and electric horn.

Now comparing this to the 'Reputed Jack Douglas bike prior to restoration' we note the presence of an additional mounting point on the rear axle lug.

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/Reputed-Jack-Douglas-Works-bike-with-OW1-gearbox-markup-1.jpg)

O.k., that is clipped in the previous picture of the OW1 frame, but here is a better view of the 1935 OW1 frame's rear axle lug.

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/1935-OW1-rear-axle-lug.jpg)

It is the same lug that was introduced back in 1926 for the TT/I.o.M. and OC models and used on the DT/SW5 frames. If it appears the the angle of the chain stay tube does not match the lug, that is because it doesn't! The angles were different for the OW/OW1 frame, so they just bored the existing lugs to suit. The chipped paint on the top of the lug is where the boring broke through the surface.

Next we look at the rear down tubes:

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/Reputed-Jack-Douglas-Works-bike-with-OW1-gearbox-markup-2.jpg)

The lugs for the center stand (1) would need to be removed to fit the engine. Granted, not difficult as they do not wrap all the way around the frame tube. (2) It has the lug on the rear down tube for the foot rest that the Works bikes had. Face mounted I believe, so again not terribly difficult to alter after the fact. (3) I really do believe something was going on here where the Works bikes would have had a lug on the lower chain stay tube. 29Aug20, additional comment: Also the OW/OW1 foot rest lugs would need to be removed. Those do wrap around the frame tubes.

Moving on the the petrol tank and head stock area:

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/Reputed-Jack-Douglas-Works-bike-with-OW1-gearbox-markup-3.jpg)

The blue arrows mark the points I believe are the petrol tank mounts. One point I don't think has been brought up before is the 1932 Works bikes used an 'upside-down' tank mounting bracket. I do not know if it was the standard stamped bracket brazed to the bottom of the tube, or something made for the purpose. But the result was it allowed the pannier tanks to sit a little lower. Usually this is only evident in that you cannot see much of the lower tank tube as it is almost flush with the bottom of the petrol tank. Here the tank sits high, but as previously noted earlier in this topic the shape is not quite the same as seen on other pannier tanks. I cannot really be sure if the mounts are under slung, but what I think we are seeing is mainly tank rubber/buffers. But it is a possible discrepancy.

These under slung brackets can be seen to good effect in the picture used earlier in this topic, captioned as being at the "Douglas Race Shop":

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/douglas-racer-carrick.jpg)

Returning to the prior photo. (A) Indicates a boss that is not present in the Works racing department photo immediately above; and that is also a discrepancy. I admit you would get the same effect if you sawed off the OW/OW1 hand shift post. Because the pannier tanks normally sit so low, it is difficult to see if it is present on other Works bikes. (B) Is I think the lug for the lower end of the diagonal strut tube. (C) The angle of the tube under the saddle is not the same as the OW/OW1 frame.  (D) I agree those are heavyweight Douglas twin forks; used on the OW/OW1 and Z/Z1. If you compare the head stock and forks relative to the OW/OW1 with the same forks:

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/1934-OW1-frame-2.jpg)

The distance from the upper and lower bearing cup of the head stock is significantly less than the distance between the upper and lower pivot points on the fork girder. Also the fork links are parallel, as they typically are designed to be. Links at diverging/converging angles is usually a sure indicator some fork swapping has occurred.

So based on some positive features and some subjective ones, I would say NOT an OW/OW1 frame or modified OW/OW1 frame. So the second and third question would be, is it the same bike as sold restored in the Bonhams auction and is it a Works frame?

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/Jack-Douglas-outfirt-restored-1.jpg)

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/Jack-Douglas-outfirt-restored-2.jpg)

It does have the extra mounting point on the rear axle lug, which it shares with the Bury Brothers outfit. Adding a lug to an existing one is a lot more difficult than adding one in the middle of or to the face of a tube. It has the lug for the foot rest on the rear down tube. Again in common with the Bury Brothers outfit. With the more correct pannier tank, and lack of views, details of the tank mounting tube cannot be checked. Douglas 1934-35 heavyweight forks are (still) fitted, and the links are still not parallel! So I think there is strong circumstantial evidence it is the same bike, before and after. Further evidence that it is one of the Works frames can be seen in the joggle at the upper end of the left-hand rear down tube (and the upper chain stay.) This can be clearly seen in the period race department photo further above, and here on the bike:

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/Jack-Douglas-outfirt-restored-3.jpg)

And again something shared in common with he Bury Brothers outfit. It is not a feature that was used on the regular road going frames. So it does appear to be one of the Works frames.

-Doug


[fix typos.  29Aug20.  -Doug]
[Additional comment added, see bold text.  29Aug20.  -Doug]


Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 29 Aug 2020 at 22:38
Hi Doug,

Do we know when the "original photo" was taken? 70s or 80s I guess? Is this the bike "as found"? Maybe "just built'?

Provenance is king with old racing bikes. Any ideas on where this bike came from, and how it got to where it is now? The back story is "Jack Douglas at Brooklands, 1931-32" - https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/15321/lot/366/?category=list - surely someone has something to support this story? Photos? Engine number? Frame number?

In the Bonhams description, the bike gets some of its cudos from being the same as the Bury bros bike that won races in 1931. This Bury bros bike, as we know from the CMC article and other sources, was not the same as "the" Bury brothers bike.

Clearly the bike has been "restored" based on the fine detail of the 1934 Bury brothers bike, quite transforming the look of it. Interesting is the shaving of the fins from the right rear of the sump; perhaps the restorer found and fitted the very sump from the Motor Cycle illustration in the first post of this thread? Good find.

Perhaps a treatise on this one? Or perhaps not.

Cheers

Leon

Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Doug on 30 Aug 2020 at 00:06
Leon,

If by original photo you mean this one:

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/Reputed-Jack-Douglas-Works-bike-with-OW1-gearbox.jpg)

No. Other than my understanding the picture came from Collin Clifford's scrap book with the caption it was Jack Douglas' sidecar machine. But this is just second-hand information, I don't know any other details other than what was given in the auction catalog description. Hence my profusion of maybes, possibly, apparently, and other weasel-words! Don't know the engine or frame numbers for it, nor does it seem to be in the LDMCC Machine Registry.

I wouldn't put too much stock into the presence or not of shaved fins on the right rear face of the sump. Easy enough to take one of the numerous 'tribute' castings floating about and cut the fins back. Easy to take off, harder to put back on!

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/1931-32-sump-replica.jpg)

Number 137 is covered in this post:
https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=5972.msg21930#msg21930

But in summary, the bike was built by Collin Clifford in the UK for a client using a F/G31 frame (FD228) and the crankcases from one of the 1935 750cc light plane engines (75/E114), a dolls-head Norton gearbox (as adapted by the Dougie sprinters), and one of Collin's replica sump castings. Shortly after it was in the 2006 MidAmerica Auctions Inc. consignment in Las Vegas. Labeled as "ex-Gleaves 1931 TT Racer". The bike is presently in a museum in Solvang, California, where the picture you show was taken.

-Doug
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Doug on 30 Aug 2020 at 01:32
Re-reading my mega-post above, I do seem to have been excessive on the minutia. However I was working on it piecemeal all day long gathering all the different scraps of info I could find on the frame differences. Hopefully it is educational. Some of the frame lugs created for the 1931-32 Works bikes do seem to have been re-cycled for the 1934-35 OW/OW1 model. Things like the gearbox platform and the lower rear down tube lugs for instance. Why they did not also use the rear axle lugs I am not sure. I have not done a side-by-side elevation to see if the Works rear axle lug would have helped the chain stay angle problem of the OW/OW1. Fortunately for us they didn't, as it make a handy identified for to spot Works frames in old photos.

I should also point out that there is another frame I have seen, prefix FSS (stamping not entirely clear), which would make it a 1935 "Special 600cc twin carb. for Bottomly" according to Jeff Clew's book. It is configured for the Sturmey-Archer-Douglas gearbox (the one fitted dating to 1934 with the positive stop integrated like a dolls head Norton trans), chain line entirely on the left. It has the extra mounting point on the rear axle lug like other Works bikes, and the mounting on the rear down tubes for the foot rests. But it does not have the joggle in the left rear down tube or the chain stay. Nor does it have the inverted petrol tank mounts, but uses the conventional mounts like the road bikes. The pannier tank fitted being the same shape as that on the 'purported Jack Douglas machine, pre-restoration'. That is, very low at the rear. Douglas heavyweight forks fitted, but must be a shorter head stock as the links are parallel. No problem with the link angles. Unfortunately I do not have any photos I can share due to the owner's privacy, nor did I note at the time if it had the diagonal frame brace. But it would seem there were Works frames, and then there were Works TT frames...

-Doug
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 30 Aug 2020 at 01:48
Oh I do like the word "tribute" - we should use it more often.

Thanks for the story of No. 137. I have no problem with "tribute" (!) bikes like this, but all too often they get misrepresented as something they are clearly not, like "Sid. Gleave 1931 TT".

But this is where the devil is in the detail. Let's imagine that the b&w photo displayed with No. 132 at Solvang (see below - from the thread you link to) has something to do with the fabricated back story for this bike. The photo shows a man fettling a same-side-drive racing Douglas.

Nice. We can immediately say it's not 1931 TT (cross-over gearbox) and we know Gleave didn't race a Douglas in the 1932 TT. BUT Gleave was at the 1932 Spanish TT at Bilbao in August 1932, riding a Douglas, together with our man Luis Bejarano. [Edit: Not sure where I got the snippet that Gleave rode a Douglas in the Senior: looking again he rode a new Imp in the 350 race, but had no entry in the senior? In fact, now I can't find any reference to Gleave riding a Douglas anywhere!]

I don't suppose you took a photo of the photo? Much more interesting that yet another "tribute bike".

Cheers

Leon

Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 30 Aug 2020 at 01:56
I should also point out that there is another frame I have seen, prefix FSS (stamping not entirely clear), which would make it a 1935 "Special 600cc twin carb. for Bottomly" according to Jeff Clew's book. It is configured for the Sturmey-Archer-Douglas gearbox (the one fitted dating to 1934 with the positive stop integrated like a dolls head Norton trans), chain line entirely on the left. It has the extra mounting point on the rear axle lug like other Works bikes, and the mounting on the rear down tubes for the foot rests. But it does not have the joggle in the left rear down tube or the chain stay. Nor does it have the inverted petrol tank mounts, but uses the conventional mounts like the road bikes. The pannier tank fitted being the same shape as that on the 'purported Jack Douglas machine, pre-restoration'. That is, very low at the rear. Douglas heavyweight forks fitted, but must be a shorter head stock as the links are parallel. No problem with the link angles. Unfortunately I do not have any photos I can share due to the owner's privacy, nor did I note at the time if it had the diagonal frame brace. But it would seem there were Works frames, and then there were Works TT frames...

Soooo interesting, and why I am so disappointed that the "Jack Douglas bike" was transformed into an exact replica of the Bury brothers machine.

Bikes like FSS fit nicely into my "Group 3": go faster Douglases built for preferred customers in 1934-35.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Doug on 30 Aug 2020 at 04:39
Leon,

I had a look through the original photos I took at Solvang in 2009, and it seems I did not take a photo of that photo.

Unfortunately I did not have my 'good' camera along for the trip (business related, with the weekend for sightseeing), just a little pocket Olympus 7Mpx that has always been a bit of an underachiever. I took the original resolution file and cropped, enlarged, and de-skewed the area of the photo to get this:

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2020/Atkins/photo-of-photo.jpg)

Not much better, but I don't think it shows a Douglas? The chain line looks low to me, not a gearbox up under the saddle type bike. I mean, I even took pictures of the exhibit placards just to note machine details rather than write them down. Had it been a period photo of a Dougie, I am sure I would have snapped it. The photo itself had no caption. There was no descriptive placard for the Dougie at all, unlike the rest of the bikes on display. I asked the attendant about it, but he did not know any history on it.

Presently the museum website just lists it as a "1933 Douglas OHV" with no details.

-Doug


Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 30 Aug 2020 at 05:07
Leon and Doug,

There was that F/G31 Douglas in the Bilbao TT ridden by Palacio (see Leon's reply #20 above). Interestingly it appears to have reinforced forks like we would expect to see on an outfit, or am I interpreting the grainy old picture incorrectly? Does this bike have some connection to Gleave somehow? Is Sid Gleave the same person who sadly died in a test flight accident in WW2? If so there is the possibility of a picture of him on the internet for identification purposes.

Cheers

Ian
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 30 Aug 2020 at 07:23
Doug and Ian,

I suspect the whole Gleave thing is a "red herring" - I can't get that story to come together at all. Doug I think you're right and the bike in the photo is not even a Douglas, in which case the photo might be of Gleave!

I don't know what happened to Gleave, but I can tell a related sad story. In the photo of the grid of the 1932 Prince George is shaking hands with Stanley Woods. In another photo he is shaking hands with Rudge-mounted (in fact my-Rudge-mounted, but that's another story) Wal Handley, who was riding number 1 in that event. Both Wal Handley and Prince George, who were about the same age, were killed in wartime aviation accidents over Britain, only weeks apart. Sad.

Doug your story about "FSS" has given me a sense of closure on this "1932 TT Douglas" narrative. The Works TT bikes, suitably modified, went about their business at Brooklands, in Spain, and likely elsewhere, after the TT. Maybe Jack Douglas attached a sidecar to one and tried took it to Brooklands. 1933 was not a good year for Douglas (there weren't many good years for Douglas in the 1930s), and from 1934 special ohv "super sport" bikes were built in small numbers. Babl, Reheis, Bottomly (whoever he was!), Bury brothers,... maybe Clarrie Woods, probably others were the lucky recipients. The spec probably varied a bit: we know a couple used the Brampton fork, but maybe some were a bit more OW-like. Big pannier tanks, "lozenge" tanks... "No. 32" may have been one of these, just not raced by Jack Douglas in 1931-32.

The modification of the 1932 TT bikes - ditching the racing Druid fork, and the updraft-inlet heads - contributed to the cache of TT parts that moved from Atkins to Beart then on to Thorpe and no doubt elsewhere. Plus the production of way more than three (6? 8? ...) of the "super sport" bikes, and the injection of "tribute" sumps, bronze crank cases, etc. all goes to explaining what we see around us now.

So yes: Works TT bikes from 1932, then 1934-5 Super Sport bikes. Call them Works Replicas if you like, but given the mostly amateur riders in clubman events, they weren't really Works bikes in the accepted sense.

Makes sense to me.

Cheers

Leon



Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 04 Sep 2020 at 01:16
A further note about Spaniard Luis Bejarano.

I mentioned above that he was considered for a ride in the 1932 Senior TT if C. J. Williams was not sufficiently recovered from his practice crash to start the race. In fact Bejarano actually practiced on Williams' Douglas (no. 30), and, in a strange homage, crashed it at the Nell, exactly where Williams had come off it a couple of days earlier.

Bejarano raced his 1932 TT Douglas in Spain for a number of years - see attached clipping from the Brisbane Telegraph in August 1934.

There was also the question of whether Gleave might have raced a TT Douglas. A "mystery Douglas" was entered in the 1932 Spanish Senior TT - no. 11 to be ridden by Mr. X.X. - but that's as far as I got. Interesting that Tommy Atkins rode in the race, on a 500cc Cotton JAP. He is not on the entry list attached; although he was probably no. 14 "Hackin (Cotton)". Tommy had driven to Spain with Francis Beart (who later owned and raced Atkins' supercharged Douglas track bike) who rode Tommy's 250cc Cotton (on loan from the manufacturer), and Fergus Anderson who rode a 500cc Excelsior JAP. Clearly Atkins was a free agent at this time (August 1932), and not contracted to Douglas.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 05 Sep 2020 at 10:49
J.S. 'Woolly' Worters doesn't appear in the index of any of the Douglas books, but I think he deserves to be there for his contribution to the development of the 1932 Douglas TT racers.

The standard "origin story" for the 1932 TT bikes comes from The Best Twin, where Clew tells the story of Cyril Pullin being re-recruited to Douglas in early 1932 by John Douglas, although Clew doesn't make it clear whether this was on behalf of the "family" Douglas firm, or the new Douglas Motors 1932 concern. "Clearly he [Pullin] lost no time in getting underway for it was announced during March 1932 that he had designed an entirely new 500 c.c. T.T. model, aided by Tommy Atkins."

As noted near the top of this thread, The Motor Cycle in May 1932 gave the nod to Tommy Atkins: "Last week the first of the T.T. Douglases was to be seen down at Brooklands. C. T. Atkins, the well-known Douglas exponent, who is largely responsible for the "upbringing " of this model, was putting it through its paces over the half-mile for the first time."

But there is a third, and I think very credible, version of the origin story which is not mentioned in the Douglas history books. J.S. 'Woolly' Worters was a well-known and highly-respected rider/tuner/developer based at Brooklands in the 1920s. Worters went to Brooklands to work with Pullin in the early 1920s when Pullin was busy riding/tuning/developing mostly Douglases but also cars. When Dixon and Judd came down to work with Pullin, the four of them would get together for technical and social activities, and they were clearly "mates". In Behind the Scenes at Brooklands by Charles Mortimer, Worters recounts activities from 1932:

"... Cyril Pullin now offered me the Competition Manager's job at Douglas's, but would give me no contract. However I accepted, provided I could take Hewitt [his assistant since 1925] also. We sold our bungalow in Baker St, Weybridge, and bought a house at Hanham near Kingswood, Bristol, where Douglas had their works. I also had C.J. Williams alloted to me as a rider and also a draughtsman, and I set out to redesign the 500 cc Douglas head, valves and pistons, which new parts the works made with amazing speed and accuracy, and we had quite an increase in horsepower on the brake with the prototype engine..." He goes on to mention the Douglas presence at the TT and  on the mountain circuit at Brooklands, then "...Shortly after this, and less than twelve months after we arrived in Bristol, Douglas Motors folded up and the directors and staff having paid themselves in pound notes presumably, paid me with a rubber cheque..." Worters waited six months in Bristol lest his position should reappear, but, when it didn't, sold his house (at a loss) and moved on.

Interesting that Worters saw C.J. Williams (not Atkins) as the "designated rider".

Also, does Worter's story - recorded for Mortimer on a tape - suggest that Williams was rider AND draughtsman, or that Williams was the rider and someone else was the draughtsman? Any signed drawings Doug?

Anyway, it's clear that Worters deserves a mention when it comes to the origin of the 1932 TT Douglas, at least for his contribution to the very nice cylinder heads. Let me guess that Pullin did the outline of the high-steering head frame: he'd done it before when he designed an entirely new sloping frame for the Rudge Multi on which he won the 1914 TT, and the pretty sloping frame "RA-alternative" Douglas he built for Judd in 1923 https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=7014.msg27582#msg27582

Leon

Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Doug on 05 Sep 2020 at 16:59
Leon,

Most of the factory drawings are initialed by the tracer, not the draughtsman. Presumably because they are copies for the production floor (or just copies). Not of lot of selection circa 1932 to look at, and the initials are not away legible. But some the turn up for late 1931 are GHS and TVP. 1931-33 there was a tracer with the initials SS. So not much help there.

-Doug
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 05 Sep 2020 at 23:16
Great research Leon,

So is the person with the '32 TT Douglas (in the background of the picture in your post #92), Worters? Comparison with Worters in 1925. Maybe?...Maybe not? Will have to see if I can find another picture of him.

cheers

Ian
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 06 Sep 2020 at 02:31
Looking into the backgrounds of Gleave and Worters you would have thought they were well known to each other through Excelsior and Blackburn?

-Ian

Edit: further to Douglas racing activities 1932 - 33, Pullin left for G&S Weir Glasgow in 1932 and Atkins left for Derrington's around August 1933 (the later according to Motorsport Magazine Aug 1933). Were Atkins and others paid in "parts" rather than cash when Douglas folded ??
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 06 Sep 2020 at 07:37
Doug - thanks for looking at the drawings. I suspect C.J. Williams and "the draughtsman" were two different people. Tempting to say that C.J. Williams was Jack Williams, who headed up racing for AJS/Matchless after WW2, but it was a common name...

Ian - The man pushing the Douglas is not Woolly Waters, who was older and, well, a little "Woolly". I'm 90% certain that the machine is Williams' entry (No. 30) (Woods' Norton 27, Warburton's Excelsior 28, Duncan's Cotton 29 and Williams' Douglas 30, in starting order on the grid), and that the pusher is Worters' man W.J.C. Hewitt - Worters called him "boy" and Hewitt called Worters "boss". Worters is on the far left of the attached photo, Hewitt second from the right.

Worter's reminiscences in Mortimer's book run to 35 pages, and are rich in detail and anecdote in a way "modern" writings can never be. Rather than providing detail of why Douglas switched from Druid to Brampton forks in the lead up to the TT, Worters offers the following:

"Williams and Hewitt also went over to the TT where Williams tried hard, without much success, to teach Hewitt to be a road racer. According to C.J., Hewitt spent more time riding on the grass verges than on the road."

The Douglas episode was brief, but must have been fun. One night Worters took the crew - himself and his wife, Williams and "a girl", Hewitt and "two very good mechanics, Frank Baker and Jack Clapham" to the Palladium. The queues outside were long, but the manager was Billy Simpson, Bert Le Vack's sidecar passenger at Brooklands in the 1920s, and he quickly escorted the Douglas party to prime seats...

Let's pretend - with zero supporting evidence - that Baker and Clapham are the mechanics in "the workshop photo"!

I suspect Pullin's focus during his short stay at Douglas in 1932 was the "three wheel car with four wheels". The "advance notice" advert for this funny car, reproduced in The Best Twin but dated "c1933", in fact comes from one of the TT issues of The Motor Cycle in early June, 1932.

I have no idea where Atkins fits in in 1932: he seemed to be racing Cottons by August.

Cheers

Leon

Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 06 Sep 2020 at 08:21
Leon,

There is 7 years between the two pictures in my post, so in 1932 he would be older...and has what appears to be woolly hair. which doesn't seem to match that of Hewitt....?

-ian
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 06 Sep 2020 at 12:07
Tempting to say that C.J. Williams was Jack Williams, who headed up racing for AJS/Matchless after WW2, but it was a common name...
Jack's son Peter Williams, a very successful racer himself, has written extensively about his father's achievements, including his works rides for Raleigh, Douglas and Vincent-HRD before the war, and development engineering roles for Vincent and AJS post war. "CJ" was always known as Jack, but as there was another Jack Williams racing when CJ made his debut in the late 1920s he was universally referred to as C.J. Williams while racing. Postwar, as Chief Tester then Chief Design Engineer for Vincent and later at AJS (where he famously developed the 7R into the universally-successful 350 racer) he was always "Jack Williams".

The attached photo of CJW at the 1932 TT (in practice, but with Brampton fork) comes from a Peter Williams article "Williams on Williams", Classic Motor Cycle November 1994.

The TT was a bit of a disaster, the Senior Mountain GP at Brooklands in July was better, but the best outing for the Douglas was Williams' ride in the Senior Mountain Championship, for 500cc bikes over 25 laps of the Mountain Circuit at Brooklands, on October 8, 1932. Williams led for 23 laps until he was slowed with front brake problems. He was overtaken by a young Harold Daniell on his Norton, who hung on to win by 0.2 seconds from Williams on the ailing Douglas.

Unlike the handicap outer-circuit races narrowly won by Atkins ahead of much faster bikes, this race was a scratch race against some pretty decent opposition. Yes, in 1932 Daniell was still an amateur riding his own (non-works) Norton, but his star was well on the rise and the bike had been fettled at the factory. He had set the fastest practice laps for the 1930, 1931 and 1932 Senior Manx Grand Prix (for non-works-supported riders on non-works bikes); in fact he won the 1932 edition of the race on his Norton. That Williams could come so close to Daniell in a long road race suggests the Douglas was a pretty good thing, and with more development could have become quite a  competitive race bike.

Alas the collapse of Douglas Motors 1932 lead to a "no year" for Douglas in 1933.

Looked great. Sounded great. Went pretty good. I wouldn't mind one.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 07 Sep 2020 at 05:09
Why 1933 was a write off for Douglas Motors. From Western Daily Press 9 November 1932;

"DOUGLAS MOTORS (1932). LTD. Receiver and Manager Appointed. A receiver and manager Motors Ltd., was appointed by Mr Justice Farwell in the Chancery Division, yesterday Mr Vaisey, K.C., instructed by Messrs Peacock and Goddard. agents for Messrs W A Taylor, Son and Bristol, on behalf of D. Estates, Ltd., explained that his clients owned £190,000 out of £200,000 debentures in Douglas Motors, Ltd., and the interest the £190,000 had not been paid. D. Estates Ltd, were a company in liquidation, and their only assets were the £190,000 debentures. The gentleman proposed an the receiver of Douglas Motors. Ltd , was the liquidator of D. Estates. Ltd Mr Justice Farwell asked whether conflict might not arise between his duty liquidator and his duty as receiver. Mr Vajsey said it would be appointing the liquidator -B -Estates. Ltd.. as the receiver and of its only assets —the £190,000 debentures Douglas Motors, Ltd. Mr Justice Farwell: It will be better to appoint an independent receiver and manager Douglas Motors, Ltd.. consented the appointment of a receiver and manager, it was stated, on D. Estates, Ltd., undertaking to pav their debts. Mr Vaisey asked for liberty to raise not more than £5,000. the amount wanted for a week's wages, he said, being £1,500. Mr Justice Farwell appointed receiver and manager for three months with liberty to act at once, and gave leave to borrow not more than £2,000 for the wages of Douglas Motors, Ltd. Solicitors for D. Estates Ltd. Peacock and Goddard. Statement Made at Kingswood. On inquiry at the offices the firm, yesterday, the ' Western Daily Press and Mirror ' was informed that it was not possible at the moment to make any definite statement as to the future of the firm's activities or intentions. We are not in a position at the moment to make any official statement about the future,'' said Mr W H. E. Millman, who has been connected with the firm for many years. A Receiver has been appointed in connection with Messrs Douglas Motors (1932) Ltd., but he has not yet arrived to take over so that nothing can be done and nothing can be said Certain arrangements are course, being made, but as to what going to happen I am not able to say."
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 07 Sep 2020 at 07:29
Wow, only weeks after the "near success" at Brooklands, and only 5 months after the lavish 8-page insert on blue paper in the Motor Cycle announcing "An Entirely New Organisation". No wonder Woolly Worters was disappointed...

I posted the insert here https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=8335 . The "coming soon" Pullin 3-4-wheel car never came.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 08 Sep 2020 at 00:40
Leon,

Yes you can see why Woolly Worters was disappointed. I wonder if he retained the "IP" for his new head for the OHV engine, which might explain why, as far as we know, Douglas didn't exploit it any further?

Looks like Pullin managed to escape with some of his patents - maybe the trend set by Bailey, many years previously, in getting patents in his own name, paid off?

Edit: Added this article that appeared slightly earlier;

23rd April 1933 Western Daily Press
C. G. Pullin has resigned his position ' Chief Designer and Engineer to Douglas Motors (1932). Limited. Mr Pullin has been keenlv interested in power units for light aircraft since the first light aeroplane trials in 1923 and this experience has been useful in the design of the recent products. During the last six months of 1932 Mr.Pullin applied for Letters Patent for 16 inventions of a cosmopolitan nature, including internal combustion engines, air cleaners, motor vehicles, governor gear, agricultural tractor apparatus, etc.


25 May 1933 Western Daily Press

DOUGLAS MOTOR-CYCLE INVENTIONS. Judgment for Technical Expert On a summons issued in a debenture holder's action, re Douglas Motors (1932) Ltd., D. Estates, Ltd. v. The Company, Mr Justice Clanson, in .the Chancery Division yesterday, decided that the benefit of 16 inventions made by Charles George Pullin, a technical expert in the employ of Douglas Motors, were not included in the company's assets that were charged by debentures, and that Mr Pullin was not bound to assign his interests in them except upon agreed payment.

-Ian

Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 08 Sep 2020 at 00:53
...and some more of the sorry saga;

10th July 1934 Western Daily Press

DOUGLAS MOTORS (1932), LIMITED. Mr Justice Eve, in the Chancery Division yesterday, granted petition by Herbert Terry and Sons, Ltd., Novelty Works, Redditch, for the winding up of Douglas Motors (1932), Limited, formerly of Bristol, with registered offices at St.  James Street, London. Mr lk. Turnbull, for the petitioners, said they were judgment creditors for £918 2s Id. The petitioner was supported by creditors for £177,329 15s 9d. Mr R. A. Willis, for the creditors, supporting the petition, said there were 14 creditors altogether included the list. The company was not represented, and Mr Justice Eve made the usual compulsory order.

16th August 1934 Western Daily Press

DOUGLAS MOTORS (1932), LTD. Statement to Creditors and Shareholders. Yesterday in Bankruptcy Buildings, Carey Street, W.C., the statutory meeting of the creditors and of the shareholders were held under a winding-up order made on July 9 against Douglas Motors (1932) Kingswood, Bristol, Mr George Hutcheson, Assistant Official Receiver, presiding. The chairman said that the company was incorporated as a private company with a nominal capital £100 to acquire the business of mechanical engineers and motor-cycle manufacturers carried on by Douglas (Limited) at Bristol and elsewhere, and to acquire its assets and liabilities. That company had been incorporated in 1917 to acquire for £360,000 in shares, the business conducted by members of the Douglas family. It continued to manufacture the Douglas motor-cycle and for time its trading was successful. But of later years its business showed a decline, and the accounts of the year ended July 31, 1931, disclose a loss of approximately £50,000.
Sold in 1932.
It was then decided by the directors that the assets should be sold, and on March 18, 1932, the present company agreed to buy from the old company the freehold land, business, etc.

the purchase consideration being £200,000, payable as to  £20,000 in cash and as to the balance in debentures.  According to balance sheet the assets were then valued at £390,275.
On November 8 1932, the court appointed Mr. F. E. Bendall, I.A.. Corporation Street, Birmingham as Receiver and manager, and he carried on the business until June, 1933. Possession the factory was then given to William Douglas, under the terms of a purchase of sale agreement by which he was buy the freehold land, premises, goodwill and the business, etc., for £64,500.
 Litigation, which was still proceeding ensued, and it had been the cause of this that an unsecured creditor the petition to wind up the company, No statement of affairs had yet been filed  but according to approximate accounts prepared the Receiver as at the date of his appointment, the liabilities to creditors totalled £235,246, of which £197,137 were due to the debenture holders and £37,108 to other creditors of were about 650
Book Debts
The tangible assets, apart from those sold to William Douglas consisted of cash £22, bills receivable £153, and book debts £21,701. But last year the Receiver reported that at least €15,000 of the book debts represented old balances which would more than 1s in the £. It was consequentially apparent that, unless any successful proceedings could be taken by the liquidator, and the Court held that the old company was not entitled as a debenture holder to  share in any damages which might be recovered as the result of proceedings against it as vendor, there was no prospect of a dividend being paid to the unsecured creditors.
Both the Official Receiver and a chartered accountant were nominated to the office of the liquidator, and a vote, having been taken it was announced that the liquidation should remain in the hands of the Official Receiver.

-Ian
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 08 Sep 2020 at 02:55
As pointed out earlier in this thread 1933 was a bleak year fro Douglas Competition wise. Leon mentioned Clarrie Wood;

3rd October 1933 Western Daily Press

"DOUGLAS MOTOR-CYCLE SUCCESSES. After the difficulties which have Douglas motors very many Bristolian will be pleased to hear of the successful return of this well-known machine to the competition field. In the championship races at Southport recently, C. Wood, on a 750 c-.c. machine, won the kilo races for both c.c. and 1,000 c.c. classes, and accomplished the fastest solo time of the day—ll3 miles an hour. "


113 MPH appears to be comparable with G. Wades efforts at Baker's Beach in Tasmania in 1939 of 118 MPH one way on a modified 600cc OW1.

cheers

Ian

Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 09 Sep 2020 at 07:26
Hi Ian,

Nice to have the dates, and a story a little different from the one presented in The Best Twin. Things were indeed very grim between late 1932 and late 1933. Certainly William Douglas (As William Douglas (Bristol), Ltd.) buying the land/premises/business from the receiver make more sense than the story of him buying un-issued shares in the floundering Douglas Motors (1932) Ltd., although this may be a subtlety beyond my business knowledge.

Re the 1932 TT heads: These disappeared from the works bikes between the TT in June and the Brooklands outing in July, so I'm sure their demise was performance related rather than anything to do with intellectual property. Tommy Atkins used them on his track bikes, and a pair ended up on the Thorpe Douglas grass tracker - both applications where full throttle was the norm.

Re Clarrie Wood: At various times between the late 1920s and the mid 1930s he raced Douglases in 500, 600 and 750 cc capacities. At least one of his bikes was a "vintage TT" affair - like the 1930 Atkins bike, the Graeme Brown bike, the Bayley bike, etc - and another was said to be an SW6. His 750 was one of a number of 746 cc Douglases being raced in the 1930s: for example Arthur Dobson and J.H. Fell rode them solo, and Jack and George Richards, Toni Babl and our old mate Jack Douglas rode them as outfits. When Atkins sold his 494 supercharged track bike to Francis Beart (via Comerfords) it came with spare 596 and 746 engines.

I don't know where these 746 engines came from. Did Douglas advertise them? SW7.5?

Anyway, with the 1932-1933 timeline now very clear, I like even more the idea that the 1932 TT bikes and the "big tank" 750s were two distinct groups of bikes, the first built around April 1932, the second built 1934-35. I wonder what's Clarrie Wood's 750 looked like in 1933? Like a 1920s TT is my guess.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 11 Sep 2020 at 00:51
From the Bob Currie article about the Bury brothers "big tank" outfit, The Classic Motor Cycle, June 1988: "A sister 746cc Douglas is currently owned by Colin Clifford, and Jack Douglas at one time held the Brooklands Mountain Circuit record on a third one."

Jack Douglas did indeed hold the 1000cc sidecar record for the Mountain Circuit "at one time" - in fact "for all time" according to the photo of the "record board" I came across at http://www.vintagenorton.com/2013/12/dennis-minett-1938-model-30-norton.html , reproduced below. The date for the record is interesting: 18 April 1931 is the outing I described higher up, where Jack Douglas won the 10-lap Mountain Passenger Handicap in impressive style. Unlike some other Broooklands races, this was a bona-fide win, albeit in a race with only four starters and three finishers. He beat home Driscoll's 490 Norton and Archer's 348 Velocette outfits, both of whom (on their smaller-capacity machines) started in front of him. The winning speed was 58.91 mph, with a fastest lap at 61.04 mph gaining a "special mention" in the editorial.

The weather was truly rotten on this day, so let's guess that for this record to stand until the closure of Brooklands at the outbreak of WW2 there was not too much sidecar racing on the Mountain Circuit during the 1930s.

I'm not sure what Jack's 1931 record-setting 750 Douglas looked like, but I'm certain it wasn't a "big tank". But feel free to prove me wrong... "Vintage TT" or "1931 Babl" would be my guess. Photo anyone?

No suggestion in the 1988 article that the Colin Clifford bike was linked to Jack Douglas. That must be a newer story?

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 15 Sep 2020 at 03:47
I don't know where these 746 engines came from. Did Douglas advertise them? SW7.5?

There are some "vintage TT" 750s out there, with gland nut fittings for the inlet/exhaust manifolds. But of more relevance to this thread are the 750s with the two-bolt flanged manifolds - horizontal inlet and downward-angled exhausts.

The 1931 TT bikes were - I think - the first with exotic post-DT heads. According to the Motor Cycle "As with other makes, it is in the development of the head and port design that they [Douglas] will surpass previous efforts; valves and springs are longer, and, consequentially, the external head shaping is noticeably different." Looking at various illustrations and photos from 1931, these heads had both inlet and exhaust ports horizontal. Doug pointed up that Bejarano's "big tank" 1932 TT bike photographed in Spain has horizontal exhaust ports, so likely 1931 TT pattern, or (heaven forbid) DT.

The 1932 TT bikes had inlets angled up, and exhausts angled down (see Doug's photographs at the top of this thread), but by the following month these heads had gone, replaced by heads with horizontal inlets and downward-angled exhausts. The attached photos show the inlet and exhaust sides of the bikes at Brooklands in July 1932.

The "super sport" bikes - the 750s and probably the 600s - built from 1934 used similar heads. Perhaps some of the patterns were shared? Both the Bury bike and the ex-Colin Clifford bike use these heads, photos attached. Hard to get a glimpse of the exhaust side of the engine with sidecar fitted.

Did the head pattern begin in the race shop in 1932? Perhaps something Woolly Worters worked on? Any evidence for angled exhaust ports pre 1932?

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 19 Sep 2020 at 07:59
I suspect that in the photo you published it also had an Enfield rear hub as well, if you compare the position of the rear brake actuating lever with the photo of the 750cc outfit which uses the 9'' Douglas brake.  On that machine the brake actuating lever operates through the brake anchor point in normal Douglas fashion, whereas the TT machine has a separate actuating arm, and the brake diameter certainly looks smaller than 9",  Interesting!

The rear hub and brake are likely Douglas, 9", and more-or-less "TT". If I had to guess, I'd say brake shoes inside (rather than a servo band) and an annular plate reinforcing the the backing plate (which makes the brake look smaller than 9").

Attached are some photos of the brakes on the 1932 TT bikes, and the same brake hub on the Bury bothers "super sport" (albeit with incorrect spoke lacing).

The ex-Clifford bike has the standard TT setup.

Leon