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General => Douglas Racers and Racing History => Topic started by: cardan on 09 Aug 2014 at 12:40

Title: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 09 Aug 2014 at 12:40

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 12:48

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 23:53
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 11 Aug 2014 at 00:03
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 01:45
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 12:36
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 21:59
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 12 Aug 2014 at 00:32

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 21:27
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 04:41
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 07:12

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 13:41
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 22:03
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 05:13

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 11:13
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 19:44
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 14:35
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 17:49
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 02:26
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 03:22
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 11:33
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 19:54
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 01 Jul 2020 at 00:17
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 01:47
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 06:06
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 10:23
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 11:15
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 11:21
One of the sidecar bikes maybe?

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 02 Jul 2020 at 05:13
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 05:35
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 05:43
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 05:45
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 13:30
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 13:53
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 14:14
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 04:21
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 05:36
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 05:48
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 06:31
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 12:52
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 13:36
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 10:07
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 09:47
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 14:15
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 05:05
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 07:02
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 06:24
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 14 Jul 2020 at 00:03
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 02:38
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 02:59
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 04:23
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 05:14
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 23:26
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 08:12
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 01:34
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 05:58
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 04:28
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 04 Aug 2020 at 00:57
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 01:15
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 03:08
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 04:18
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 01:21
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 04:20
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 03:00
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 04:56

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 08:20
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 18:18
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 15 Aug 2020 at 00:24
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.

[Edit: Woops. 76 x 82 is better for the 750, although this gives 744 rather than 746 cc usually quoted.]

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 12:00

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 18:02
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 17 Aug 2020 at 00:30
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 01:19
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 05:26
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 05:31
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 06:14
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 06:31
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 08:50
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 09:03
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 10:45
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 11:00
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 12:00
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 19 Aug 2020 at 00:40
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 09:34
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 24 Aug 2020 at 00:57
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 02:30
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 25 Aug 2020 at 00:11
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 01:06
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 08:47
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 05:02
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 08:17
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 22:53
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 23:37
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 05:45
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 08:26
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 02:57
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 04:34
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 04:51
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 04:53
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 05:01
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 05:07
....of course someone could be teasing us with the number 34 :-) ....
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 29 Aug 2020 at 05:07
....of course someone could be teasing us with the number 34 :-) ....
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Doug on 29 Aug 2020 at 19:27
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 23:38
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 01:06
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 02:32
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 02:48
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 02:56
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 05:39
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 06:07
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 08:23
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 02:16
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 11:49
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 17:59
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 06 Sep 2020 at 00:16
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 03:31
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 08:37
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 09:21
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 13:07
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 06:09
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 08:29
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 01:40
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 01:53
...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 03:55
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 08:26
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 01:51
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 04:47
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 08:59
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
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 28 Oct 2020 at 13:13
My friend Rodney dug out some snaps taken by his father at Brooklands. They are labeled in pencil on the back "about 1932", and they show one of the GP races on the Mountain Circuit - likely the Brooklands Senior GP on 23 July 1932, discussed higher up in the thread.

The photo in reply 53 https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=5444.msg31929#msg31929 shows C.J. (Jack) Williams (No. 3) on the left and C.W. (Paddy) Johnston (No. 2) on the inside. So let's guess that Rodney's dad's photo shows Frank Longman on No. 4. The location is the hairpin at the fork, as the riders turn from the outer circuit onto the finishing straight.

I've mentioned the Brooklands barrels before. Here's the chicane on the finishing straight, delineated by barrels and flags, viewed from the bridge over the finishing straight adjacent to the finish line. The fork is at the very top of the photo. The track was very wide.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 05 Nov 2020 at 09:26
Interesting to see some Brampton "super sport" fork parts "in the flesh". Not from a 1932 TT Douglas, but instead 1930s (or maybe even postwar Series B?) Vincent HRD. https://www.ebay.com/itm/254748606406

Not very common I suspect.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 19 Nov 2020 at 05:31
There is a bit of discussion higher in the thread - starting here https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=5444.msg32097;topicseen#msg32097 - about the Thorpe Douglas, a famous racing special that incorporated a number of 1932 TT parts, perhaps most obviously a set of the racing Druid forks as used in practice for the 1932 TT and the 4-speed Sturmey Archer gearbox.

Here's a couple of photos, and the accompanying caption, from the New Conrod, June-July 1971, showing the bike late in its racing life when campaigned by Phil Seymour. As outlined in the Classic Motor Cycle article mentioned above, the bike was not based on a complete 1932 TT bike, but was built to include some rather special parts.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 21 Nov 2020 at 04:59
Scanning the New Con Rod from the 1970s and 1980s reveals a couple of things: people liked discussing the Thorpe Douglas, and any racing Douglas that was not obviously DT was claimed to have started life as "one of the four bikes built for the 1932 TT".

I think I have tracked the origin of the incorrect claim - see previous post - that the Thorpe Douglas "was one of the original 1932 T.T. jobs". Better, this claim leads us to an unlikely surviving bike that is both (a)  "one of the original 1932 T.T. jobs" and (b) a near-perfect example of "grandfather's axe" where perhaps not a single part of the original machine is present in the present incarnation of the bike.

Stay with me on this one: it's a bit tricky but worth the journey.

In his "Past Times" column for Motor Cycle Weekly, 14 January 1978, (reproduced in NCR March 1981) Bob Currie wrote about the Thorpe Douglas, and its successful outings in the hands of Phil Seymour and Ginger Bridges. The article finishes with a confession by Bob that he is "hazy" on the origins of the machine, but thinks its history might involve Brooklands and Francis Beart. and invites comment.

(He's not right, but he's not completely wrong either. The machine he was thinking of was the the ex-Tommy Atkins supercharged bike, later purchased and raced by Beart. This machine did not evolve into the Thorpe Douglas, but spares from this machine, including genuine 1932 TT parts, did pass from Beart into the Thorpe.)

Bob received a reply to his request from Owen Sheridan, of Swords, Co. Dublin, Ireland, which he incorporated into a later column. According to Sheridan, there were two surviving 1932 TT bikes: one was the Thorpe Douglas, and the other belonged to him! The story he has for his own bike is a good one. In Bob Currie's words "The ex-Paddy Johnston model found its way to Ireland, where it was first owned by Harry Lindsay's father, and eventually passed on to Owen Sheridan." Sounds plausible?

The story goes on that, after the war, Sheridan rebuilt the bike incorporating all the same Bert Thorpe parts that went into the Thorpe Douglas - heads, pistons,barrels, con rods... Indeed Phil Seymour travelled to Ireland to deliver the unmachined castings to Sheridan, who then finished them "to Thorpe's instructions".

So far so good - we can imagine Paddy Johnston's 1932 TT mount with Thorpe-modified engine, ready to race in post-war Ireland.

In Bob Currie's words: "Owen raced what one might term the 494cc Sheridan-Thorpe Special as a solo in a number of Irish short-circuit events, but dropped it heavily at a Curraghs meeting when the gearbox seized. Says he: "Four gallons of dope, the model and myself went up in flames. The engine was saved by piling mounds of turf on it, but the rest - frame, wheels, etc. - just melted. If anyone has a spare frame (a dirt one would do) I could be back in business!"

I don't quite understand the last sentence, but let's go on. I'll return later.

In the following issue of NCR (May 1981) Jeff Clew writes to note that he too thought the Thorpe Douglas was the Beart machine, but "now that myth has been exploded". Interesting to replace one origin myth (Beart) with another (1932 TT)!

For the November 1981 NCR, Jeff Clew sends in correspondence to and from Owen Sheridan about the bike. Sheridan says "My model is the only surviving one of four models built for the I.O.M. Senior Race in 1932..." and goes on to detail the "full Bert Thorpe treatment" the bike received. He doesn't mention the crash (presumably in the early 1950s) that all but destroyed the cycle parts, but the correspondence is accompanied by the photo attached below.

Still thinking "Paddy Johnston 1932 TT bike with Thorpe engine upgrades"? Think again! The bike survives in this form - or did in 2013 when Ed Byrne of Dublin made this post: https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=5132.0

Presumably after the crash and fire the engine was rebuilt into newly-built (?) cycle parts, thus my confusion about the "If anyone has a spare frame..." comment to Bob Curry in 1978. Perhaps Owen meant that a spare frame might return it to something more "Douglasy"?

So, grand father's axe, eh? New head, new handle... perhaps the bottom end of the engine has a ghostly link to Paddy Johnston and the 1932 TT?

If the bike DID start life as one of the 1932 TT models - and we've only got Owen Sheridan's word on that - I doubt a bike could have a more complex and interesting history!

Cheers

Leon

Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 22 Nov 2020 at 21:01
This photo, from the Len Cole collection, comes from NCR Sept 1981. In Jan 1982 Len added the comment:

"The third was taken in the paddock at Brooklands and I am told it belonged to Jack Douglas. It is a 1932 T.T. model, but the interesting thing is that the sump oiling has been dispensed with and oil supplied from a tank at the right side rear of the frame."

With the brake anchor on the right fork, it certainly could be 1932 T.T., albeit in "outer circuit" trim. A nice shot of the pannier tanks.

The bike is attached to the tow car by the front axle, with a duplicate number plate behind.

I have no idea of the event, or whether Jack Douglas was involved.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Ed Byrne on 09 Dec 2020 at 10:17
Scanning the New Con Rod from the 1970s and 1980s reveals a couple of things: people liked discussing the Thorpe Douglas, and any racing Douglas that was not obviously DT was claimed to have started life as "one of the four bikes built for the 1932 TT".

I think I have tracked the origin of the incorrect claim - see previous post - that the Thorpe Douglas "was one of the original 1932 T.T. jobs". Better, this claim leads us to an unlikely surviving bike that is both (a)  "one of the original 1932 T.T. jobs" and (b) a near-perfect example of "grandfather's axe" where perhaps not a single part of the original machine is present in the present incarnation of the bike.

Stay with me on this one: it's a bit tricky but worth the journey.

In his "Past Times" column for Motor Cycle Weekly, 14 January 1978, (reproduced in NCR March 1981) Bob Currie wrote about the Thorpe Douglas, and its successful outings in the hands of Phil Seymour and Ginger Bridges. The article finishes with a confession by Bob that he is "hazy" on the origins of the machine, but thinks its history might involve Brooklands and Francis Beart. and invites comment.

(He's not right, but he's not completely wrong either. The machine he was thinking of was the the ex-Tommy Atkins supercharged bike, later purchased and raced by Beart. This machine did not evolve into the Thorpe Douglas, but spares from this machine, including genuine 1932 TT parts, did pass from Beart into the Thorpe.)

Bob received a reply to his request from Owen Sheridan, of Swords, Co. Dublin, Ireland, which he incorporated into a later column. According to Sheridan, there were two surviving 1932 TT bikes: one was the Thorpe Douglas, and the other belonged to him! The story he has for his own bike is a good one. In Bob Currie's words "The ex-Paddy Johnston model found its way to Ireland, where it was first owned by Harry Lindsay's father, and eventually passed on to Owen Sheridan." Sounds plausible?

The story goes on that, after the war, Sheridan rebuilt the bike incorporating all the same Bert Thorpe parts that went into the Thorpe Douglas - heads, pistons,barrels, con rods... Indeed Phil Seymour travelled to Ireland to deliver the unmachined castings to Sheridan, who then finished them "to Thorpe's instructions".

So far so good - we can imagine Paddy Johnston's 1932 TT mount with Thorpe-modified engine, ready to race in post-war Ireland.

In Bob Currie's words: "Owen raced what one might term the 494cc Sheridan-Thorpe Special as a solo in a number of Irish short-circuit events, but dropped it heavily at a Curraghs meeting when the gearbox seized. Says he: "Four gallons of dope, the model and myself went up in flames. The engine was saved by piling mounds of turf on it, but the rest - frame, wheels, etc. - just melted. If anyone has a spare frame (a dirt one would do) I could be back in business!"

I don't quite understand the last sentence, but let's go on. I'll return later.

In the following issue of NCR (May 1981) Jeff Clew writes to note that he too thought the Thorpe Douglas was the Beart machine, but "now that myth has been exploded". Interesting to replace one origin myth (Beart) with another (1932 TT)!

For the November 1981 NCR, Jeff Clew sends in correspondence to and from Owen Sheridan about the bike. Sheridan says "My model is the only surviving one of four models built for the I.O.M. Senior Race in 1932..." and goes on to detail the "full Bert Thorpe treatment" the bike received. He doesn't mention the crash (presumably in the early 1950s) that all but destroyed the cycle parts, but the correspondence is accompanied by the photo attached below.

Still thinking "Paddy Johnston 1932 TT bike with Thorpe engine upgrades"? Think again! The bike survives in this form - or did in 2013 when Ed Byrne of Dublin made this post: https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=5132.0

Presumably after the crash and fire the engine was rebuilt into newly-built (?) cycle parts, thus my confusion about the "If anyone has a spare frame..." comment to Bob Curry in 1978. Perhaps Owen meant that a spare frame might return it to something more "Douglasy"?

So, grand father's axe, eh? New head, new handle... perhaps the bottom end of the engine has a ghostly link to Paddy Johnston and the 1932 TT?

If the bike DID start life as one of the 1932 TT models - and we've only got Owen Sheridan's word on that - I doubt a bike could have a more complex and interesting history!

Cheers

Leon




Hello Leon,

You are missed in the Rudge club. You just sort of..... disappeared.

I have this Sheridan/Thorpe bike in my garage. I'm in the process of rebuilding it. It belongs to a friend of mine.

Ed
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 09 Dec 2020 at 11:33
Hi Ed,

Excellent - is there an engine number? Just the slimmest hope that the crankcase is a relic of the 1932 TT!

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Ed Byrne on 09 Dec 2020 at 12:10
Hi Ed,

Excellent - is there an engine number? Just the slimmest hope that the crankcase is a relic of the 1932 TT!

Cheers

Leon


Hi Leon,

Yes there is a very clear engine number. WE20 which would make it a 1926 500cc engine according to Doug. It has the window in the bottom of the crankcase for a Sump. The Sump fitted is i believe from a later model.

Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 10 Dec 2020 at 10:24
Hi Ed,

WE20 is an interesting engine number: Clew says WE is 1925 TT, and the two-digit "20" is possibly more interesting than a series number of 101-on. But not, alas, a 1932 TT number. Maybe the sump is the missing link...

Does the story that comes with the bike match up with the story above: Paddy Johnston to Harry Lindsay's father in Ireland, to Owen Sheriden who upgraded the engine with Thorpe parts, the crash, the cycle new cycle parts?

I don't suppose there's a rusting pile of discarded (and slightly melted!) 1932 TT parts in the back of an Irish garage nearby?

Cheers

Leon

Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Ed Byrne on 10 Dec 2020 at 16:54
Hi Ed,

WE20 is an interesting engine number: Clew says WE is 1925 TT, and the two-digit "20" is possibly more interesting than a series number of 101-on. But not, alas, a 1932 TT number. Maybe the sump is the missing link...

Does the story that comes with the bike match up with the story above: Paddy Johnston to Harry Lindsay's father in Ireland, to Owen Sheriden who upgraded the engine with Thorpe parts, the crash, the cycle new cycle parts?

I don't suppose there's a rusting pile of discarded (and slightly melted!) 1932 TT parts in the back of an Irish garage nearby?

Cheers

Leon



Hi Leon,

Yes Harry and Ownie were friends and would travel to races together. It is entirely plausible that Ownie had a 1932 "works" bike at one stage, but very hard to prove.

This Sheridan/Thorpe Douglas is owned by Ownie's Nephew. He tells me that Ownie was very proud of the fact that it was a Thorpe Douglas and that he would regularly say it was "One of four". We presumed that he was saying one of four Thorpe engines.

The story of Ownie crashing and his machine going on fire in the Curragh is a factual event, but I was under the impression it was a Sunbeam that he was riding that day. Stories get mixed up over time, maybe i am wrong.


There is another of Ownies "contraptions" in his nephews ownership. A VW Beetle engine sidecar with a home made frame and home made OHC set up, made for 1/4 mile sprinting. I noticed that the headstock is a Douglas part. Perhaps that part is from the 1932 Works bike?!

 
As you say, it is the ultimate Grandfathers axe of a motorbike and carries a plethora of tales and stories with it. My only memory of it running is from 1985 at a sprint. It was pushed up and down the road for what seemed like an eternity to try and get it to start. All of a sudden it lept into life with an incredible earth shattering din. I remember being in absolute awe of this dinosaur of a motorbike being warmed up beside me. The smell of Dope and Castrol R!

I'm very grateful to be given the chance to get it running again.




Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 11 Dec 2020 at 05:19
Hi Ed,

Yes it's a ripper: its story goes way back even if its parts don't.

The "one in four" is a reference to the four bikes made specially for the 1932 TT, three entries and a spare. From what I've read, I think there was really only one "Thorpe Special", which evolved somewhat with time, plus various sets of parts supplied to others, like the Sheridan bike. Famously Thorpe built a two-cam Thorpe-Douglas engine (or maybe it was all Thorpe), but according to an article in the NCR this special engine, and the Thorpe Special, both went to South Africa, before the twin-cam engine was run.

Please ask around in the family and see if there are any photos of the bike pre-war or just post-war, when it may have still been identifiably "1932 TT".

I particularly like the story of Paddy Johnston taking his bike to Ireland sometime after the 1932 TT, because there is an exact parallel story from the Rudge camp. After the 1932 TT, Tyrell Smith took his Senior Rudge back to Ireland where it had a racing life possibly parallel to the Douglas. However the Rudge had a somewhat simpler life, and when it appeared at a Bonhams auction a few years back it looked slightly tired and rusty, but still very much in 1932 TT trim, with all of its major parts still original. https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/22727/lot/190/ (Just ignore the bit where it says the bike is a 350.)

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Doug on 11 Dec 2020 at 16:54
Leon,

Bert Thorpe's twin-cam used a Douglas crankshaft and Norton single oil pump and maybe JAP speedway rocker arms. The rest was made by Thorpe. So nothing on that was Works/TT. After Phil Seymour retired at the end of the 1951 season, he sold the Thorpe outfit to Les Taylor. Les convinced Bert to revive/continue with with the twin-cam project - started 1949-50 - and it was finished in May 1953. Unfortunately Les died from injuries received during a race and the twin-cam was never installed in the outfit. The single cam outfit, twin-cam engine and spares, and Douglas spares were then sold to Ron Russel. He subsequently relocated to Johannesburg, South Africa. There is some doubt as to if the outfit ever left England, possible being plundered for the go-fast bits then sold. Ron also seems to have had one or more other Douglas outfit(s) that he competed, adding further confusion.

Side note: there were preceding single-cam engines, built on Douglas crankcases, that had been prepared and then sold off at the end of a season's racing. So more engines are about than outfits. The first iteration seem to have used Douglas cylinder heads, new barrels in aluminium, likely Bert's own connecting rods (shorter and stronger than the Douglas DT pattern), and his own idea of camshaft timing of course. Subsequently a new pattern of cylinder head in aluminum with angled ports (like the 1932 TT bikes), hairpin valve springs, and JAP speedway type rocker gear appeared. Those carried over to the twin-cam. So depending on how many spares were made, there could even be additional 'Thorpe' engines that were built up on a Douglas crankcase.

While in SA, the twin-cam does seem to have been run, and somehow ended up with a set of Bert's conrods for a single-cam engine installed! The Douglas parts were eventually bought by a local enthusiast, but Ron Russell did not want to part with the twin-cam engine. After Ron died, the engine was acquired from Ron's son. Attempts to find a suitable chassis into which to install the twin-cam proved unfruitful. Via Len Cole, the whereabouts of the twin-cam was tracked down and it returned to Bert in the UK circa 1984-85. I photographed the components at Bert's in the 1990s. 

Getting a little off track and better suited for a Bert Thorpe thread than TT/Works bikes, but what the heck.

-Doug
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 15 Dec 2020 at 04:42
Hi Doug,

Don't worry about getting off track: the Thorpe story is a good one that needs to be understood to fully understand the TT story. What a pity the Thorpe Douglas doesn't seem to have survived in any recognisable form.

My browsing in NCR was focussed mostly on the later racing bikes. As well as plenty of Thorpe info, there was a number of bits and pieces relating to the Dobson and C.P. Wood racers - both of which were 750cc at one time - and are mentioned above.

Plenty of guff about the Clarry Wood bike (or one of the Clarry Wood bikes, since he either had more than one bike, or more than one engine that went in his bike since it was raced as 500, 600 and 750 at different times) which is now almost unrecognisable as the bike with the Brampton/Monarch fork on display at the Museum of Speed at Pendine. The bike was raced in the 1950s by Clarry's son Derek c1953-5, by which time it had gained a few 1932-TT-ish mods - carbs on heads with ducts to the airbox and large sump - and the Monarch forks. It was restored by ex-VMCC President Walter Green in the 1960s. Photo of Clarry with Freddie Dixon and the bike in the late 1920s below.

Also a mention in NCR 1989 of the Dobson bike, together with a photo (below). A.C. (Arthur, NOT his brother Austin) Dobson got his Gold Star for a 100+ mph lap of Brooklands in the 500cc class in 1933, presumably, but not proven, on this machine. It's now said to be a 750 and survives in Whitewebbs Museum, with a nickel-plated frame.

Anyway, nothing to suggest either Wood or Dobson had a "big tank" racer; both bikes are of the "1920s TT" pattern.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 15 Dec 2020 at 06:21
Fair to say that the Bury brothers' bike is a ripper... Leon

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

It was a ripper, but it remains a puzzle.

In his "Treasures of the National" column of The Classic Motor Cycle, June 1988 wrote about the Bury Douglas: "What is certain is that it made its racing debut at Donington Park at a May-time meeting in 1935...". "Certain" is a strong word.

In NCR, January 2004, not long after the fire, photographer Bob Light sent in three photos of the Bury Bros outfit at Donington Park. In chronological order (see photos below) they were taken on 7 August 1933, 8 July 1934 and August 1937. Perhaps the dates were on the back of the photos.

Surely (!?) all three photos show the same bike, despite Bob Light's comment on the August 1937 photo that "This is their second outfit which made its Donington debut in May 1935..." Perhaps he read that in the Classic Motor Cycle.

The Bury Bros began to figure in racing results on a 750 Douglas outfit in 1931, so I am certain (!?) that there was, as described by Bob Currie, an earlier Bury machine.

So what was the Bury machine destroyed in the NMM fire? If the dates on Bob Light's photos are correct, the bike was racing at least as early as 1933. Old LDMCC Machine Registers (1975-1988) list the machine (then owned by Mary (Ted Bury's daughter) and Geoff Benfield) as a 1932 racing combination, Reg UD5370, Frame No. FK1, Engine No. 7E/1.

Jeff Clew lists frame prefix FK as "500cc TT, C.T. Atkins, 1932".

Perhaps we can have an educated stab at the fate of the four 1932 TT Douglases:

One (frame FK1) was converted to 750cc for sidecar racing for the Bury brothers, c1933.

One (ex Paddy Johnston) went to Ireland where it was raced to death.

One went to Spain with Bejarano.

One was last seen as an outer-circuit machine in unknown hands at Brooklands.

Any better ideas? Original photos will always help.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 15 Dec 2020 at 07:59
Great research Leon,

Here is an advert in the Burnley Express 1st December 1934. Appears C.S.G was a motorcycle / car trader, maybe garage in Burnley?? They appear to have placed many adverts into the 1940's. Where they were located looks like it might be a freeway now......

Anyway an interesting Douglas for sale...what year tho'? Could possibly be 1932?

Bit busy at the moment but when I get a chance I will look some more as I have a couple of other small leads;

cheers

Hutch
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 15 Dec 2020 at 22:57
Hi Ian,

Not sure what's on offer there in Burnley, but it would be a huge fall from grace for a 1932 TT entry to be for sale for 8 quid in 1934! More likely an old banger "done up".

Re engine numbers: Clew gives 5/E as "500cc TT 1932 C.T. Atkins", presumably the engines to match the FK frames, so we could guess the 1932 TT engines were 5E1, 5E2... We've noted before that there is no listing for 7E (the closest is 75E, a 750cc aircraft engine), but 7E1 wouldn't be a bad stamping to find on a one-off 750 engine based on the 5E 1932 500 TT engines.

In his CMC article Bob Currie says that the second Bury engine/outfit was built by Jack Clapham at Eddie Withers' establishment at West Norwood "more or less the London sales and service branch of the Douglas works". Makes sense, because likely not much was going on at the factory in Bristol in 1933.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 18 Dec 2020 at 02:12
Here's the Henry Body bike, mentioned by Doug way back in the thread, snapped at the Bristol Classic Show in 2014 by Martin Squires http://martinsquiresautomotiveillustration.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-34th-carole-nash-bristol-classic.html

The bike bears an uncanny resemblance to "No 34" before it was restored/recreated as a copy of the Bury Douglas. "FSS" Doug? Clearer photos anyone?

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Doug on 18 Dec 2020 at 05:50
Leon,

It was kind of hard to make out the frame number on Henry Body's bike, but it looked like FSS 1, which would make it a 1935 600cc 'made for Bottomly'. I presume the use of "FSS" indicates a copy/duplicate built along the lines of frame "FS" made for Tony Babl of Germany in 1934. 

The engine (or crankcases, at least) is 5/E 20, a 500cc supplied (or one of several supplied?) to C.T. Atkins for 1932. However you will note the heads do not have the full Works '32 treatment of inclined inlet ports. Just the exhaust ports are inclined.

-Doug

Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 18 Dec 2020 at 06:21
Hi Doug,

Interesting. Aluminium crankcases? Sounds like it might be a good example of the 1934-5 build racers; with a 5E prefix, the bike is a 500 as it says on the card?

Leon

[Edit: the long-stroke crank and the 68mm cylinder and head give 596cc as listed for the Bottomly bike. It would need longer cylinders or very thick spacers!]
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Doug on 18 Dec 2020 at 17:56
Leon,

5/E 20 has aluminum crankcase, no bronze drive side casting. As to if it is a 500 or 600cc, I don't know. It might be a mix of parts.

-Doug
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 18 Dec 2020 at 20:12
Thanks Doug.

I checked the Motor Cycle for details of the 1930 Show. Douglas had Stand 19; no mention of this bike; I believe it wasn't there. The stars were the new enclosed-valve OHV machines for 1931 with chrome tanks + tartan. Interestingly the dirt track and speedway bikes were offered unchanged from the previous year other than now having "square" engines. So in 1931, the DT5, SW5, and bikes for the senior TT were all 68x68.

If this bike was in the 1932 TT, it used different fork, gearbox, tank, and front brake. No Douglases in the 1933 Senior TT.

Can't find much on Archie Allen.

With FE crankcase, horizontal inlet/downswept exhaust, Douglas fork and brake, it's a very nice example of a 1934-35 Douglas racer, even if it has a few parts mixed in. With FSS frame number, you'd have to think it was sold to Bottomly in 1935. Great history; personally I'd like to rejoice in it rather than make up tosh. There's not much you can believe these days.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 22 Dec 2020 at 08:09
Jack Williams, TT Douglas, Brooklands Senior GP, July 1932 (see details higher up). Looks good at speed.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 26 Dec 2020 at 04:44
Higher in the thread, Ian posted a snippet from the Classic Motor Cycle, December 1990, showing Ken Blay of Twickenham in 1954, aboard a racing Douglas outfit said to be the Thorpe Douglas. https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=5444.msg32097#msg32097

I'm pretty sure the bike isn't the Thorpe Douglas, but of the various racing Douglases around at the time it is one of the more interesting.

The petrol tank (see photo) looks identical to the tank on the Henry Body bike, or the Clifford bike pre-restoration, but beyond that it's impossible to say more. Different front fork and brake (on the right), certainly.

The Ken Blay bike might (or might not!) fit into our story somewhere. Other bikes from the 1950s and 60s, like the Bob Jones sprinter, the Bell brothers grass tracker, the Russell brothers outfit, and so on, are interesting racers but probably don't.

Any good period photos of the 1934 Babl bikes (the 750 frame prefix FS, the 600 frame prefix FT) or the 1935 Bottomly bike (600 frame prefix FSS)?

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 19 Feb 2021 at 03:00
Leon,

Unfortunately no new pictures of Babl or Bottomly Douglas bikes found so far after a bit of searching, but did find these later pictures from NCR Jul-Aug 1984. Interesting comment about the new tank on the machine Les Taylor is riding - pity there is no mention of the date.

Cheers

Ian

Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 26 Mar 2021 at 23:56
Short film of grass track racing at Brands Hatch in 1947. After 0:33 we have some shots of No. 114 piloted by a "Peter Seamore" (sp?).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLGeB0Hu3RI

This version doesn't have the ad at the end;

https://www.britishpathe.com/video/farnborough-kent-aka-your-world-in-nine-minutes/query/grass+track

cheers

Hutch
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 27 Mar 2021 at 00:31
Results of the meet here;

https://grasstrackgb.co.uk/brands-hatch-1947/

So looks like the date of the meet at Brands Hatch shown in the film was 28 June 1947?

Programs from some grass track meets at Brands Hatch here;

https://daveriley.weebly.com/brands-hatch-1940s.html

Appears Phil Seymour carried No. 114 for a few meets in 1947. His outfit described as "Thorpe Special" in 1948.

(Edit: E. Oliver appears to be  Eric Oliver, 4 times world sidecar champion, fairly sure "J Surtees" Jack Surtees, John's father)

-Hutch
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 08 May 2021 at 07:21
Further to Leon's reply No.63 above, here is another shot of C.T. Atkin's No 8 in the British Empire races at Brooklands 1933. This is from Motorsport Images;

https://www.motorsportimages.com/photos/?event_id=261793

Interesting the Douglas appears to have the extra valve guide lubrication pipes (? not 100% clear in the picture) seen on the Bury Bros.  and the Clifford No. 34 outfits. Have not seen this feature on 1932 pictures of the TT bikes. Is this a 1933 development?

EDIT: Interesting to compare this to the bike in Leon's reply # 131.....

cheers

Hutch
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 08 May 2021 at 09:28
Hi Ian,

Another fab photo. Yep that's the Atkins track bike, at the same event at Brooklands, 1 July 1933, as in the photo posted earlier https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=5444.msg31999#msg31999

The key features of this bike were the Druid ES fork (clearly seen) and the TT-style frame, which is difficult to pick, particularly under that huge tank. The gearbox platform and the cross-over gearbox is one of the clear points of difference, but not seen in either of the photos. Francis Beart fitted a Sturmey box with chains all on the left when he had the bike in the late 1930s. The 1932 TT engine was tested at Brooklands as early as May 1932, in Atkins' track bike. Probably the same cycle parts as in this July 1933 photo.

The bike in reply 131 https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=5444.msg33038#msg33038 has the Brampton fork and the 4-speed TT SA gearbox, so it was almost certainly one of the 1932 TT bikes.

Not sure when the extra oiling to the valve gear came in, but it would only take a couple of seized guides running flat chat at Brooklands to realise it was a good idea.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 16 May 2021 at 05:41
Hi Leon,

My "EDIT" was more of a general "thought bubble" as I was looking into who might have developed the 1932 TT Douglas modified to be a Brooklands Outer Circuit machine. My first thoughts was that Atkins may have had a hand in it - but not sure at all. I have done a bit of searching but nothing has turned up about the exploits of this machine so far that might give clues as to whom was involved.

I also pondered what the Atkins frame "F.U." as list in Clew's "The Best Twin" from 1934 might have looked like. It is described as "plated" by this does he mean "Nickel" or "Chromium" plated? or does he mean plated as in being reinforced? Don't know the answer to that either. In the great Stilltime Archive pictures of Atkin's supercharged Douglas the frame does look like it could be plated. But is that just silver paint? Don't know.

(EDIT: Could be electroless Nickel plate - that might explain the dull finish? )

I was looking at dating this machine. It has the drop down gearbox mount so possibly not a 1934 frame unless that is what Atkin's specified ?? More questions.

In trying to date these pictures I was intrigued to see another "outer circuit" machine in the background (circled). I gather Atkin's was pencilled in to do some riding of Joe Walsh's  Zenith in in Belgium during October 1934. Not sure, but I guess it could be the Zenith? Hard to say. If so, then the Douglas may be the "FU" frame machine of 1934 and was later sold onto Beart?.  Too many questions not enough answers unfortunately! :-)

cheers

Hutch
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 16 May 2021 at 05:53
In searching for information described in my previous post I came across some newspaper articles on the 1932 Ulster GP. The 1932 TT Douglii were going reasonably well but alas reliability issues crept in. C.J. William's broke a valve - maybe why there were extra lubrication pipes fitted later?. Interesting that W.J.C. Hewitt (see Leon's reply #115) gets a ride on a Douglas and was 5th at half distance behind Williams. I cannot find out if Hewitt finished. More digging to do. The Douglii were obviously outclassed but showing some promise.

As William's 1932 TT Douglas was in Ireland did it stay there after the Ulster GP?

Cheers

Ian
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 16 May 2021 at 08:50
Hi Ian,

First post first.

Written on the bottom of the Stilltime negative (therefore backwards) is "C T Atkins with special Douglas racer". I assume this is the 1934 "FU"-frame-prefix machine mentioned in the Best Twin. Likely Atkins either needed a new frame to accommodate the supercharger, or he just needed a new frame full stop! Brooklands had some massive potholes and his previous frame probably dated back to 1931. My guess is that all the bits from his existing track bike were moved over onto the new frame, plus the new supercharger. A new-style frame would have required new forks, gearbox, back wheel, tank, ...

Did Atkins ever use the supercharged bike?

The plating on the frame was probably electroplated Watts nickel, which was the standard plating process of the day. Like the electroless nickel, Watts nickel came out of the bath dull. It would polish up nicely if needed, but the real purpose was to provide a weather-proof covering that would show early signs of frame damage such as cracks. Chrome plating was just a couple of microns on top of the nickel, but was unpopular on bicycle and motorcycle frames because special care was needed to avoid hydrogen embrittlement of the metal, and, like paint, it tended to conceal early signs of a crack.

I assume this is the bike that went to Beart, who used it with and without the supercharger. Beart also acquired piles of spares - maybe even the old frame.

Re the bike in the background. No doubt this is the famous/infamous Zenith JAP on which Joe Wright set a world record (just over 150 mph I recall) in 1930. No problem with the record, except that Wright - and everyone else - pretended the record had been set on an duplex-framed OEC machine. Even at the motorcycle show. Oh dear... Tommy Atkins' daughter Ursula tell the story about Tommy's involvement with the Zenith: "At the end of September, 1934, Claude Temple announced his intention to attack the World's Motorcycle record. He would use the same Zenith that Joe Wright had used to establish the World Record earlier. The rider would be Tommy Atkins. The bike was tested at Montlhery and taken to Venheyden in Belgium. Attempts were to be made between October 8th and 12th. The gearbox mainshaft broke at 140mph during a practice run and the attempt was abandoned. Ernst Henne raised the World Record to 152.9mph soon after, in Hungary, on October 28. Further attempts by Temple and Atkins were abandoned because of bad weather and bad luck."

The mechanism sticking out the right side of the Zenith in the Atkins photo is the twin magnetos, mounted on the timing chest and bevel driven. The supercharger lived in front of the motor.

Cheers

Leon


Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 16 May 2021 at 11:54
In searching for information described in my previous post I came across some newspaper articles on the 1932 Ulster GP. The 1932 TT Douglii were going reasonably well but alas reliability issues crept in. C.J. William's broke a valve - maybe why there were extra lubrication pipes fitted later?. Interesting that W.J.C. Hewitt (see Leon's reply #115) gets a ride on a Douglas and was 5th at half distance behind Williams. I cannot find out if Hewitt finished. More digging to do. The Douglii were obviously outclassed but showing some promise.

As William's 1932 TT Douglas was in Ireland did it stay there after the Ulster GP?

Very interesting article about the 1932 Douglases at the Ulster GP, particularly the words from C. J. Williams where he seems to take credit for the post-TT development of the bikes. It's plausible, but I wonder what happened to Worters after the TT? Of course the Ulster was in late August, and Douglas Motors (1932) was to be in the hands of receivers by November, so I guess there was "stuff" going on behind the scenes.

Re the fate of the 1932 racing Douglases, it's hard to be sure. It seems there were three bikes at the Ulster (Williams, Longman and Hewitt), but as discussed higher up the most likely candidate for "the Irish Douglas" is that Paddy Johnston took one of the TT machines to Ireland https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=5444.msg33142#msg33142 . At least there is a definite story along these lines, so maybe the three Ulster bikes just went back on the boat with the riders.

Also interesting to see in the results that at half distance, Williams and Hewitt, running 4th and 5th, were more than 10 mph off the pace set by the Nortons and Rudge in the first three places. By rights, WIlliams and Hewis should have been further down the order, because in the Ulster GP the 500s and 350s were run together, so the works teams (Norton and Rudge) split their riders between the two classes. If the race was for 500s only, the first six places would have been filled by the Norton and Rudge teams.

Pity everything went so bad so quickly after the 1932 racing season. Not only did Douglas Motors (1932) fold, taking the racing effort along with it, Rudge was in trouble too and pulled out of all racing. Rudge racing limped on for a year or two with a Syndicate organised by Graham Walker, but no such luck for the poor old Douglas.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 18 May 2021 at 00:26
Hi Leon,

Thanks for your very informative reply to my many questions and uncertainties.

I was a little unsure about Electroless Nickel being available in 1934. But it appears that it was "reinvented" in the US in the 1940's after Roux patented the process in 1914. Apparently tho' the process was not used extensively until after the 1940's. But as you say it could have been done using the Watts process.

Looks like William's did do another handicap race at Brooklands after the Ulster GP so as you say maybe the 3 32TT Douglii went back on the boat to the UK after the race?

Here are a couple more pictures from the Northern Whig 5 September 1932. (note I spelt Whig wrong on the file name for the picture of Williams (number eight) and Simpson's (number 11) altercation in my previous post.

As usual more digging to do!

Cheers

Hutch



Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 18 May 2021 at 04:53
A bit un-Douglas related, but I do know a bit about the fate of the 1932 TT Works Rudges. As for the 1932 TT Douglases, it's a bit complicated, but at least a couple of them survive more-or-less intact.

Wal Handley crashed his Rudge at what is now called Handley's Bends. It was sent to Australia for the 1933 season, was raced until post WW2, fell into disrepair, but is now largely in one piece in my shed.

Its sister bike, ridden by Tyrell Smith, was raced in Ireland and turned up tired but intact, at a Bonhams action some years back.

Graham Walker didn't really have a senior bike - he rode his 350 with a 500 motor fitted in the Senior TT. Never-the-less "Graham Walker's TT bike" went to NZ (almost certainly his race motor fitted into TT Replica frame), where it was raced until post WW2 before it fell into disrepair. It is now restored, using a lot of reproduced parts.

Finally Ernie Nott's bike has disappeared - we know the engine number, and the approximate frame number, but it has not surfaced.

So the parallels are there - we know the story of the 1932 TT Douglases, but unlike the Rudges none has made it to the present day. That is, unless there is something left of the Bury brothers bike after the NMM fire. Has anyone investigated what happened to the remains?

Perhaps a 1932 TT Douglas might appear one day, say from Bejarano's family in Spain, looking a bit like Tyrell Smith's Rudge! https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/22727/lot/190/

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 18 May 2021 at 23:55
Hi Leon,

Yes it would be nice to think there is a surviving '32 TT Douglas in Spain in original condition and there is enough left of the Bury outfit after the museum fire to be resurrected! :-) . The whole saga is a bit of "...what might have been..." but alas that is motor racing!

Attached is a  picture of Atkin's on the Zenith practising for his second (failed) attempt at the record after the gearbox failed on the first attempt. After this attempt maybe he gave up on bike's and concentrated on his car tuning career? Have not found anything yet to indicate if the supercharged Douglas got a run with him at the helm, so it is possible, as you have suggested, that it was never run in anger when owned by Atkins.

cheers

Ian

Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 20 May 2021 at 10:30
Nice photo Ian - the first time we've seen Tommy Atkins on a motorcycle that isn't a Douglas?

With hindsight, it's a pity that the discussion about Atkins and his machines has been caught up in this thread. The Atkins story is interesting enough that it could have had a thread of its own, and the overlap with the 1932 TT bikes is perhaps not as much as I first suspected.

I mentioned somewhere higher up that I wasn't sure of Atkins' involvement at Douglas after the 1932 TT. He was off racing Cottons with Francis Beart at the Spanish GP in August 1932 (photos please!), and by August 1933 was recruited by V. W. Derrington, London Rd, Kingston, as "tuner-in-chief", working on cars, for which he later became famous. Mixed in with this is racing the naturally-aspirated Douglas at Brooklands in 1933, the acquisition of the supercharged Douglas in 1934, and riding the aging Zenith JAP later that year. I wonder if these outings on racing motorcycles were "recreation" rather than "work".

Apparently post WW2 he was known to ride around local roads on a Vincent Black Shadow, when he wasn't in one his more exotic sports/racing cars.

Unfortunately he doesn't seem to have recorded the events at Douglas after the 1932 TT, particularly as they related to his role there. It must have been a very turbulent time.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Doug on 22 May 2021 at 05:02
I thought the included photo had already been used in this post, but apparently not. It shows a banking Douglas outfit (not the Freddie Dixon banking outfit!) raced by Lofty Daniells, who stated the former owner was Jack Douglas. this had a jack screw operated by the passenger to tilt the sidecar. The location is Lofy's place of business in Ilfracombe, Devon.

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2018/1932TT/Lofty-outfit-with-banking-chair.jpg)

Unfortunately there is not a heck of a lot that can be gleaned from the bike relating to the 1932-4 Works bikes.

In a hand written and difficult to read letter on Loft'y company letterhead "E.J. Daniell, Motor Engineer, ESTB. 1946" "Motor cycle sales, repairs and overhauls. Racing and sport car tuning specialist. All British and Continental models." "Works, Hostle Park, Ilfracombe:, dated March 30, 1969:

Quote
Dear Mr. Bhorly (?)

Many thanks for your reply to my Ad. I have had a great many replies and under the circumstances have decided to give the entitled the chance of making an offer. I will sell the 596 as a Solo and fit the Banking chair to one of my other Racing jobs.

The 596cc is complete with petrol and Dope Pistons, 15 to 1 Reduced to 10 to 1, 45-45 camshaft, Solid Flywheel with high foot ch Box on Top Rear cyl.

Twin exhaust pipes also another with Brooklands can. Twin Racing AMAC's going into large Air Box. Large Rear Sprocket 59T for Hill climbs, Grass Track, Etc. Tele forks fitted but Girder Forks with Douglas Front wheel still available to bring back to Post Vintage Spec.  Whilst Photos are scarce until more printed, Enclosed is a recent one.

<<< Paragraph about a Blue Chief omitted>>>

I have raced the Outfit at Brands Hatch, Cadwell, Aerodrome circuts, Hill climbs, Sprints, Grass Track, and S/car Speedway. Jack Douglas was previous owner and still holds mountain record at Brookland and not likely to be beaten now!!!

(signed)

The photo mentioned in the letter I presume being the one shown above.

Google street view shows the present day location of "The Works", approximately at #3 Hostel Park Rd. Presumably Lofty was running his Motor Engineering business out of one or more of the garage lockups.

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2018/1932TT/3-Hostel-Park-Rd-Ilfracombe-2.jpg)

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2018/1932TT/3-Hostel-Park-Rd-Ilfracombe-1.jpg)

The end of the wall is a distinctive landmark as is the bay window in the next house down the hill.

-Doug


[Fix typos.  23May21 -Doug]
 
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 22 May 2021 at 11:31
Great stuff, Doug. I particularly liked the sleuthing re the scene of the photo!

The Daniell bike could be the bike on which Jack Douglas set the Mountain Circuit lap record in April 1931, well developed. Or maybe even a 1932 TT job owned some time later by Jack Douglas, but this seems less likely. So hard in the absence of detailed photos or, better still, examination of the machine itself. Has it survived?

Your post also led me to your post elsewhere about the Lofty Daniell Endeavour. That's quite a machine, and a reminder that  a bike like the banking sidecar Douglas, well raced by Daniell in the 1950s, was not maintained with an eye to originality!

Cheers

Leon

By the way, did you notice Harry Potter's Ford Anglia in the photo?
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Doug on 23 May 2021 at 15:09
Leon,

While I saw the car parked there (must not have been a double yellow line there at that time  :) ) I did not recognize the make and model. Maybe Lofty was going to tune it up so it would really fly...   :roll:

-Doug
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 25 May 2021 at 10:50
Doug, I second Leon's comments on the E.J. Daniell Machine and your investigations into the location that the picture was taken! Great stuff  :).

I noticed that the date of the letter was March 1969. Is the enquiry from 1969 in Motor Sport Magazine, that Leon found previously, about the same machine or another ex Jack Douglas outfit?? . The enquiry appears to speculate that it was used at Brooklands after 1934 by Jack. I will have to investigate further on that but I have not found anything of Jack's exploits at Brooklands after that year so far.

The sidecar TT was proposed around January 1933 and abandoned due to lack of entries (8 in one account and  a few more in another) and didn't run in 1934 either - not resurrected until the 1950's after being last run in 1925.

Maybe the enquiry was submitted by the purchaser of Lofty's outfit, or maybe by Lofty himself?

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

I have found that Lofty Daniells raced his 596cc outfit at Croft Airfield in 1950. He did not place in the top four. Still looking for more` results.....and of course pictures.

Cheers

Ian
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 25 May 2021 at 11:55
That's a good spot. It would make sense if someone bought the (weird non-Dixon) banking outfit from Daniell in mid-1969, together with the story of the Jack Douglas ownership, and wrote to Motor Sport looking for more info.

I must be a bad person, because I don't believe much of what I read, thus my skepticism of "built for the the 1934 Sidecar TT race", "later raced at Brooklands by Jack Douglas" and so on.

However Daniell's bike in Doug's photo could have been an old racer, could have been the bike used by Jack Douglas to set the Mountain Circuit sidecar record in 1931, and could be frame OF 218 and engine 10. If Danniell acquired the bike pre 1950, when the bike was only 20-or-so years old, he could have known if an earlier owner was Jack Douglas, but notice that Daniell doesn't say "this is the bike Jack Douglas raced at Brooklands", or even "I bought the bike from Jack Douglas". It could just be an old racer story...

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 03 Jun 2021 at 07:17
......
I must be a bad person, because I don't believe much of what I read, thus my skepticism of "built for the the 1934 Sidecar TT race", "later raced at Brooklands by Jack Douglas" and so on.

......
Leon

 :) No problem with being a sceptic Leon! I guess tho' thesedays we have the advantage of the internet to at least be able to easily check up on some of the dates and details of events. I agree tho' some of it (or all....!) could just be a old racers tale.

Speaking of the advantages of the internet here are a couple of pictures of Bejarano from AS magazine 7th July 1932. I will try and translate the article attached to it when I get a chance (unless anyone else wants to have a go! :-) ).

Cheers

Ian

Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 03 Jun 2021 at 08:53
Great stuff! June 1932 is TT time, but these photos show Bejarano on what is (presumably) a 1931 Senior TT Douglas, itself a fabulous machine.

I revisited a photo of Bejarano back near the start of this thread https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=5444.msg31650#msg31650 which shows him with the 1932 TT Douglas in Spain, and another racy Douglas. However I am sure that bike is a racy roadster and not 1931 TT.

The other machine is a Model 90 TT Sunbeam, dating from 1930 at the latest. Sunbeam won the TT in 1929, was competitive but outclassed in 1930, and faded after that. Tempting to think this could be a 1930 Sunbeam factory bike, but I have no real idea of Sunbeam involvement in Spain in the early 1930s.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 03 Jun 2021 at 11:04
Leon,

Here is where it might get interesting tho';

Bejarano appears to have been in the 1932 TT as a private entry (incorrect spelling of his name, but a short piece in The Brisbane Courier a month later spells his name correctly. Bit strange the information was so late but maybe just a filler?), So possibly he entered on the machine shown in the pictures above?. Seems he crashed on his first circuit. Williams also was in the wars...and hospital. Bejarano appears to be a non starter in the senior TT tho' according to the official results online. Looks like C.T. Atkins did some practice on the 1932 TT Douglas but also non starter? Some more investigating to do.....

(Edit: Possibly the delay in reporting background information on the TT a month late was due to the time it took the U.K. Newspapers to get to Australia? Not sure.)

Maybe Bejarano's involvement in the TT led to him securing one of the works bikes to take back to Spain? (....maybe also to replace his own machine if it was damaged beyond repair?).

Might be more clues in the Spanish article so I will have to have a go at translating it!

Poor sheep BTW!

cheers

Ian
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 03 Jun 2021 at 11:59
Hi Ian,

Atkins was the reserve rider for the Douglas team at the 1932 TT, and would have practiced on the spare bike with the D number plate. https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=5444.msg32051#msg32051

When Williams crashed in practice injuring his knee, it was Bejarano - not Atkins - who was mooted as a possible replacement rider in the race. As outlined somewhere higher up, Bejarano practiced on Williams' bike, and crashed it at exactly the same place that Williams had crashed.

Williams recovered sufficiently to ride in the race.

Cheers

Leon

https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=5444.msg32068#msg32068

https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=5444.msg32205#msg32205

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Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 04 Jun 2021 at 01:58
Leon,

I didn't re-read all of your previous posts and some of the finer details were lost on me, possibly due to the length of this thread! I knew Williams raced as he is listed in the official results as DNF. But only two starters out of 4 Douglas machines and 5 riders?

[EDIT: 3 starters I accidentally missed Johnston from the official record as he is listed as riding a Cotton.]

The question I was pondering was how did Bejarano get to ride a Douglas factory TT bike when he was not one of the four riders originally listed? If I had translated the article in AS Madrid 7th June 1932 I would have answered my question!.....(why do something today when you can put it off until tomorrow?...or something like that!).

Using Google translate certainly sped things up tho' and the results are below. I think one can get the jist of the article even if it didn't convert 100% to readable English. I did it paragraph by paragraph - hopefully that doesn't make it too unreadable? If so let me know and I will re-do it.

"....
Un español camino de ser "as" de la motocicleta en Inglaterra
Luis Bejarano, el co rre d o r vizcaíno, disputará el
Tourist Trophy de la Isla del Hombre
Su viaje a Inglaterra. Sus impresiones de Brookiands,
la "Meca" de los fervientes del motorismo

A Spaniard on the way to being a motorcycle “ace” in English
Luis Bejarano, the Biscayan runner, will contest the isle del Hombre Tourist Trophy
Your Trip to England. Your impressions of Brooklands the “Mecca” for motorcyclists


Apenas trasceniJio fuera del ambiente motorista local la noticia de su marcha i
a Ingrlaterra. Un reducido grupo de amigos le despidieron para la travesia cuando i
el subio a bordo. Y unas linea8--breves—en la Prensa dando cuenta del viaje: '
' Luis Bejnrano. el corredor "amateur” vizcaino de motocicletas, ha salido para •
Bristol, solicitados sus servicios por una importante factoria britanica.” Los an- i
clonados, que ca.sualmente se enteraron de su marcha, todo lo mas que de el
esperaba la mayoria de ellos era que regresase dominando la fonetica del "all
rlghf’. Que la Gran Bretafla es al motorismo lo que al boxeo los Estados Unidos...

The news of his departure barely transcended outside the local motorcyclist milieu.
to England. A small group of friends dismissed him for the journey when i
he got on board. And some linea8 - brief - in the Press reporting the trip: '
'Luis Bejerano. the "amateur" Biscayan motorcycle racer, has come out to Bristol, requested their services by an important British factory. " The years i
cloned, who occasionally found out about his departure, everything more than him
expected most of them was that he would return mastering the phonetics of "all
right '. That Great Britain is to motorcycling what the United States is to boxing ...


Un dia bace ya muchos dias de esto— el "rojo” se decidio por el pequeno
motor sobre dos ruedas: una inscripcion para participar en una de las pruebas
locales organizadas por Pena Motorista Vizcaya. Gano. De desconocido paso a
•ser el heroe de la jomada. Este exito facil le animo a mayores empresas. De entonces
a aca, su nombre nunca falto como el de un concurrente en las carreras
nacionales e Internacionales de la Pena: Castrejana, Autzagana. el Cristo. Guecbo-
Berango... tln todas las pruebas evidencio un estilo limpio, elegante, una habilidad
y una audacia poco comunes. Asi. al comenzar la temporada de 1931. Bejarano
estaba cerca de ser un “as” nacional, y para confirmar esta su valia,
encargo a Inglaterra una motocicleta pura raza Isla de Man, que es tanto como
ilecir. refiriendose a un caballo, un "pura sangre” . Y se lanzo...

One day after many days of this— the "red" decided on the little one
motor on two wheels: an entry to participate in one of the tests
venues organized by Peña Motorista Vizcaya. Won. From unknown he went to
be the hero of the day. This easy success encouraged bigger companies. Then
here, his name was never missing like that of a competitor in the races
National and International Peña: Castrejana, Autzagana. Christ. Guecbo-
Bejarano ... In all the tests showed a clean, elegant style, an ability
and an uncommon audacity. Thus. at the beginning of the 1931 season. Bejarano
he was close to being a national "ace", and to confirm his worth,
commissioned an Isle of Man purebred motorcycle from England, which is as much as
read. referring to a horse, a "thoroughbred." And he launched himself ...


Aquel ano Bejarano establecio primero el "record" de Castrejana. y siguio
despues a Saint-Gautlens, <londe lucho con las primeras figuras francesas por
el Grand Prix de Comminges, y una ‘panne” de motor le hizo perder la victoria,
de la que estuvo a ilos dedos... Basto, sin embargo, lo hecho por el en Francia
para revelar su cla.se internacional, y, como consecuencia, tuvo la de que los
Ingle.ses lomasen nota de su nombre: "Bejarano is a good rider", dijeron ellos.
Mas tarde, dos expertos britanicos, "Jim” Douglas y Jack Clapbman, examinaron
al ^'izcaino en el I I Circuito Internacional de Guecho-Berango y Campeonato de
Espana. Gano Aranda el titulo, pero el "rojo” , sin tocar la victoria, acredito otra
vez el merito de .su.s "maneras” de corredor; iba segimdo cuando abandono, y lo
que hizo era algo mas que lo que de el e.speraban los de Bristol.

That year Bejarano first set the "record" for Castrejana. And followed
then to Saint-Gautlens, <londe fought with the first French figures for
the Grand Prix de Comminges, and an engine 'panne' made him lose the victory,
of which he was at the fingertips ... It was enough, however, what he did in France
to reveal his international class, and, as a consequence, had that of
Ingle.ses lomasen note of his name: "Bejarano is a good rider," they said.
Later, two British experts, "Jim" Douglas and Jack Claphman, examined
al ^ 'izcaino in the I I Guecho-Berango International Circuit and Championship of
Spain. Aranda won the title, but the "red", without touching the victory, credited another
You see the merit of his "ways" as a runner; he was second when he left, and what he did was more than what the Bristolians expected of him.

Una carta y un telegrama de Douglas en 1932:
"Venga usted aqui—le dicen a Bejarano—. Todo
listo para hacer su carrera." Desoyendo familiares
consejos, dejando de lado una situacion “ confortable", atendio la llamada
aventurera. Subio a bordo y enfilo la ruta de Cardlff.
Bristol: entrada en la primera manufactura inglesa de motocicletas, aprendizaje
en los departamentos ex|>erimentales, pruebas en carretera, 'visto bueno de
los directores para su capacidad. Ellos confian en el temple del vizcaino. Y se
dispone la construccion de una "montura” especial para el, su ingreso en el equipo
de carreras de la casa y la proteccion de Clapbman, el mejor preparador. Los
pronosticos mas halagilefios de sus amigos espanoles estaban rebasados: Bejarano
compartia ya las tareas de los "ases” de la marca.

A letter and a telegram from Douglas in 1932:
"Come here," they say to Bejarano.
ready to make his career. "Ignoring relatives
advice, leaving aside a "comfortable" situation, he answered the call
adventuress. He climbed aboard and headed for the Cardiff route.
Bristol: entry into the first English motorcycle manufacture, apprenticeship
in experimental departments, road tests, 'approval of
directors for their ability. They trust the mettle of the Biscayan. And
has the construction of a special "mount" for him, his joining the team
racing house and the protection of Chapman, the best trainer. The
more flattering predictions of his Spanish friends were exceeded: Bejarano
already shared the tasks of the "aces" of the brand.


Ahora va a disputar las carreras mas famosas. Esta acampado en 'M'eybridge,
junto a la pista mas famosa del mundo: Brookiands. ~ ^
.Quereis conocer las impresiones del famoso "track” ?
" L A IL U S IO N D E M I V ID A
"Una de las mayores Ilusiones del motorista espanol es conocer Brookiands.
Pues ya lo be visto y he rodado a 100 millas por hora (unos 160 kilometros);
be fisgoneado todo lo que he podido,., y he pasado cinco dias saturandome de
ruidos y penetrado por el olor de la mezcla quemada.
!

Now he is going to compete in the most famous races. He's camped out at Weybridge,
next to the most famous track in the world: Brookiands. ~ ^
Do you want to know the impressions of the famous "track"?
"L A IL U S IO N D E M I V ID A
"One of the greatest illusions of the Spanish motorcyclist is to know Brookiands.
Well, I have already seen it and I have rolled at 100 miles per hour (about 160 kilometers);
I've been snooping around as much as I can, and I've spent five days saturating myself with
noises and penetrated by the smell of the burned mixture.

......."


Apologies for the long text on this post (...and no pictures!). So Bejarano was invited to go and ride in the 1932 TT by Douglas not a private entrant as I was guessing. He also commissioned the "'31 TT" spec bike for himself and his nickname was possibly "Red".

If I get time I will tidy up the translation.

Cheers

Hutch


[add bold formatting 03Jun21. -Doug, Admin]
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 04 Jun 2021 at 03:54
I knew Williams raced as he is listed in the official results as DNF. But only two starters out of 4 Douglas machines and 5 riders?

C'mon - there are only 172 posts to keep up with! Three Douglases started: Longman finished, Williams and Johnston both dropped out after completing two laps. https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=5444.msg31710#msg31710

It's a pity we don't have a photo showing 4 Douglases at the TT in 1932 - my best guess is that there were four, but I've only ever seen three in the same photo. Surely they had a spare bike.

My understanding of the TT at the time was that an ENTRANT made an entry, specifying a RIDER and a MACHINE. In the case of the 1932 Senior, it seems that Douglas Motors entered three Douglases, specifying Longman, Williams and Johnston as the three riders. (They were listed at the three Douglss riders in the Motor Cycle 2 June.) Reserve riders were probably also nominated, likely Atkins and (maybe) Bejarano.

To start the race, a rider had to qualify by completing a number of practice laps (maybe four or five) on the machine entered (or a very similar one of the same make). This is why Atkins and Bejarano were practicing on the spare machine - with "D" instead of a racing number. This was non-negotiable:no qualify, no start.

Also non-negotiable (sort of - it's complicated) was swapping the make of machine. If a rider qualifies on a Douglas, he can't ride a Norton in the race, and if an entrant enters a Douglas he can't start a Norton in the race.

But, under some circumstances, a RIDER can be changed.

(This all played out in Senior TT in 1930 when mega-star Wal Handley was entered on an FN, which didn't work out, and had to jump through many hoops to get a start on a Rudge. He eventually did this by taking over Jim Whalley's entry on a private Rudge, qualifying on a "spare" Works Rudge, then duly winning the race.)

Thus Atkins and Bejarano were "reserve riders", without an entry in the race. Ready to fill in if needed, although it seems Bejarano probably didn't do enough practice laps to qualify.

Reading the Spanish article, it's clear that Bejarano ended up with one of the 1931 TT Douglases in Spain, as per the photo. (We have  wondered previously whether Babl ended up with another.)

Also the description of Bejarano doing lots of laps at Brooklands at around 100 mph is interesting. I wonder if he was summoned by Douglas to put some miles on the TT bikes prior to the TT? Atkins was testing the engines in his track bike, maybe Bejarano did laps with the complete TT bikes? We know that he actually raced a Douglas at the Motor Cycle meeting at Brooklands in the lead up to the TT. https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=5444.msg32205#msg32205

Anyway, all good stuff. I seriously doubt that Bejarano was ever entered for the TT, but at least he got to throw a leg over a pretty decent bike and have a go.

Leon



Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 04 Jun 2021 at 04:58
Leon,

Here is the entrants for Douglas (from Western Daily Press 14th May 1932) - no Bejarano listed, but I think he was, as you suggested, a late entrant - possibly as William's was potentially out due to injury. I didn't translate all of the Spanish article previously - as it goes for another page - but this is at the end;

".....
A l final de esta carta, el "rojo” nos expresaba su esperanza
de participar en ei Tourist Trophy de la Isla de Man. Posteriormente.
el telegrafo ha confirmado la noticia.
Bejarano se alineara en la mas famosa carrera de motocicletas
del mundo, formando parte del equipo oficial de una gran
factoria inglesa.
A. F. NAVA

At the end of this letter, the "Red" expressed his hope
to participate in the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy. Subsequently.
the telegraph has confirmed the news.
Bejarano will line up in the most famous motorcycle race
of the world, being part of the official team of a great
English factory.
A. F. NAVA"


Not sure what date Bejarano became officially part of the Douglas team but looks like Douglas had more riders than bikes for the start of the Senior or as you suggest maybe Bejarano didn't end up qualifying and William's recovered enough to race.

cheers

Ian


Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 04 Jun 2021 at 05:19
Leon,

Here is a report for the 1932 Senior TT from the IOM Examiner which has a little bit of information regarding William's and Johnston's demise. Well done to Longman for managing to finish.

Official race record has Paddy Johnston on a Cotton!! that is why I missed him - silly me.

https://www.iomtt.com/tt-database/events/races?meet_code=TT32&race_seq=3

cheers

Ian

Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 05 Jun 2021 at 04:53
Seems that Bejarano was competing on the 1932 TT Douglas for a few years?. This is from AS Madrid 6th July 1936 possibly at Urquiola (more translations to do). There is at least one more picture of Bejarano and a few race results. I will dig some more info. up when I get a chance.

EDIT: Spanish Civil war started in 1936.

Cheers

Ian
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 05 Jun 2021 at 08:10
Seems that Bejarano was competing on the 1932 TT Douglas for a few years?

Indeed he did. https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=5444.msg32299;topicseen#msg32299

Nice to see such a clear photo of the off side of the Bejarano machine. The gear change is still pivoted on its intended lug on the air box, in contrast to the "workshop photo" bike that had a heel-toe lever pivoted on the foot rest. Presumably the Bejarano bike lived and died (or survives) in Spain.

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 05 Jun 2021 at 08:43
Also of interest is that Bejarano's bike has lost its 8" Enfield front brake. Not sure what its replacement is, but given the cable anchor and cam positions, not Douglas?

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Hutch on 07 Jul 2021 at 01:57
Here we have Bejarano on the '32 TT Douglas at Bilboa (which he won) from AS Madrid 28 May 1934.

-Ian
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: roger h on 21 Dec 2021 at 21:38
The ex Daniells bike and banking sidecar are now with Verralls. The banking outfit is controlled through a gearbox on one of the sidecar frame tubes, the controls for this control box pass to the left hand twistgrip! The rest of the bike consists of what appears to be a 1926? TT frame and Triumph? forks, and DT/SW engine.
Roger
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 26 Dec 2021 at 06:13
Hi Roger,
That's interesting, but the bike is not on the Verrall's website? It would be interesting to see if the bike has the TT frame OF218 as discussed above.
Cheers
Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: Doug on 01 Jan 2022 at 05:40
Quote
It would be interesting to see if the bike has the TT frame OF218...

Though it does not seem to be on their website yet, the Douglas banking outfit Verralls will be listing is indeed frame OF218. So a 1926-28 TT/I.o.M. model rather than a Works bike from the thirties.

The pictures I have seen of the sidecar chassis do not really look like typical Douglas sidecar practice. Even disregarding the novel banking feature, the general tube layout and joint details of the lugs just do not look similar.

-Doug
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: cardan on 02 Jan 2022 at 21:43
Hi Doug,

That's interesting - so the bike is definitely the one mentioned in Motor Sport in 1969 https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=5444.msg31834#msg31834 and (presumably) shown in the photo that you posted above https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=5444.msg34285#msg34285

Back then, in 1969 at least, it had engine number 10, which was probably something interesting, but according to the Machine Register it now has a DT engine. Is anything known about "10"?

If it is the ex-Jack Douglas Brooklands sidecar lap record holder (and who knows, but is probably the most likely of the many claimants), maybe "10" was a 750 version of the 1931 TT engine?

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: 1932 TT Douglas
Post by: roger h on 09 Jan 2022 at 11:22
I agree about the sidecar chassis - although it is a well engineered job, it isn't like anything I've ever seen produced by Douglas. Regarding the engine, I saw at least 2 engines when I called at Verralls last summer, very lax of me not to have noted the numbers, sorry chaps.
By the way, who is the chap in Australia selling all the DT /SW parts on e bay?
Roger