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General => Douglas Motorcycles - General Discussion => Topic started by: PeterShannon on 30 Aug 2014 at 03:45

Title: Photo of Douglas Depot 1914 Grand Prix of Australia at Kirkconell NSW
Post by: PeterShannon on 30 Aug 2014 at 03:45
This Photo of the Douglas Depot was captioned "Douglas Riders at Delandros Depot, Grand Prix",
 so I assume this was taken in the Kirkconnell area.
 
No 14 , 4th from the left is Frank Meller on his 2 3/4 Douglas.

Edgar Meller who won the 5 October 1914 Grand Prix was also Douglas mounted so is most probably also in this photo, but not positively identified yet.

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/peter-shannon/2014/Mellers-at-the-Delandro-Douglas-Depot-Grand-Prix-900.jpg)
Title: Re: Photo of Douglas Depot 1914 Grand Prix of Australia at Kirkconell NSW
Post by: cardan on 30 Aug 2014 at 10:28

Great photo. It's pretty easy to identify the bikes, which are (left to right):

Reg. No. 4542, 3 1/2 h.p. (500cc) New Hudson(?) single
Reg. No. 5231, 3 1/2 h.p. (500cc) Abingdon King Dick single
Race No. 26, 2 3/4 h.p. (350cc) Douglas twin
Race No. 14, 2 3/4 h.p. (350cc) Douglas twin
Reg. No. ??, 2 3/4 h.p. (350cc) Douglas twin
Reg. No. 765, 2 3/4 h.p. (350cc) Douglas twin (love the rider's outfit!)
Reg. No. 4409, 5/6 h.p. (750cc) Rudge single
Reg. No. ??, 6 h.p. (770cc) Royal Enfield (J.A.P.) twin

The two Douglas bikes with race numbers (26 and 14) have matching non-standard carburettors, which seem to be AMACs fitted with long trumpets on the air inlet. A while back we had a look at some 2 3/4 h.p. TT Douglases of the same period, which were similar to the standard machines but had different cylinders, externally identified by extra fins around the inlet port. I wonder if the machine here were TT models or just worked-on standard machines.

The 750 Rudge single is in many ways the antithesis of the Douglas. Twice the capacity with half the number of cylinders, the Rudge had an astonishingly long stroke at 132mm.

Although the Douglas garage looks very agricultural, it's actually quite similar to many of the bases used by the teams in the Isle of Man in the early years. Less sophisticated than the workshop facilities at race meetings these days.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: Photo of Douglas Depot 1914 Grand Prix of Australia at Kirkconell NSW
Post by: graeme on 30 Aug 2014 at 10:44
Hi Peter
Comparing this picture to the other one you posted of Frank Delandro, it looks to me that the man on Douglas No. 26 and holding a dog is Frank Delandro. Assuming this, I think it is a fair guess that Edgar Meller is sitting on the Douglas on the other side of Frank Meller. There is certainly a similarity in face shape, and he is wearing the same type of racing clothes too. So it looks like the happy entrant is sitting on the winning machine.
As an aside to the detail with the other picture, I remember seeing a Precision engined Iris motorcycle in 1977 - it has since gone to ground. I have been trying to find its whereabouts for many years, obviously in a shed somewhere.
Cheers,
Graeme
Title: Re: Photo of Douglas Depot 1914 Grand Prix of Australia at Kirkconell NSW
Post by: PeterShannon on 02 Sep 2014 at 02:25
Hi Leon and Graeme,
I was hoping to get better scans of these photos before posting them on this forum, but it has not happened just yet.

I certainly thought the rider to the right of Frank Meller was Edgar Meller. Edgar was taller and thinner than Frank, and yes they did often wear similar attire.
There were only 3 Douglas machines among those who lined up for the start of that first 1914 Grand Prix. They were Frank and Edgar Meller and Jack Hughes(Bathurst MCC).

Although Frank Delandro was a regular competitor, he was not at the starting line on his Douglas. Delandro donated the prize for the fastest unplaced rider in that first 1914 Grand Prix. The prize was won by James Meller in 4th place, another Meller brother, on his Matchless.

The First place prize awarded to Edgar Meller and this 4th place prize awarded to James Meller will I believe be on display at the November 2014 Douglas Rally. I am hoping that the original photos will also be on display. Along with the Iris photos.


In conjunction with the 1914 Grand Prix there was also a Reliability Trial from Sydney to Yetholme in which there were at least 11 other 2 3/4 Douglas machines( Delandro was one of these 11 riders), besides the two of Edgar and Frank Meller's in the winning team.

Here is a link to the list of Riders and Machines in the 1914 Grand Prix and Reliability Trial:
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/15548034?searchTerm=Hughes douglas&searchLimits=l-decade=191|||l-state=New+South+Wales|||l-year=1914