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Dave

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Advice sought on 1926 bike

Started by boofly, 19 Sep 2004 at 04:16

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boofly

I have spent an interesting hour or so viewing a Douglas 1926 bike sitting in a shed.  The bike last ran in the late '80s, but the owner says it will still work.  It looks pretty complete, but now has a light surface coating of rust spots.  The paintwork on the tank is ok -- just a bit discoloured.  The mudguards, frame, etc., would probably need a good repaint.   I'm writing to the board to ask opinions on what would be a fair price to offer for this bike.  The owner says he isn't interested in selling, but one never knows.  I'd just like to get an idea of market value before offering something attractive.  Any opinions welcome.  I hope I haven't broached some protocol amongst owners -- if so, sorry!
Thanks

Doug

You first need to determine what model Douglas you were looking at.  They were still making the venerable and long in the tooth 2-3/4hp models TS and CW at the low end of the range.  The 350 and 600cc EW sv were new.  And they had a sporty OC 600cc ohv and 500/600cc TT ohv machines at the top end.  And that is assuming it is a 1926, often folks get the date wrong for their machine.  

The 2-3/4hp models are by far the most common and are readily identifiable by inclined side valves, the TS was two-speed and belt drive and the CW three-speed and chain final drive.  The EW models were the new improved side valve models.  The 350cc had an engine prefix of YE and the 600cc EH.  If ohv, ED would be the OC model (with wedge shaped tank) and the EA/EB/EC the TT types.  These are much less common.  These prefixes assume it was a 1926.  

The side valves turn up on the online auction site reports often enough to get a feel for the current market value with a little research.  The ohv are whatever the owner feels like asking.  However a duff lower end can make them very expensive to put right.  

-Doug

boofly

Thanks for the quick reply.  Unfortunately I don't really know anything about bikes, nor what I was really looking at.  I just love the shape and style.  I'll try to give some idea of what I remember, though...

Quote from: "Doug"You first need to determine what model Douglas you were looking at.  They were still making the venerable and long in the tooth 2-3/4hp models TS and CW at the low end of the range.  The 350 and 600cc EW sv were new.  And they had a sporty OC 600cc ohv and 500/600cc TT ohv machines at the top end.  And that is assuming it is a 1926, often folks get the date wrong for their machine.  


I quote 1926 because that's what was on a metal part of the top of the engine section.  I recall a vertical surface, with a pointed/rounded top, and on the side were some letters (3, I think, don't recall, sorry) and underneath 1926 which I took to be the date.  About 6mm high, I'd guess.

Quote
The 2-3/4hp models are by far the most common and are readily identifiable by inclined side valves, the TS was two-speed and belt drive and the CW three-speed and chain final drive.  The EW models were the new improved side valve models.  The 350cc had an engine prefix of YE and the 600cc EH.  If ohv, ED would be the OC model (with wedge shaped tank) and the EA/EB/EC the TT types.  These are much less common.  These prefixes assume it was a 1926.  

It wasn't a belt-driven model.  It had a chain drive, and was definitely two valves.  I don't recall their orientation.

QuoteHowever a duff lower end can make them very expensive to put right.

I wouldn't even know what to look for.  One of the foot plate rests was missing, replaced with a wooden plank, but other than that it looked pretty solid.  The original headlight had been replaced, I think, and there was obviously something left-side of the bike under the saddle area where there was a sort of C-shaped bracket (like, if you were holding a drink bottle on a bike) which had nothing in it.  But apart from those minor things, I don't think there was much wrong with it.

Thanks again for your help.

alwyn

Quote from: "boofly"I have spent an interesting hour or so viewing a Douglas 1926 bike sitting in a shed.  ....cut....  I'd just like to get an idea of market value before offering something attractive.  Any opinions welcome.  I hope I haven't broached some protocol amongst owners -- if so, sorry!
Thanks

Hi 'Bloofly' - welcome to the Forum - thanks for joining.

There's no protocol breached by your question but it is a difficult one to answer - I guess from the owner's point of view the bike's worth as much as he can get for it! - it certainly sounds like a proposition for restoration though! - but firstly where in the world are you located?- can you identify the model? - is it a 350, 500or 600 cc? - can you secure a photo? - if so you might post it on the site or send it attached to Private Message (PM) for posting if you wish - can you obtain an engine and /or frame number? - these would help in identifying the bike.

About the paintwork, if there's rust apparent through the surface, be warned, don't under estimate the cost of a quality paint job - it can cost 'megabucks'!

My guess, and understand it is just my guess, is that here in Oz, if it was a basket case 350 with reasonable tinware and complete frame and mechanicals it might bring from $1500 to $3000 - the other extreme is if its a 500 or 600cc in neat condition and in good running order it may be worth in the order of $10 - $12000 or even more for a well restored (near concors) example not requiring too much or any further work.

Someone else in Oz or elsewhere, may like to comment but I suggest if it's possible, first see how much detail you can fossick out and post your query again.

Regards and best of luck!
Alwyn
Moderator

PS I see Doug was quicker than I to respond - had my reply drafted before reading his and your further notes - but as we both have said in effect, there's bikes and bikes and it depends greatly on model and condition.   A.
Quotable Quote - "640 k should be enough for anybody"! - Bill Gates - 1981.