Author Topic: Help in identifying a prewar Douglas  (Read 7089 times)

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Offline harris speedster

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Help in identifying a prewar Douglas
« on: 09 Feb 2012 at 19:42 »
I have searched many pictures trying to ID the make and model of this Douglas.
Dave is posting the pictures, as I am terrible with cutting and pasting.

Hope someone can help me out.
The bike belongs to a good friend of mine.
He purchased it around 40 years ago.
Warmest regards,
John
Nebo Illinois









« Last Edit: 09 Feb 2012 at 22:06 by Dave »

Offline Dave

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Re: Help in identifying a prewar Douglas
« Reply #1 on: 09 Feb 2012 at 22:07 »
Photos added.

Offline David Lawrence

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Re: Help in identifying a prewar Douglas
« Reply #2 on: 09 Feb 2012 at 22:43 »
Hi John,
Interesting photographs, I am certain that you will very quickly assisted with an identification. I know of several regular contributors who will be able to help. However I would be very interested in the frame, engine and gearbox numbers so that we can fit the bike into the London Douglas machine register, all info on the overhead valve Douggies helps expand or fill gaps in our information. We may even have details of some of its history!
I am in regular touch with Len Boydell our present registrar and I know he will be interested in the bike.
Dave.
email is dougregister@sky.com

Offline Doug

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Re: Help in identifying a prewar Douglas
« Reply #3 on: 09 Feb 2012 at 23:12 »
John,

It is a 1934 OW(500cc) or OW1 (600cc) Douglas. You will be able to determine this (assuming it has not been altered over the years, by the engine prefix of 5/G or 6/G (500 or 600 respectively.) I would say it is a 1935 model, as in that year Douglas added a removable rear section of the back mudguard to facilitate tyre changes. Also in 1935, though I am not sure all were so, Douglas reverted to enclosing the carburetor within an airbox.

Pictures of OW/OW1s can be found here:

Third image down, 1934 model.
https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=765.msg2506#msg2506

750cc version (build to special order)
https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=3825.msg13830#msg13830

I thought I had uploaded a picture of my 1934 OW1 to the gallery, but after an exhaustive search I see it must have been one of those things on the 'to do' list. I'll see about getting something scanned.

I will be interesting to see what the numbers are, as I keep personal (short) list of all the OW/OW1 models extant.

-Doug

Offline harris speedster

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Re: Help in identifying a prewar Douglas
« Reply #4 on: 09 Feb 2012 at 23:37 »
First off, wish to thank Dave for helping me post the pictures and for the prompt and courteous reply.

A special thanks to Doug, your global moderator herein for contacting me via a private message I sent him this afternoon.

Doug is a walking and talking encylopedia of these bikes, was super impressed by his historical knowledge and I am sure he is valued within the site.

He informed me of the little tid bits the bike was missing, generally though, I guess she is pretty much intact and correct.
For the other readers herein:
 doug said it was in all probability a 1935, told me the numbers would identify it for sure.
She is a OW-1 model/series, 500 or 600 cc, said that either a 5 or a 6 prefix in the serial #, will tell the story of that.
I brought up that we thought it was a 1936, doug said perhaps, a left over sold as a 1936.
He added that a slit in the rear fender made him beleive it is not a 1934, there again, the numbers will tell the story.
Guess she is quite rare as Doug mentioned, maybe 25 made, and 9 now known to exist.
 
It last ran about 40 years ago, then it was parked inside of a warehouse.

Dave Lawrence & Doug, >>will most definetly get you the numbers off of the chassis and engine.
It is located in a different location from where I live, so it may be a few days>>> will follow through though.
Doug told me that they probably would not match as the engines were set into the bikes as they were being built and no real order was kept.

Would be cool to know where it was delivered when new, if that info does surface through records.

With respect and warmest regards,thank you guys !!!!
John
Home of the first futuristic exotic automobile in the world, the 1935 Harris fwd Speedster, with 15 firsts still used, even though modernized, to this very day !!!.
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Offline harris speedster

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Re: Help in identifying a prewar Douglas
« Reply #5 on: 09 Feb 2012 at 23:45 »
Doug,
In the links and their pictures, it looks like the 750cc engine has the aluminum at the front of the cylinder jug, and the other 500-600 cc picture has a different configuration, not blocked looking like the one in question?

Could this engine be a special order 750?
With respect and warmest reagrds,
john

Offline Doug

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Re: Help in identifying a prewar Douglas
« Reply #6 on: 10 Feb 2012 at 00:05 »
John,

The rocker cover is cast aluminum. These were the same casting on all capacities of OW/OW1, and were left over engine parts from the 1931-32 OHV models. The cylinders and heads are cast iron.

The 750 on this forum is missing its front cylinder head and rocker gear.

-Doug

Offline harris speedster

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Re: Help in identifying a prewar Douglas
« Reply #7 on: 23 May 2012 at 16:46 »
Finally did get to the Douglas to get the numbers we located on the bike for the registry.

We did not find numbers on the chassis, took me quite a while to get the elderly owner of the Bike to drive 75 miles and dig through his warehouse to get these though.
Trans number; K108
Engine crankcase number; K108
Mag number; BTH

Another set of numbers,>> type AS4
and K46458

Do these help to identify if it is a 35 or a 36, or a 500-600 or 750 cc?
OW-1 or OW-2  ????
Warmest regards,
John



« Last Edit: 23 May 2012 at 21:13 by harris speedster »

Offline Doug

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Re: Help in identifying a prewar Douglas
« Reply #8 on: 24 May 2012 at 01:11 »
John,

The K prefix on the trans narrows it to a 1935 footchange gearbox. However K108 as an engine serial code does not make sense. For a 1935 it should be 5/I for a 500cc or 6/I for a 600cc. 5/F or 6/G would be the prefix codes for 1934, the numeral denoting the capacity as in the previous example. There was only one 750cc built, and that is accounted for. Also it would be unlikely that the gearbox and engine numbers would match (i.e. engine #8 and trans #8.) Douglas made no effort to match number on engine/frame/trans until 1938 onward. I suspect it is a duplication error in gathering the numbers. The engine serial number will be on the top of the crankcase alongside the magneto.

The frame number will be there, but it is under the saddle and behind theprimary chain guard and can be hard to read or infilled with paint. Both years used the same prefix FR/ insofar as I have been able to determine, nor was there any difference for capacity.

The BTH is a DynoMag, BTH's answer to the Lucas MagDyno. The Lucas MagDyno is the correct fitment for 1934-35 OW/OW1. The BTH DynoMag was fitted to the 1931-32 F/G models (predecessor to the OW/OW1) if the option of electrics was ordered. The BTH should have type PBKV50 stamped on the brass plate. By 1934 the Lucas electric lighting was fitted to the OW/OW1 whether you wanted it or not (may have been a legal requirement by then.)

The codes AS4 and K46458 do not mean anything to me.
 
Doug


Offline harris speedster

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Re: Help in identifying a prewar Douglas
« Reply #9 on: 24 May 2012 at 13:25 »
Doug,
The owner called me back after I posted.
He gave me these other numbers>>> 6G119>> from the crankcase.

In looking at the pics, and him owning it for over 35 years, I would like to believe that the trans, mag etc is all original to the bike when built.

Did get a few other pics his son took yesterday, seems the gas and oil caps and other parts are bone stock and original.The gauge in the gas tank is original and quite nice actually.
I guess that the only missing parts are the instrument mount that goes above the handle bars???

We are either going to sell the bike or start a restoration to a concour level, the long term owner is undecided?
If he decides to restore it, will be picking everybody's brain herein the site for exacting details.
John

HOME OF THE WORLDS FIRST FUTURISTIC EXOTIC AUTOMOBILE, NO BIGGER THAN A D-TYPE JAG OR A AC COBRA, BUT MANY DECADES BEFORE EITHER !!!
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« Last Edit: 24 May 2012 at 13:52 by harris speedster »

Offline harris speedster

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Re: Help in identifying a prewar Douglas
« Reply #10 on: 10 Jun 2012 at 17:10 »
I finally did get the serial number off of the frame for the Douglas registry. Hope it helps to fill in the sites records for history sake.

The frame number is FR-123 D.
Pretty cool that it is 1-2-3 !!!!!
Trans number; K-108>>> and two sets of stamed # 20
Engine crankcase number; 6- C or G -119
Mag number; BTH
Another set of numbers,>> type AS4
and K46458

It has a unique double staming on one of the original gas tank caps and a super nice gauge face.

We loosened the gauge plate on the tank, looks like it was a british racing green color with a black frame for sure.

The gauge cluster face plate is original to the bike and has just one gauge.
Seems like it will fire up and drive down the road, as it was stored and drained properly, will see in a few days.

If anyone from the Registry desires further notes or facts for historical documentation for Douglas's, please let me know.
I promised that I would come back and post what we found out, always like being a man of my word.

Decision is being made on either to restore it ar offer it for sale !!!
Warmest regards,
John





Now, is it a 1935 or 36>>>>> OW-1 ?

Offline David Lawrence

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Re: Help in identifying a prewar Douglas
« Reply #11 on: 11 Jun 2012 at 00:17 »
Hi John,
Thanks for posting the information. You will be pleased to know that it fits well into our records, thin as they are for the OW series, I do not know if Doug has any evidence of the number Douglas produced but our assumption is not many well below a 100, all the frame and engine numbers we have fall between 100 and 150.
Your frame number is in the middle of our existing range, as in fact is the engine number, almost certainly proving the bike is complete as it left the works. Can't be so sure about the mag though.
FR123, I guess there has to be one with the numbers in sequence! the D is most likely the Douglas trade mark which was a D for Douglas with the K for Kingswood superimposed (Does Doug's Avatar imply he was made by Douglas in Kingswood Bristol!!!! :lol: :lol:)
The engine number would be 6G119 The 6 confirming the capacity, G the model and of course the 119 probably the 19th built as Douglas often started a model fom 100. K108 for the transmission is the only one we have on record, I am certain that Doug will be in a position to offer more info on this if you ever need it.
We would place the age as 1935 model OW1 because of the frame number and the K designated footchange gearbox.
I will ensure that the data is included in the next machine register, hopefully to be published in the next couple of months.
Dave

Offline Doug

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Re: Help in identifying a prewar Douglas
« Reply #12 on: 11 Jun 2012 at 02:48 »
John, Dave,

The highest frame number I know so far of for the OW/OW1 series is 129. Speculation is they probably did not make but thirty or thirty-five over the 1934-35 season. If higher numbers turn up in the next edition of the machine register, then that presumption will have to be revised! Generally numbering started at 101.

According to "The Best Twin", 1935 engine should have a 5/I or 6/I. However evidence on the ground suggests that Kingswood continued to use the 1934 engine prefixes. There is only one engine I know of using the */I, but several using 5/F & 6/G that are candidates for production in 1935 due to their 'higher" serial numbers. 

-Doug

Offline harris speedster

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Re: Help in identifying a prewar Douglas
« Reply #13 on: 17 Jun 2012 at 13:51 »
Dave,
So glad that I could be of benefit in documenting an odd time in Douglas history.

Another wierd and quircky thing is the single gauge in the tank instr cluster.

There is actually some writting on the underside of the cluster plate, as well as writting and notes from a previous owner of the bike for carb adj inside the carb air cleaner box.

I truly believe that the Douglas currently has the original parts, as it was built.
Found a really cool brass tag on the seat, seems it was an optional seat when new.
Will get you some pics with further detail for the clubs records.

Warmest regards,
John


 

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