Author Topic: 3 - Speed gearboxes 3 1/2 h.p & 4 h.p.  (Read 2188 times)

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Offline oil baron

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3 - Speed gearboxes 3 1/2 h.p & 4 h.p.
« on: 22 Oct 2012 at 09:14 »
Hi There
Further to my ramblings on the topic of Barn find sent in by willhall.  Rather than trust my ever decrepit memory, I decided to consult my files in which I found, a Road test report of a 3 1/2hp equipped with a sidecar, in the copy of The Motor Cycle of 21st May 1914 (for those of my vintage "the Blue u'n").  The report states;

  " The machine  submitted for trial was fitted with a three-speed counter shaft gear designed to replace the two speed, and which is an adaptation of the gear designed by Mr Moore, the patentee, who, it will be remembered, thoroughly tested a smaller edition on his 2 3/4 Humber.  We understand that this gear is to be a standard fitting in the future, when Messrs. Douglas Bros. have the plant in order for turning it out in sufficient quantities to supply their machines. "

I suspect that the 3 speed-gearbox was supplied initially, no doubt at extra cost, principally to machines supplied with a sidecar as in Graeme's case, and to special order until such times as Mr Douglas had used up all the 2-speed units, by which time I suspect the 4 h.p. was about to be unleashed in the first half of 1915. I think that the increase in capacity from 500cc to 600 cc was brought about by a Government order requiring machine suitable for pulling a sidecar. I have a vague feeling that maybe it was the Russian Forces may have ordered an early batch of 4 h.p. machines, certainly they were not commonly used by the British Forces in any numbers. Has anyone any further information on the reason for the capacity change.
Enough of my ramblings, but if anybody has a spare pair of front forks for a 3 1/2 hp hanging up in their shed I sure would be pleased to hear from you!

Regards Steve.L
Steve L

Offline graeme

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Re: 3 - Speed gearboxes 3 1/2 h.p & 4 h.p.
« Reply #1 on: 22 Oct 2012 at 11:41 »
Great stuff Steve!
My long held assumption confirmed - my outfit was so complete when my dad first got it (though in a very sorry state!) that it made sense that the gearbox was always there.
As to your enquiry about forks, I too could do with another set. Obviously with a set of forks to copy, I'm willing to find out what they might cost to get made. I know of a couple of others who are also on the lookout for forks - and as you know, they are not common. They were also built quite a bit more substantially by Douglas early in the piece, I presume when the first 4hp machines were produced, so the 3 1/2hp forks are particularly rare.
Cheers, Graeme