Author Topic: 1932 TT Douglas  (Read 11697 times)

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Offline Doug

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #50 on: 16 Jul 2020 at 03:23 »
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]
« Last Edit: 11 Aug 2020 at 00:45 by Doug »

Offline Doug

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #51 on: 25 Jul 2020 at 04:14 »
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.





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


Offline cardan

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #52 on: 28 Jul 2020 at 22:26 »
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

Offline cardan

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #53 on: 30 Jul 2020 at 07:12 »
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


Offline cardan

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #54 on: 31 Jul 2020 at 00:34 »
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

Offline Hutch

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #55 on: 02 Aug 2020 at 04:58 »
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

« Last Edit: 03 Aug 2020 at 06:18 by Hutch »

Offline cardan

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #56 on: 03 Aug 2020 at 03:28 »
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!]

Offline Hutch

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #57 on: 03 Aug 2020 at 23:57 »
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

Offline cardan

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #58 on: 04 Aug 2020 at 00:15 »
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.]
« Last Edit: 04 Aug 2020 at 00:35 by cardan »

Offline cardan

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #59 on: 04 Aug 2020 at 02:08 »
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

Offline Hutch

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #60 on: 04 Aug 2020 at 03:18 »
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
« Last Edit: 04 Aug 2020 at 03:52 by Hutch »

Offline cardan

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #61 on: 05 Aug 2020 at 00:21 »
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
« Last Edit: 17 Aug 2020 at 05:03 by cardan »

Offline Hutch

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #62 on: 06 Aug 2020 at 03:20 »
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
« Last Edit: 06 Aug 2020 at 10:28 by Hutch »

Offline cardan

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #63 on: 08 Aug 2020 at 02:00 »
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
« Last Edit: 08 Aug 2020 at 02:11 by cardan »

Offline cardan

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #64 on: 12 Aug 2020 at 03:56 »

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

Offline cardan

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #65 on: 14 Aug 2020 at 07:20 »
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
« Last Edit: 15 Aug 2020 at 03:35 by cardan »

Offline Doug

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #66 on: 14 Aug 2020 at 17:18 »
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

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #67 on: 14 Aug 2020 at 23:24 »
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.

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
« Last Edit: 15 Aug 2020 at 03:36 by cardan »

Offline cardan

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #68 on: 16 Aug 2020 at 11:00 »

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

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #69 on: 16 Aug 2020 at 17:02 »
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.



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!



-Doug

[Clarification.  -Doug 18Aug20]
« Last Edit: 16 Aug 2020 at 23:32 by Doug »

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #70 on: 16 Aug 2020 at 23:30 »
Interesting Doug. So there are cylinders, heads and con rods. Does a complete 1931/32 68 x 68 Douglas racing engine survive?

Leon

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #71 on: 17 Aug 2020 at 00:19 »
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

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #72 on: 17 Aug 2020 at 04:26 »
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

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #73 on: 17 Aug 2020 at 04:31 »
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





« Last Edit: 17 Aug 2020 at 05:33 by Hutch »

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #74 on: 17 Aug 2020 at 05:14 »
More on Runtsch at the Knowle Speedway.....and on a 750!!

-Ian

(Edit: from Western Daily Press Bristol 17th September 1930)

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #75 on: 17 Aug 2020 at 05:31 »
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


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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #76 on: 18 Aug 2020 at 07:50 »
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

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #77 on: 18 Aug 2020 at 08:03 »
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
« Last Edit: 18 Aug 2020 at 09:30 by Hutch »

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #78 on: 18 Aug 2020 at 09:45 »
Spotted on the internet - forgot to note the link but will try and find it again......

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #79 on: 18 Aug 2020 at 10:00 »
Hutch,

That is Peter Lee of Unity Equipe. The bike is the same I pictured here:



Though the caption says 1931, and I was told 1930. 

-Doug


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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #80 on: 18 Aug 2020 at 11:00 »
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

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #81 on: 18 Aug 2020 at 23:40 »
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
« Last Edit: 19 Aug 2020 at 08:19 by Hutch »

Offline cardan

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #82 on: 23 Aug 2020 at 08:34 »
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.]
« Last Edit: 25 Aug 2020 at 00:20 by cardan »

Offline Hutch

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #83 on: 23 Aug 2020 at 23:57 »
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


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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #84 on: 24 Aug 2020 at 01:30 »
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


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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #85 on: 24 Aug 2020 at 23:11 »
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

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #86 on: 25 Aug 2020 at 00:06 »
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

Offline cardan

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #87 on: 25 Aug 2020 at 07:47 »
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

Offline cardan

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #88 on: 26 Aug 2020 at 04:02 »
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

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #89 on: 26 Aug 2020 at 07:17 »
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

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #90 on: 26 Aug 2020 at 21:53 »
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

Offline cardan

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #91 on: 26 Aug 2020 at 22:37 »
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

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #92 on: 27 Aug 2020 at 04:45 »
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

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #93 on: 28 Aug 2020 at 07:26 »
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.]
« Last Edit: 28 Aug 2020 at 09:05 by cardan »

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #94 on: 29 Aug 2020 at 01:57 »
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

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #95 on: 29 Aug 2020 at 03:34 »
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... ? 



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.









-Doug

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #96 on: 29 Aug 2020 at 03:51 »
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

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #97 on: 29 Aug 2020 at 03:53 »
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?

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #98 on: 29 Aug 2020 at 04:01 »
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

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #99 on: 29 Aug 2020 at 04:07 »
....of course someone could be teasing us with the number 34 :-) ....

 

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