Author Topic: 1932 TT Douglas  (Read 11676 times)

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Offline Hutch

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #100 on: 29 Aug 2020 at 04:07 »
....of course someone could be teasing us with the number 34 :-) ....

Offline Doug

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #101 on: 29 Aug 2020 at 18:27 »
Quote from: Leon
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?

If you are asking is it an OW/OW1 frame, then I can say no, as the owner of a 1934 & '35 OW1. There are several details to use as indicators.

First a refresher of the image in question:



Not the greatest resolution, but the best I have.

We compare this to a 1934 OW1 Douglas frame. (The 1934-35 500 & 600cc OW/OW1 frames are identical.)



I will point out here the presence of three tank mounting brackets. The one just in front of the hand-shift lug is used to mount the accumulator and electric horn.

Now comparing this to the 'Reputed Jack Douglas bike prior to restoration' we note the presence of an additional mounting point on the rear axle lug.



O.k., that is clipped in the previous picture of the OW1 frame, but here is a better view of the 1935 OW1 frame's rear axle lug.



It is the same lug that was introduced back in 1926 for the TT/I.o.M. and OC models and used on the DT/SW5 frames. If it appears the the angle of the chain stay tube does not match the lug, that is because it doesn't! The angles were different for the OW/OW1 frame, so they just bored the existing lugs to suit. The chipped paint on the top of the lug is where the boring broke through the surface.

Next we look at the rear down tubes:



The lugs for the center stand (1) would need to be removed to fit the engine. Granted, not difficult as they do not wrap all the way around the frame tube. (2) It has the lug on the rear down tube for the foot rest that the Works bikes had. Face mounted I believe, so again not terribly difficult to alter after the fact. (3) I really do believe something was going on here where the Works bikes would have had a lug on the lower chain stay tube. 29Aug20, additional comment: Also the OW/OW1 foot rest lugs would need to be removed. Those do wrap around the frame tubes.

Moving on the the petrol tank and head stock area:



The blue arrows mark the points I believe are the petrol tank mounts. One point I don't think has been brought up before is the 1932 Works bikes used an 'upside-down' tank mounting bracket. I do not know if it was the standard stamped bracket brazed to the bottom of the tube, or something made for the purpose. But the result was it allowed the pannier tanks to sit a little lower. Usually this is only evident in that you cannot see much of the lower tank tube as it is almost flush with the bottom of the petrol tank. Here the tank sits high, but as previously noted earlier in this topic the shape is not quite the same as seen on other pannier tanks. I cannot really be sure if the mounts are under slung, but what I think we are seeing is mainly tank rubber/buffers. But it is a possible discrepancy.

These under slung brackets can be seen to good effect in the picture used earlier in this topic, captioned as being at the "Douglas Race Shop":



Returning to the prior photo. (A) Indicates a boss that is not present in the Works racing department photo immediately above; and that is also a discrepancy. I admit you would get the same effect if you sawed off the OW/OW1 hand shift post. Because the pannier tanks normally sit so low, it is difficult to see if it is present on other Works bikes. (B) Is I think the lug for the lower end of the diagonal strut tube. (C) The angle of the tube under the saddle is not the same as the OW/OW1 frame.  (D) I agree those are heavyweight Douglas twin forks; used on the OW/OW1 and Z/Z1. If you compare the head stock and forks relative to the OW/OW1 with the same forks:



The distance from the upper and lower bearing cup of the head stock is significantly less than the distance between the upper and lower pivot points on the fork girder. Also the fork links are parallel, as they typically are designed to be. Links at diverging/converging angles is usually a sure indicator some fork swapping has occurred.

So based on some positive features and some subjective ones, I would say NOT an OW/OW1 frame or modified OW/OW1 frame. So the second and third question would be, is it the same bike as sold restored in the Bonhams auction and is it a Works frame?





It does have the extra mounting point on the rear axle lug, which it shares with the Bury Brothers outfit. Adding a lug to an existing one is a lot more difficult than adding one in the middle of or to the face of a tube. It has the lug for the foot rest on the rear down tube. Again in common with the Bury Brothers outfit. With the more correct pannier tank, and lack of views, details of the tank mounting tube cannot be checked. Douglas 1934-35 heavyweight forks are (still) fitted, and the links are still not parallel! So I think there is strong circumstantial evidence it is the same bike, before and after. Further evidence that it is one of the Works frames can be seen in the joggle at the upper end of the left-hand rear down tube (and the upper chain stay.) This can be clearly seen in the period race department photo further above, and here on the bike:



And again something shared in common with he Bury Brothers outfit. It is not a feature that was used on the regular road going frames. So it does appear to be one of the Works frames.

-Doug


[fix typos.  29Aug20.  -Doug]
[Additional comment added, see bold text.  29Aug20.  -Doug]


« Last Edit: 29 Aug 2020 at 23:10 by Doug »

Offline cardan

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #102 on: 29 Aug 2020 at 22:38 »
Hi Doug,

Do we know when the "original photo" was taken? 70s or 80s I guess? Is this the bike "as found"? Maybe "just built'?

Provenance is king with old racing bikes. Any ideas on where this bike came from, and how it got to where it is now? The back story is "Jack Douglas at Brooklands, 1931-32" - https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/15321/lot/366/?category=list - surely someone has something to support this story? Photos? Engine number? Frame number?

In the Bonhams description, the bike gets some of its cudos from being the same as the Bury bros bike that won races in 1931. This Bury bros bike, as we know from the CMC article and other sources, was not the same as "the" Bury brothers bike.

Clearly the bike has been "restored" based on the fine detail of the 1934 Bury brothers bike, quite transforming the look of it. Interesting is the shaving of the fins from the right rear of the sump; perhaps the restorer found and fitted the very sump from the Motor Cycle illustration in the first post of this thread? Good find.

Perhaps a treatise on this one? Or perhaps not.

Cheers

Leon


Offline Doug

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #103 on: 30 Aug 2020 at 00:06 »
Leon,

If by original photo you mean this one:



No. Other than my understanding the picture came from Collin Clifford's scrap book with the caption it was Jack Douglas' sidecar machine. But this is just second-hand information, I don't know any other details other than what was given in the auction catalog description. Hence my profusion of maybes, possibly, apparently, and other weasel-words! Don't know the engine or frame numbers for it, nor does it seem to be in the LDMCC Machine Registry.

I wouldn't put too much stock into the presence or not of shaved fins on the right rear face of the sump. Easy enough to take one of the numerous 'tribute' castings floating about and cut the fins back. Easy to take off, harder to put back on!



Number 137 is covered in this post:
https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=5972.msg21930#msg21930

But in summary, the bike was built by Collin Clifford in the UK for a client using a F/G31 frame (FD228) and the crankcases from one of the 1935 750cc light plane engines (75/E114), a dolls-head Norton gearbox (as adapted by the Dougie sprinters), and one of Collin's replica sump castings. Shortly after it was in the 2006 MidAmerica Auctions Inc. consignment in Las Vegas. Labeled as "ex-Gleaves 1931 TT Racer". The bike is presently in a museum in Solvang, California, where the picture you show was taken.

-Doug

Offline Doug

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #104 on: 30 Aug 2020 at 01:32 »
Re-reading my mega-post above, I do seem to have been excessive on the minutia. However I was working on it piecemeal all day long gathering all the different scraps of info I could find on the frame differences. Hopefully it is educational. Some of the frame lugs created for the 1931-32 Works bikes do seem to have been re-cycled for the 1934-35 OW/OW1 model. Things like the gearbox platform and the lower rear down tube lugs for instance. Why they did not also use the rear axle lugs I am not sure. I have not done a side-by-side elevation to see if the Works rear axle lug would have helped the chain stay angle problem of the OW/OW1. Fortunately for us they didn't, as it make a handy identified for to spot Works frames in old photos.

I should also point out that there is another frame I have seen, prefix FSS (stamping not entirely clear), which would make it a 1935 "Special 600cc twin carb. for Bottomly" according to Jeff Clew's book. It is configured for the Sturmey-Archer-Douglas gearbox (the one fitted dating to 1934 with the positive stop integrated like a dolls head Norton trans), chain line entirely on the left. It has the extra mounting point on the rear axle lug like other Works bikes, and the mounting on the rear down tubes for the foot rests. But it does not have the joggle in the left rear down tube or the chain stay. Nor does it have the inverted petrol tank mounts, but uses the conventional mounts like the road bikes. The pannier tank fitted being the same shape as that on the 'purported Jack Douglas machine, pre-restoration'. That is, very low at the rear. Douglas heavyweight forks fitted, but must be a shorter head stock as the links are parallel. No problem with the link angles. Unfortunately I do not have any photos I can share due to the owner's privacy, nor did I note at the time if it had the diagonal frame brace. But it would seem there were Works frames, and then there were Works TT frames...

-Doug

Offline cardan

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #105 on: 30 Aug 2020 at 01:48 »
Oh I do like the word "tribute" - we should use it more often.

Thanks for the story of No. 137. I have no problem with "tribute" (!) bikes like this, but all too often they get misrepresented as something they are clearly not, like "Sid. Gleave 1931 TT".

But this is where the devil is in the detail. Let's imagine that the b&w photo displayed with No. 132 at Solvang (see below - from the thread you link to) has something to do with the fabricated back story for this bike. The photo shows a man fettling a same-side-drive racing Douglas.

Nice. We can immediately say it's not 1931 TT (cross-over gearbox) and we know Gleave didn't race a Douglas in the 1932 TT. BUT Gleave was at the 1932 Spanish TT at Bilbao in August 1932, riding a Douglas, together with our man Luis Bejarano. [Edit: Not sure where I got the snippet that Gleave rode a Douglas in the Senior: looking again he rode a new Imp in the 350 race, but had no entry in the senior? In fact, now I can't find any reference to Gleave riding a Douglas anywhere!]

I don't suppose you took a photo of the photo? Much more interesting that yet another "tribute bike".

Cheers

Leon

« Last Edit: 30 Aug 2020 at 02:40 by cardan »

Offline cardan

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #106 on: 30 Aug 2020 at 01:56 »
I should also point out that there is another frame I have seen, prefix FSS (stamping not entirely clear), which would make it a 1935 "Special 600cc twin carb. for Bottomly" according to Jeff Clew's book. It is configured for the Sturmey-Archer-Douglas gearbox (the one fitted dating to 1934 with the positive stop integrated like a dolls head Norton trans), chain line entirely on the left. It has the extra mounting point on the rear axle lug like other Works bikes, and the mounting on the rear down tubes for the foot rests. But it does not have the joggle in the left rear down tube or the chain stay. Nor does it have the inverted petrol tank mounts, but uses the conventional mounts like the road bikes. The pannier tank fitted being the same shape as that on the 'purported Jack Douglas machine, pre-restoration'. That is, very low at the rear. Douglas heavyweight forks fitted, but must be a shorter head stock as the links are parallel. No problem with the link angles. Unfortunately I do not have any photos I can share due to the owner's privacy, nor did I note at the time if it had the diagonal frame brace. But it would seem there were Works frames, and then there were Works TT frames...

Soooo interesting, and why I am so disappointed that the "Jack Douglas bike" was transformed into an exact replica of the Bury brothers machine.

Bikes like FSS fit nicely into my "Group 3": go faster Douglases built for preferred customers in 1934-35.

Cheers

Leon
« Last Edit: 30 Aug 2020 at 02:02 by cardan »

Offline Doug

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #107 on: 30 Aug 2020 at 04:39 »
Leon,

I had a look through the original photos I took at Solvang in 2009, and it seems I did not take a photo of that photo.

Unfortunately I did not have my 'good' camera along for the trip (business related, with the weekend for sightseeing), just a little pocket Olympus 7Mpx that has always been a bit of an underachiever. I took the original resolution file and cropped, enlarged, and de-skewed the area of the photo to get this:



Not much better, but I don't think it shows a Douglas? The chain line looks low to me, not a gearbox up under the saddle type bike. I mean, I even took pictures of the exhibit placards just to note machine details rather than write them down. Had it been a period photo of a Dougie, I am sure I would have snapped it. The photo itself had no caption. There was no descriptive placard for the Dougie at all, unlike the rest of the bikes on display. I asked the attendant about it, but he did not know any history on it.

Presently the museum website just lists it as a "1933 Douglas OHV" with no details.

-Doug



Offline Hutch

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #108 on: 30 Aug 2020 at 05:07 »
Leon and Doug,

There was that F/G31 Douglas in the Bilbao TT ridden by Palacio (see Leon's reply #20 above). Interestingly it appears to have reinforced forks like we would expect to see on an outfit, or am I interpreting the grainy old picture incorrectly? Does this bike have some connection to Gleave somehow? Is Sid Gleave the same person who sadly died in a test flight accident in WW2? If so there is the possibility of a picture of him on the internet for identification purposes.

Cheers

Ian

Offline cardan

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #109 on: 30 Aug 2020 at 07:23 »
Doug and Ian,

I suspect the whole Gleave thing is a "red herring" - I can't get that story to come together at all. Doug I think you're right and the bike in the photo is not even a Douglas, in which case the photo might be of Gleave!

I don't know what happened to Gleave, but I can tell a related sad story. In the photo of the grid of the 1932 Prince George is shaking hands with Stanley Woods. In another photo he is shaking hands with Rudge-mounted (in fact my-Rudge-mounted, but that's another story) Wal Handley, who was riding number 1 in that event. Both Wal Handley and Prince George, who were about the same age, were killed in wartime aviation accidents over Britain, only weeks apart. Sad.

Doug your story about "FSS" has given me a sense of closure on this "1932 TT Douglas" narrative. The Works TT bikes, suitably modified, went about their business at Brooklands, in Spain, and likely elsewhere, after the TT. Maybe Jack Douglas attached a sidecar to one and tried took it to Brooklands. 1933 was not a good year for Douglas (there weren't many good years for Douglas in the 1930s), and from 1934 special ohv "super sport" bikes were built in small numbers. Babl, Reheis, Bottomly (whoever he was!), Bury brothers,... maybe Clarrie Woods, probably others were the lucky recipients. The spec probably varied a bit: we know a couple used the Brampton fork, but maybe some were a bit more OW-like. Big pannier tanks, "lozenge" tanks... "No. 32" may have been one of these, just not raced by Jack Douglas in 1931-32.

The modification of the 1932 TT bikes - ditching the racing Druid fork, and the updraft-inlet heads - contributed to the cache of TT parts that moved from Atkins to Beart then on to Thorpe and no doubt elsewhere. Plus the production of way more than three (6? 8? ...) of the "super sport" bikes, and the injection of "tribute" sumps, bronze crank cases, etc. all goes to explaining what we see around us now.

So yes: Works TT bikes from 1932, then 1934-5 Super Sport bikes. Call them Works Replicas if you like, but given the mostly amateur riders in clubman events, they weren't really Works bikes in the accepted sense.

Makes sense to me.

Cheers

Leon




Offline cardan

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #110 on: 04 Sep 2020 at 01:16 »
A further note about Spaniard Luis Bejarano.

I mentioned above that he was considered for a ride in the 1932 Senior TT if C. J. Williams was not sufficiently recovered from his practice crash to start the race. In fact Bejarano actually practiced on Williams' Douglas (no. 30), and, in a strange homage, crashed it at the Nell, exactly where Williams had come off it a couple of days earlier.

Bejarano raced his 1932 TT Douglas in Spain for a number of years - see attached clipping from the Brisbane Telegraph in August 1934.

There was also the question of whether Gleave might have raced a TT Douglas. A "mystery Douglas" was entered in the 1932 Spanish Senior TT - no. 11 to be ridden by Mr. X.X. - but that's as far as I got. Interesting that Tommy Atkins rode in the race, on a 500cc Cotton JAP. He is not on the entry list attached; although he was probably no. 14 "Hackin (Cotton)". Tommy had driven to Spain with Francis Beart (who later owned and raced Atkins' supercharged Douglas track bike) who rode Tommy's 250cc Cotton (on loan from the manufacturer), and Fergus Anderson who rode a 500cc Excelsior JAP. Clearly Atkins was a free agent at this time (August 1932), and not contracted to Douglas.

Leon

Offline cardan

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #111 on: 05 Sep 2020 at 10:49 »
J.S. 'Woolly' Worters doesn't appear in the index of any of the Douglas books, but I think he deserves to be there for his contribution to the development of the 1932 Douglas TT racers.

The standard "origin story" for the 1932 TT bikes comes from The Best Twin, where Clew tells the story of Cyril Pullin being re-recruited to Douglas in early 1932 by John Douglas, although Clew doesn't make it clear whether this was on behalf of the "family" Douglas firm, or the new Douglas Motors 1932 concern. "Clearly he [Pullin] lost no time in getting underway for it was announced during March 1932 that he had designed an entirely new 500 c.c. T.T. model, aided by Tommy Atkins."

As noted near the top of this thread, The Motor Cycle in May 1932 gave the nod to Tommy Atkins: "Last week the first of the T.T. Douglases was to be seen down at Brooklands. C. T. Atkins, the well-known Douglas exponent, who is largely responsible for the "upbringing " of this model, was putting it through its paces over the half-mile for the first time."

But there is a third, and I think very credible, version of the origin story which is not mentioned in the Douglas history books. J.S. 'Woolly' Worters was a well-known and highly-respected rider/tuner/developer based at Brooklands in the 1920s. Worters went to Brooklands to work with Pullin in the early 1920s when Pullin was busy riding/tuning/developing mostly Douglases but also cars. When Dixon and Judd came down to work with Pullin, the four of them would get together for technical and social activities, and they were clearly "mates". In Behind the Scenes at Brooklands by Charles Mortimer, Worters recounts activities from 1932:

"... Cyril Pullin now offered me the Competition Manager's job at Douglas's, but would give me no contract. However I accepted, provided I could take Hewitt [his assistant since 1925] also. We sold our bungalow in Baker St, Weybridge, and bought a house at Hanham near Kingswood, Bristol, where Douglas had their works. I also had C.J. Williams alloted to me as a rider and also a draughtsman, and I set out to redesign the 500 cc Douglas head, valves and pistons, which new parts the works made with amazing speed and accuracy, and we had quite an increase in horsepower on the brake with the prototype engine..." He goes on to mention the Douglas presence at the TT and  on the mountain circuit at Brooklands, then "...Shortly after this, and less than twelve months after we arrived in Bristol, Douglas Motors folded up and the directors and staff having paid themselves in pound notes presumably, paid me with a rubber cheque..." Worters waited six months in Bristol lest his position should reappear, but, when it didn't, sold his house (at a loss) and moved on.

Interesting that Worters saw C.J. Williams (not Atkins) as the "designated rider".

Also, does Worter's story - recorded for Mortimer on a tape - suggest that Williams was rider AND draughtsman, or that Williams was the rider and someone else was the draughtsman? Any signed drawings Doug?

Anyway, it's clear that Worters deserves a mention when it comes to the origin of the 1932 TT Douglas, at least for his contribution to the very nice cylinder heads. Let me guess that Pullin did the outline of the high-steering head frame: he'd done it before when he designed an entirely new sloping frame for the Rudge Multi on which he won the 1914 TT, and the pretty sloping frame "RA-alternative" Douglas he built for Judd in 1923 https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=7014.msg27582#msg27582

Leon


Offline Doug

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #112 on: 05 Sep 2020 at 16:59 »
Leon,

Most of the factory drawings are initialed by the tracer, not the draughtsman. Presumably because they are copies for the production floor (or just copies). Not of lot of selection circa 1932 to look at, and the initials are not away legible. But some the turn up for late 1931 are GHS and TVP. 1931-33 there was a tracer with the initials SS. So not much help there.

-Doug

Offline Hutch

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #113 on: 05 Sep 2020 at 23:16 »
Great research Leon,

So is the person with the '32 TT Douglas (in the background of the picture in your post #92), Worters? Comparison with Worters in 1925. Maybe?...Maybe not? Will have to see if I can find another picture of him.

cheers

Ian

Offline Hutch

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #114 on: 06 Sep 2020 at 02:31 »
Looking into the backgrounds of Gleave and Worters you would have thought they were well known to each other through Excelsior and Blackburn?

-Ian

Edit: further to Douglas racing activities 1932 - 33, Pullin left for G&S Weir Glasgow in 1932 and Atkins left for Derrington's around August 1933 (the later according to Motorsport Magazine Aug 1933). Were Atkins and others paid in "parts" rather than cash when Douglas folded ??
« Last Edit: 06 Sep 2020 at 05:37 by Hutch »

Offline cardan

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #115 on: 06 Sep 2020 at 07:37 »
Doug - thanks for looking at the drawings. I suspect C.J. Williams and "the draughtsman" were two different people. Tempting to say that C.J. Williams was Jack Williams, who headed up racing for AJS/Matchless after WW2, but it was a common name...

Ian - The man pushing the Douglas is not Woolly Waters, who was older and, well, a little "Woolly". I'm 90% certain that the machine is Williams' entry (No. 30) (Woods' Norton 27, Warburton's Excelsior 28, Duncan's Cotton 29 and Williams' Douglas 30, in starting order on the grid), and that the pusher is Worters' man W.J.C. Hewitt - Worters called him "boy" and Hewitt called Worters "boss". Worters is on the far left of the attached photo, Hewitt second from the right.

Worter's reminiscences in Mortimer's book run to 35 pages, and are rich in detail and anecdote in a way "modern" writings can never be. Rather than providing detail of why Douglas switched from Druid to Brampton forks in the lead up to the TT, Worters offers the following:

"Williams and Hewitt also went over to the TT where Williams tried hard, without much success, to teach Hewitt to be a road racer. According to C.J., Hewitt spent more time riding on the grass verges than on the road."

The Douglas episode was brief, but must have been fun. One night Worters took the crew - himself and his wife, Williams and "a girl", Hewitt and "two very good mechanics, Frank Baker and Jack Clapham" to the Palladium. The queues outside were long, but the manager was Billy Simpson, Bert Le Vack's sidecar passenger at Brooklands in the 1920s, and he quickly escorted the Douglas party to prime seats...

Let's pretend - with zero supporting evidence - that Baker and Clapham are the mechanics in "the workshop photo"!

I suspect Pullin's focus during his short stay at Douglas in 1932 was the "three wheel car with four wheels". The "advance notice" advert for this funny car, reproduced in The Best Twin but dated "c1933", in fact comes from one of the TT issues of The Motor Cycle in early June, 1932.

I have no idea where Atkins fits in in 1932: he seemed to be racing Cottons by August.

Cheers

Leon


Offline Hutch

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #116 on: 06 Sep 2020 at 08:21 »
Leon,

There is 7 years between the two pictures in my post, so in 1932 he would be older...and has what appears to be woolly hair. which doesn't seem to match that of Hewitt....?

-ian

Offline cardan

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #117 on: 06 Sep 2020 at 12:07 »
Tempting to say that C.J. Williams was Jack Williams, who headed up racing for AJS/Matchless after WW2, but it was a common name...
Jack's son Peter Williams, a very successful racer himself, has written extensively about his father's achievements, including his works rides for Raleigh, Douglas and Vincent-HRD before the war, and development engineering roles for Vincent and AJS post war. "CJ" was always known as Jack, but as there was another Jack Williams racing when CJ made his debut in the late 1920s he was universally referred to as C.J. Williams while racing. Postwar, as Chief Tester then Chief Design Engineer for Vincent and later at AJS (where he famously developed the 7R into the universally-successful 350 racer) he was always "Jack Williams".

The attached photo of CJW at the 1932 TT (in practice, but with Brampton fork) comes from a Peter Williams article "Williams on Williams", Classic Motor Cycle November 1994.

The TT was a bit of a disaster, the Senior Mountain GP at Brooklands in July was better, but the best outing for the Douglas was Williams' ride in the Senior Mountain Championship, for 500cc bikes over 25 laps of the Mountain Circuit at Brooklands, on October 8, 1932. Williams led for 23 laps until he was slowed with front brake problems. He was overtaken by a young Harold Daniell on his Norton, who hung on to win by 0.2 seconds from Williams on the ailing Douglas.

Unlike the handicap outer-circuit races narrowly won by Atkins ahead of much faster bikes, this race was a scratch race against some pretty decent opposition. Yes, in 1932 Daniell was still an amateur riding his own (non-works) Norton, but his star was well on the rise and the bike had been fettled at the factory. He had set the fastest practice laps for the 1930, 1931 and 1932 Senior Manx Grand Prix (for non-works-supported riders on non-works bikes); in fact he won the 1932 edition of the race on his Norton. That Williams could come so close to Daniell in a long road race suggests the Douglas was a pretty good thing, and with more development could have become quite a  competitive race bike.

Alas the collapse of Douglas Motors 1932 lead to a "no year" for Douglas in 1933.

Looked great. Sounded great. Went pretty good. I wouldn't mind one.

Leon

Offline Hutch

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #118 on: 07 Sep 2020 at 05:09 »
Why 1933 was a write off for Douglas Motors. From Western Daily Press 9 November 1932;

"DOUGLAS MOTORS (1932). LTD. Receiver and Manager Appointed. A receiver and manager Motors Ltd., was appointed by Mr Justice Farwell in the Chancery Division, yesterday Mr Vaisey, K.C., instructed by Messrs Peacock and Goddard. agents for Messrs W A Taylor, Son and Bristol, on behalf of D. Estates, Ltd., explained that his clients owned £190,000 out of £200,000 debentures in Douglas Motors, Ltd., and the interest the £190,000 had not been paid. D. Estates Ltd, were a company in liquidation, and their only assets were the £190,000 debentures. The gentleman proposed an the receiver of Douglas Motors. Ltd , was the liquidator of D. Estates. Ltd Mr Justice Farwell asked whether conflict might not arise between his duty liquidator and his duty as receiver. Mr Vajsey said it would be appointing the liquidator -B -Estates. Ltd.. as the receiver and of its only assets —the £190,000 debentures Douglas Motors, Ltd. Mr Justice Farwell: It will be better to appoint an independent receiver and manager Douglas Motors, Ltd.. consented the appointment of a receiver and manager, it was stated, on D. Estates, Ltd., undertaking to pav their debts. Mr Vaisey asked for liberty to raise not more than £5,000. the amount wanted for a week's wages, he said, being £1,500. Mr Justice Farwell appointed receiver and manager for three months with liberty to act at once, and gave leave to borrow not more than £2,000 for the wages of Douglas Motors, Ltd. Solicitors for D. Estates Ltd. Peacock and Goddard. Statement Made at Kingswood. On inquiry at the offices the firm, yesterday, the ' Western Daily Press and Mirror ' was informed that it was not possible at the moment to make any definite statement as to the future of the firm's activities or intentions. We are not in a position at the moment to make any official statement about the future,'' said Mr W H. E. Millman, who has been connected with the firm for many years. A Receiver has been appointed in connection with Messrs Douglas Motors (1932) Ltd., but he has not yet arrived to take over so that nothing can be done and nothing can be said Certain arrangements are course, being made, but as to what going to happen I am not able to say."
« Last Edit: 07 Sep 2020 at 05:27 by Hutch »

Offline cardan

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #119 on: 07 Sep 2020 at 07:29 »
Wow, only weeks after the "near success" at Brooklands, and only 5 months after the lavish 8-page insert on blue paper in the Motor Cycle announcing "An Entirely New Organisation". No wonder Woolly Worters was disappointed...

I posted the insert here https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=8335 . The "coming soon" Pullin 3-4-wheel car never came.

Leon

Offline Hutch

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #120 on: 08 Sep 2020 at 00:40 »
Leon,

Yes you can see why Woolly Worters was disappointed. I wonder if he retained the "IP" for his new head for the OHV engine, which might explain why, as far as we know, Douglas didn't exploit it any further?

Looks like Pullin managed to escape with some of his patents - maybe the trend set by Bailey, many years previously, in getting patents in his own name, paid off?

Edit: Added this article that appeared slightly earlier;

23rd April 1933 Western Daily Press
C. G. Pullin has resigned his position ' Chief Designer and Engineer to Douglas Motors (1932). Limited. Mr Pullin has been keenlv interested in power units for light aircraft since the first light aeroplane trials in 1923 and this experience has been useful in the design of the recent products. During the last six months of 1932 Mr.Pullin applied for Letters Patent for 16 inventions of a cosmopolitan nature, including internal combustion engines, air cleaners, motor vehicles, governor gear, agricultural tractor apparatus, etc.


25 May 1933 Western Daily Press

DOUGLAS MOTOR-CYCLE INVENTIONS. Judgment for Technical Expert On a summons issued in a debenture holder's action, re Douglas Motors (1932) Ltd., D. Estates, Ltd. v. The Company, Mr Justice Clanson, in .the Chancery Division yesterday, decided that the benefit of 16 inventions made by Charles George Pullin, a technical expert in the employ of Douglas Motors, were not included in the company's assets that were charged by debentures, and that Mr Pullin was not bound to assign his interests in them except upon agreed payment.

-Ian

« Last Edit: 08 Sep 2020 at 01:13 by Hutch »

Offline Hutch

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #121 on: 08 Sep 2020 at 00:53 »
...and some more of the sorry saga;

10th July 1934 Western Daily Press

DOUGLAS MOTORS (1932), LIMITED. Mr Justice Eve, in the Chancery Division yesterday, granted petition by Herbert Terry and Sons, Ltd., Novelty Works, Redditch, for the winding up of Douglas Motors (1932), Limited, formerly of Bristol, with registered offices at St.  James Street, London. Mr lk. Turnbull, for the petitioners, said they were judgment creditors for £918 2s Id. The petitioner was supported by creditors for £177,329 15s 9d. Mr R. A. Willis, for the creditors, supporting the petition, said there were 14 creditors altogether included the list. The company was not represented, and Mr Justice Eve made the usual compulsory order.

16th August 1934 Western Daily Press

DOUGLAS MOTORS (1932), LTD. Statement to Creditors and Shareholders. Yesterday in Bankruptcy Buildings, Carey Street, W.C., the statutory meeting of the creditors and of the shareholders were held under a winding-up order made on July 9 against Douglas Motors (1932) Kingswood, Bristol, Mr George Hutcheson, Assistant Official Receiver, presiding. The chairman said that the company was incorporated as a private company with a nominal capital £100 to acquire the business of mechanical engineers and motor-cycle manufacturers carried on by Douglas (Limited) at Bristol and elsewhere, and to acquire its assets and liabilities. That company had been incorporated in 1917 to acquire for £360,000 in shares, the business conducted by members of the Douglas family. It continued to manufacture the Douglas motor-cycle and for time its trading was successful. But of later years its business showed a decline, and the accounts of the year ended July 31, 1931, disclose a loss of approximately £50,000.
Sold in 1932.
It was then decided by the directors that the assets should be sold, and on March 18, 1932, the present company agreed to buy from the old company the freehold land, business, etc.

the purchase consideration being £200,000, payable as to  £20,000 in cash and as to the balance in debentures.  According to balance sheet the assets were then valued at £390,275.
On November 8 1932, the court appointed Mr. F. E. Bendall, I.A.. Corporation Street, Birmingham as Receiver and manager, and he carried on the business until June, 1933. Possession the factory was then given to William Douglas, under the terms of a purchase of sale agreement by which he was buy the freehold land, premises, goodwill and the business, etc., for £64,500.
 Litigation, which was still proceeding ensued, and it had been the cause of this that an unsecured creditor the petition to wind up the company, No statement of affairs had yet been filed  but according to approximate accounts prepared the Receiver as at the date of his appointment, the liabilities to creditors totalled £235,246, of which £197,137 were due to the debenture holders and £37,108 to other creditors of were about 650
Book Debts
The tangible assets, apart from those sold to William Douglas consisted of cash £22, bills receivable £153, and book debts £21,701. But last year the Receiver reported that at least €15,000 of the book debts represented old balances which would more than 1s in the £. It was consequentially apparent that, unless any successful proceedings could be taken by the liquidator, and the Court held that the old company was not entitled as a debenture holder to  share in any damages which might be recovered as the result of proceedings against it as vendor, there was no prospect of a dividend being paid to the unsecured creditors.
Both the Official Receiver and a chartered accountant were nominated to the office of the liquidator, and a vote, having been taken it was announced that the liquidation should remain in the hands of the Official Receiver.

-Ian
« Last Edit: 08 Sep 2020 at 01:13 by Hutch »

Offline Hutch

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #122 on: 08 Sep 2020 at 02:55 »
As pointed out earlier in this thread 1933 was a bleak year fro Douglas Competition wise. Leon mentioned Clarrie Wood;

3rd October 1933 Western Daily Press

"DOUGLAS MOTOR-CYCLE SUCCESSES. After the difficulties which have Douglas motors very many Bristolian will be pleased to hear of the successful return of this well-known machine to the competition field. In the championship races at Southport recently, C. Wood, on a 750 c-.c. machine, won the kilo races for both c.c. and 1,000 c.c. classes, and accomplished the fastest solo time of the day—ll3 miles an hour. "


113 MPH appears to be comparable with G. Wades efforts at Baker's Beach in Tasmania in 1939 of 118 MPH one way on a modified 600cc OW1.

cheers

Ian

« Last Edit: 08 Sep 2020 at 07:47 by Hutch »

Offline cardan

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #123 on: 09 Sep 2020 at 07:26 »
Hi Ian,

Nice to have the dates, and a story a little different from the one presented in The Best Twin. Things were indeed very grim between late 1932 and late 1933. Certainly William Douglas (As William Douglas (Bristol), Ltd.) buying the land/premises/business from the receiver make more sense than the story of him buying un-issued shares in the floundering Douglas Motors (1932) Ltd., although this may be a subtlety beyond my business knowledge.

Re the 1932 TT heads: These disappeared from the works bikes between the TT in June and the Brooklands outing in July, so I'm sure their demise was performance related rather than anything to do with intellectual property. Tommy Atkins used them on his track bikes, and a pair ended up on the Thorpe Douglas grass tracker - both applications where full throttle was the norm.

Re Clarrie Wood: At various times between the late 1920s and the mid 1930s he raced Douglases in 500, 600 and 750 cc capacities. At least one of his bikes was a "vintage TT" affair - like the 1930 Atkins bike, the Graeme Brown bike, the Bayley bike, etc - and another was said to be an SW6. His 750 was one of a number of 746 cc Douglases being raced in the 1930s: for example Arthur Dobson and J.H. Fell rode them solo, and Jack and George Richards, Toni Babl and our old mate Jack Douglas rode them as outfits. When Atkins sold his 494 supercharged track bike to Francis Beart (via Comerfords) it came with spare 596 and 746 engines.

I don't know where these 746 engines came from. Did Douglas advertise them? SW7.5?

Anyway, with the 1932-1933 timeline now very clear, I like even more the idea that the 1932 TT bikes and the "big tank" 750s were two distinct groups of bikes, the first built around April 1932, the second built 1934-35. I wonder what's Clarrie Wood's 750 looked like in 1933? Like a 1920s TT is my guess.

Cheers

Leon

Offline cardan

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #124 on: 11 Sep 2020 at 00:51 »
From the Bob Currie article about the Bury brothers "big tank" outfit, The Classic Motor Cycle, June 1988: "A sister 746cc Douglas is currently owned by Colin Clifford, and Jack Douglas at one time held the Brooklands Mountain Circuit record on a third one."

Jack Douglas did indeed hold the 1000cc sidecar record for the Mountain Circuit "at one time" - in fact "for all time" according to the photo of the "record board" I came across at http://www.vintagenorton.com/2013/12/dennis-minett-1938-model-30-norton.html , reproduced below. The date for the record is interesting: 18 April 1931 is the outing I described higher up, where Jack Douglas won the 10-lap Mountain Passenger Handicap in impressive style. Unlike some other Broooklands races, this was a bona-fide win, albeit in a race with only four starters and three finishers. He beat home Driscoll's 490 Norton and Archer's 348 Velocette outfits, both of whom (on their smaller-capacity machines) started in front of him. The winning speed was 58.91 mph, with a fastest lap at 61.04 mph gaining a "special mention" in the editorial.

The weather was truly rotten on this day, so let's guess that for this record to stand until the closure of Brooklands at the outbreak of WW2 there was not too much sidecar racing on the Mountain Circuit during the 1930s.

I'm not sure what Jack's 1931 record-setting 750 Douglas looked like, but I'm certain it wasn't a "big tank". But feel free to prove me wrong... "Vintage TT" or "1931 Babl" would be my guess. Photo anyone?

No suggestion in the 1988 article that the Colin Clifford bike was linked to Jack Douglas. That must be a newer story?

Cheers

Leon

Offline cardan

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #125 on: 15 Sep 2020 at 03:47 »
I don't know where these 746 engines came from. Did Douglas advertise them? SW7.5?

There are some "vintage TT" 750s out there, with gland nut fittings for the inlet/exhaust manifolds. But of more relevance to this thread are the 750s with the two-bolt flanged manifolds - horizontal inlet and downward-angled exhausts.

The 1931 TT bikes were - I think - the first with exotic post-DT heads. According to the Motor Cycle "As with other makes, it is in the development of the head and port design that they [Douglas] will surpass previous efforts; valves and springs are longer, and, consequentially, the external head shaping is noticeably different." Looking at various illustrations and photos from 1931, these heads had both inlet and exhaust ports horizontal. Doug pointed up that Bejarano's "big tank" 1932 TT bike photographed in Spain has horizontal exhaust ports, so likely 1931 TT pattern, or (heaven forbid) DT.

The 1932 TT bikes had inlets angled up, and exhausts angled down (see Doug's photographs at the top of this thread), but by the following month these heads had gone, replaced by heads with horizontal inlets and downward-angled exhausts. The attached photos show the inlet and exhaust sides of the bikes at Brooklands in July 1932.

The "super sport" bikes - the 750s and probably the 600s - built from 1934 used similar heads. Perhaps some of the patterns were shared? Both the Bury bike and the ex-Colin Clifford bike use these heads, photos attached. Hard to get a glimpse of the exhaust side of the engine with sidecar fitted.

Did the head pattern begin in the race shop in 1932? Perhaps something Woolly Worters worked on? Any evidence for angled exhaust ports pre 1932?

Cheers

Leon

Offline cardan

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Re: 1932 TT Douglas
« Reply #126 on: 19 Sep 2020 at 07:59 »
I suspect that in the photo you published it also had an Enfield rear hub as well, if you compare the position of the rear brake actuating lever with the photo of the 750cc outfit which uses the 9'' Douglas brake.  On that machine the brake actuating lever operates through the brake anchor point in normal Douglas fashion, whereas the TT machine has a separate actuating arm, and the brake diameter certainly looks smaller than 9",  Interesting!

The rear hub and brake are likely Douglas, 9", and more-or-less "TT". If I had to guess, I'd say brake shoes inside (rather than a servo band) and an annular plate reinforcing the the backing plate (which makes the brake look smaller than 9").

Attached are some photos of the brakes on the 1932 TT bikes, and the same brake hub on the Bury bothers "super sport" (albeit with incorrect spoke lacing).

The ex-Clifford bike has the standard TT setup.

Leon

 

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