Author Topic: Identifying a Douglas (MkIII?)  (Read 2847 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline sweet_baby_james

  • Member
  • *
  • Join Date: Mar 2018
  • Posts: 5
  • Location: Costa Mesa, CA
Identifying a Douglas (MkIII?)
« on: 07 Mar 2018 at 04:49 »
Hello members,

I am new to the forum and doing some research about a Douglas that is available in my area.  I haven't owned a Douglas before, but have always had an interest in the marque so I was interest to get more information from you experts out there on this one:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1949-Other-Makes-Mark-III/273095689128?_trkparms=pageci%3A2623ca1f-21ca-11e8-adf0-74dbd1801aa4%7Cparentrq%3Afefa55101610a866eb294f21ffff1f71%7Ciid%3A1&_trksid=p2481888.c100678.m3607

From what I can tell from the photo of the engine number, it looks to be a 1949 MkIII. I do not have the frame number.  Should the frame number match the engine number? What about a gearbox number?  Did Douglas make a MkIII in red? Its only blue or black that I have seen photographs of online.

Obviously it would take some work to get it running and out on the road, but they don't turn up very often.  To your trained eyes, does it appear to have most of the original parts and equipment?  As I said, its only a few miles away so I can go and take a look at it in person.  Is there anything in particular that I should be looking out for?

Thank you all in advance for your input.

James


Offline Hampshirebiker

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Join Date: Aug 2015
  • Posts: 149
  • Location: Liphook, Hampshire
Re: Identifying a Douglas (MkIII?)
« Reply #1 on: 07 Mar 2018 at 06:45 »
It looks fairly complete & in the UK would probably fetch in the region of $4,000. Good bikes. once sorted & fairly easy to work on. I don't know if this guy is a dealer, but I'm always wary of bikes that haven't been started.
Cheap enough at the moment, but having claimed to get $17,000 for one, I wonder what his reserve is.
Good luck with your quest.
Dave.

Offline eddie

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Mar 2006
  • Posts: 1710
  • Location: Hampshire, UK
Re: Identifying a Douglas (MkIII?)
« Reply #2 on: 07 Mar 2018 at 07:09 »
Hi James,
               Whilst being in need of some TLC, this bike looks reasonably original - the main exceptions being : 1. the seat, 2. the silencers, 3. the voltage regulator (on the front of the toolbox), and 4. that awful rear stand that must seriously compromise the handling. As was common on Mk3 machines, the frame has had several repairs carried out around the rear bottom lugs (some of which look a bit suspect).
  Obviously, the bike will need a thorough check over before being used, but most of the original parts are there, and look to be sound.
  With regard to the colour - Douglas would supply bikes in non-standard colours to special order, but this one looks to have been an original blue/black machine that has had the mudguards re-sprayed red.
  If you do decide to buy this bike, get back on to this forum - you will get a lot of help from the members, and also suggestions on modifications that overcome some of the original shortcomings.
  Best of luck,
                    Regards,
                                  Eddie.

Offline sweet_baby_james

  • Member
  • *
  • Join Date: Mar 2018
  • Posts: 5
  • Location: Costa Mesa, CA
Re: Identifying a Douglas (MkIII?)
« Reply #3 on: 07 Mar 2018 at 16:12 »
Thank you all for your input.  I will likely try to go and take a look at it in person and meet the seller, take a close look at the frame repairs too!

Are spare and replacement parts readily available for a MkIII?

Thanks

James

Offline sweet_baby_james

  • Member
  • *
  • Join Date: Mar 2018
  • Posts: 5
  • Location: Costa Mesa, CA
Re: Identifying a Douglas (MkIII?)
« Reply #4 on: 08 Mar 2018 at 01:03 »
Sellers states that the frame number is 78223306.  Does that seem correct?

Thanks

James

Offline eddie

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Mar 2006
  • Posts: 1710
  • Location: Hampshire, UK
Re: Identifying a Douglas (MkIII?)
« Reply #5 on: 08 Mar 2018 at 10:14 »
In 1993, that bike was listed in the LDMCC machine register as a 1949 Mk3 with matching frame and engine numbers (T35/S/5154/3) and gearbox number B3282. The 8 digit frame number quoted by the seller doesn't fall into any Douglas series.

 Regards,
               Eddie.

Offline sweet_baby_james

  • Member
  • *
  • Join Date: Mar 2018
  • Posts: 5
  • Location: Costa Mesa, CA
Re: Identifying a Douglas (MkIII?)
« Reply #6 on: 09 Mar 2018 at 00:47 »
Eddie,  thank you for that information.  All the more reason for a visit to see it this weekend I think.  So, frame and engine numbers should match?  I read that a number of frames were issued without serial numbers as replacements for frames that had failed. Is there any other info from the LDMCC that is is of any significance? Nothing about the bike being red?!

Thanks

James

Offline Hampshirebiker

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Join Date: Aug 2015
  • Posts: 149
  • Location: Liphook, Hampshire
Re: Identifying a Douglas (MkIII?)
« Reply #7 on: 12 Mar 2018 at 07:57 »
Well, it sold for $4,301. Did you get it James?

Offline sweet_baby_james

  • Member
  • *
  • Join Date: Mar 2018
  • Posts: 5
  • Location: Costa Mesa, CA
Re: Identifying a Douglas (MkIII?)
« Reply #8 on: 12 May 2018 at 22:29 »
I didnt get this one. But i have my eye on another one now. This one appears to have had a mk3 engine transplanted into a mk1 frame. Is that a possibility?  The frame number doesnt have a T prefix, just 35.xxx.S (with . not /) Is that also correct?

James

Offline eddie

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Mar 2006
  • Posts: 1710
  • Location: Hampshire, UK
Re: Identifying a Douglas (MkIII?)
« Reply #9 on: 13 May 2018 at 06:22 »
Hi James,
               There are a few peculiarities with some of the Mk1 and early Mk3 frames. The factory experienced quite a few frame breakages on the early machines and replaced the frames under guarantee. Now, home market machines were returned to the factory for the work to be done, but export machines had the work done by the Douglas agents in that country - the frames being supplied un-numbered by the factory, and the agent responsible for the numbering. There is the possibility that the numbers on these frames may not have been to the normal format.  Some of the replacement frames also incorporated the later lower rear subframe mounting on the bottom cast lug rather than onto a plate lug on the back of the frame tube (in which case, a modified rear subframe was also supplied).
   With regard to the transplant of a Mk3 engine into a Mk1 machine - all Mk series engines up to the Mk5 were basically the same except the Mk1 had different heads, barrels and pistons - so the transplant was a straight forward swap.

  Hope this helps,
                           Regards,
                                         Eddie.