Author Topic: 8HP "Douglas"  (Read 5325 times)

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Offline Dirt Track

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8HP "Douglas"
« on: 14 Aug 2005 at 01:33 »
G'day all
Whilst the early OHV models get the adrenalin pumping, the early machines are just as exciting, particularly if you are lucky enough to find a complete one.
What model would you pick if you had the option.....the 8HP Williamson would be my choice...probably the watercooled version because it has that lovely nickel plated radiator.
I do know where there is a very complete bike (with spares) but alas not for sale!
Here is a photo of the front cover of the 1913 sales literature, I will scan and send the other photos from it later.
What a lovely machine.....anyone got one?
Howard.



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Offline Dirt Track

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the other model...........
« Reply #1 on: 20 Aug 2005 at 08:32 »
G'day all
Here are pictures from page three of the sales catalogue showing the two models made by Williamson - the air and watercooled models.
I remember 60% of a Williamson being advertised in OBM back in about 1994 - anybody know who bought it?
There was a motor here in Australia a while ago - not sure what happened to it.
Howard.



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« Last Edit: 18 Nov 2005 at 05:34 by Dave »

Offline Dave

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8HP "Douglas"
« Reply #2 on: 20 Aug 2005 at 10:10 »
Thanks for posting these pictures Howard. I hadn't heard of the Williamson,  do you know the background to these machines?

Dave

Offline Dirt Track

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Re Williamson
« Reply #3 on: 21 Aug 2005 at 10:10 »
G'day all
Dave...if you read Titch Allen's roadtest in one of the early "Vintage Road Test" journals there seems to be some confusion or doubt as to the involvement of the Douglas factory.....in my original Williamson sales catalogue it states...."The engines and gear boxes of the Williamson Motor Cycles are manufactured exclusively for us by Messrs. Douglas Bros, Kingswood, Bristol." No doubt there.
Not sure how many Williamson's exist and what models...watercooled or aircooled. I do know that they would have to be way up my list of desirable machinery!
Whilst on holiday in the UK some time ago I found myself in a storage unit looking at a Williamson V twin from about 1920 I think that belonged to a well known dealer....they produced the V Twins later in the company life.....Williamson were in production from 1912 to 1920. I would imagine the V twins to be quite rare.
Howard.

Offline Doug

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8HP "Douglas"
« Reply #4 on: 22 Aug 2005 at 00:33 »
A quick summary of the relation between Douglas and Williamson from details gleaned from Jeff Clew's book "The Best Twin".

Williamson was a separate venture by William Douglas Senior, of the Douglas Brothers Ltd. (soon to be just “Douglas Motors Ltd”.)  Many of the components were likely made by Douglas for Williamson, the engine certainly was (and the transmission too it seems.)  Douglas used the water cooled opposed twin 8hp engine in their own small car (also a William Douglas venture, but done under the Douglas name), introduced in late 1912. It does not look like Williamson really got going till 1913 or 14, and only had a short run till the War ended production in November of 1916. As noted in the advert they also made sidecars to go with the motorcycle; with a five point attachment no less.  They were really meant to be high end sidecar machines right from the start.  The short run and high price (few sold) make them very rare today.

After the war Douglas car production moved into the Williamson shops, which suggests Williamson production ended.  But if they made a v-twin model up to 1920, then perhaps the venture was sold off and relocated.  Not sure where the Williamson shops were, possibly in part of the Douglas Kingswood factory complex.  As Douglas were no longer making the Williamson engine, they designed a new engine specifically for the car. Car production ceased in 1922 (rising price and competition from the Austin Seven.)

-Doug