Author Topic: TT Douglases in South Africa 1928  (Read 367 times)

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Offline cardan

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TT Douglases in South Africa 1928
« on: 27 Sep 2021 at 06:33 »
Away from the TT races, it's rare to see two TT Douglases in the same photo.

In this photo (from the Motor Cycle, 10 January 1929) the two TTs were both owned by Durban, South Africa, Douglas agent F.A.R. Zurcher. The occasion was a Speed Trial near Durban on 2 December 1928.

The event was a flying quarter mile, but there was some peculiarity that led to very different times for the opposite passes: slope? short run-up at one end? stiff breeze blowing down the course?

C.H. (Charlie) Young (on the right in the photo, on a 596cc TT) averaged 99.4 mph for the two passes - a South African speed record. In one direction his time was 8.4 sec, equivalent to 107 mph!

F.A.R. Zurcher (on the left, on his 348cc TT) averaged 90.01 mph, with 93.7 mph in the "fast" direction. Second fastest time of the day.

Most likely these bikes were "over the counter" TTs (pre-1929, as the 1929 TT Douglas - if there was one - was catalogued as the Dixon twin-cam), but as we've seen lots of genuine "works" bikes were pensioned off to the "colonies". Maybe someone knows more about these bikes?

Leon

Offline Hutch

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Re: TT Douglases in South Africa 1928
« Reply #1 on: 01 Oct 2021 at 07:39 »
Leon,

I know close to zero about the bikes (...even after some searching  :) ) but some entertaining and  interesting reading here about C.H. Young and his exploits on his Duggies ( ...and other marques...)

http://www.djrun.co.za/Charles_Herbert_Charlie_Young.html


cheers

Hutch

Offline Hutch

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Re: TT Douglases in South Africa 1928
« Reply #2 on: 03 Oct 2021 at 04:55 »
Leon,
I vaguely remembered something about a South African TT Douglas in The Classic Motorcycle. Found the article entitled "Out of Africa" from February 2013. So now I know a little bit more about the 600cc machine that Charlie Young rode and shown in your picture.

cheers

Hutch
« Last Edit: 03 Oct 2021 at 05:18 by Hutch »

Offline cardan

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Re: TT Douglases in South Africa 1928
« Reply #3 on: 03 Oct 2021 at 07:18 »
So the survivor was the Young bike? Or had bits of the Young bike in it?

Leon

Offline Hutch

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Re: TT Douglases in South Africa 1928
« Reply #4 on: 08 Oct 2021 at 01:40 »
Interesting question Leon, and one I don't know the answer to....we can easily assume from the article that at least some of the engine internals are non-original - but that is hardly surprising given the hard racing life of the machine!

A quick look at some old LDMCC machine registers has a 1926 TT Rep. Frame Number OF209 and Engine Number LH102 owned by a J.Cuyler. In a later machine register we have OF209 now with engine number IH102. Was this a typo? Easily made I guess - mixing up a "L" with an "I" ? (Edit - or the other way around)

Interesting Clew does not list an engine prefix with "IH" in his appendix, but does have "LH" for 4HP 1927 TT engine and the Douglas model identification on this forum has "IH" and no "LH" !!. So maybe the original designation of "LH" was incorrect and it was actually "IH"?? Don't know. Douglas appeared to have mixed up the sequence of their serial number prefixes around this time.

They don't appear to have liked doubling up of letters for serial numbers i.e. no "EE". But instead of going "ED" - miss "EE" then "EF" , they went "ED", "EH" ooops...."FH" , "GH", "LH" etc. (from Clew TBT).......(aside - I wonder if the apprentice stamping the numbers got a clip around the ear?! :-). Edit: Just joking )

But "IH" makes better sense in that sequence than "LH" ?? (Edit: i.e. no "HH")

Next OHV serial number was "EJ" for Reggie Pink 1927 Racing engine and from then on we appear to back into the sequence of "EJ", "EK" etc.

Not 100% sure but are the attached pictures of Reggie Pinks "EJ" version ?? (He had 3 OHV Douglas's from what I can ascertain - two 750's and a 500 - Edit: may have been 350cc, 750cc and 500cc - more research to do).

Pictures of Pink's 750 from;

https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=2490.msg9000#msg9000
https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=2489.msg8984#msg8984

cheers

Hutch

« Last Edit: 08 Oct 2021 at 06:57 by Hutch »