Author Topic: Douglas for sale  (Read 1127 times)

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Offline Harry 5

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Douglas for sale
« on: 02 Nov 2023 at 18:36 »
Looking for advice on the best way to get a fair price for a part dismantled 2 3/4hp Douglas.
The machine was first registered January 1923 and eventually owned by someone who didn't return from WW2.  Their mother apparently kept the m/c in her kitchen awaiting his return,  until being moved to a care home and passed it to my uncle, that owned a local motorcycle dealership.  This is the only m/c he kept from that era and was in the process of rebuilding it before age got the better of him.  It was passed on to me in its current state.
It has been well preserved and turns freely, with only the carburetor removed and dissembled for cleaning and rebuilding.  The tyres are shot but wheels and frame show virtually no rust.
I have a V5 registered with a SORN on the original number plate details.

A vague idea on its value would be nice to hear. 

Harry 5

Offline EW-Ron

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Re: Douglas for sale
« Reply #1 on: 02 Nov 2023 at 20:52 »
A picture or 2 would probably be required to give even a ballpark figure.
There is a vast gulf between lovely original condition and not-really.
And, potentially, it could be top of the tree ....

Offline EW-Ron

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Re: Douglas for sale
« Reply #2 on: 02 Nov 2023 at 22:03 »
Different year/era even, so not entirely comparable.
You can ask a hefty price.
But there has to be a buyer  ....

https://www.carandclassic.com/car/C1418096

Offline cardan

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Re: Douglas for sale
« Reply #3 on: 03 Nov 2023 at 04:03 »
Hi Harry,

"Part dismantled" is unfortunately not what today's buyer wants to hear. And the 1923 TS, though a lovely bike, was probably the largest seller of 1923. So you're missing two of the key requirements for a strong sale: complete in one piece and rare. The original 1909 model posted by EWRon is a great example of a rare Douglas with selling power; at the other end of the age range a running 90 Plus would be another example.

There 1923-ish TS sales to look at on the web, from projects to ok to nice to super-nice complete bikes. Some examples:

https://www.justbikes.com.au/motorcycles-for-sale/1924-douglas-ts-350cc-road/JBM5222869

https://motorcycles-for-sale.biz/sale.php?id=7741

https://www.vintage-motorcycle.com/en/motorcycles/archive-sold-bikes/douglas-350-cc-1923

If your bike is really nice, original and little-worn, someone skilled might be able to turn it into a super-nice bike for 50 hours' work and maybe 1000 pounds (tyres, magneto rebuild...), but if it's all a bit worn and those "shot" tyres have had water underneath them and rust has eaten into the rims...

Value is in the eye of the purchaser: might be best to auction it? Or put it up here and ask for offers.

Cheers

Leon


Offline cbranni

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Re: Douglas for sale
« Reply #4 on: 04 Nov 2023 at 08:14 »
Hello Harry,

I have sent you a Private Message.

Kind regards Colin

Offline Harry 5

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Re: Douglas for sale
« Reply #5 on: 06 Nov 2023 at 14:08 »
Thanks to all for the comments received.
The original log book shows the last entry in Dec 1939 and fist change of ownership Aug 1947. I assume these were the dates the owner departed for WW2 and when it passed to my Uncle.  From what I heard the m/c was dry stored with only occasional use at local shows after 1939, which explains the lack of any significant rust.   There are spiral fittings fitted into the cylinder head tops that I have not seen on any other similar machine.


Offline EW-Ron

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Re: Douglas for sale
« Reply #6 on: 06 Nov 2023 at 20:28 »
Thinks for the pics. Does look to be in good condition.
If that was my bike, I'd be giving the black enamel bits a dust off and a wax and polish.
But maybe you don't want to anticipate what a new owner may want.
A dust off wouldn't hurt though. !

Ze moderator will likely be along shortly, to fix the aspect ratio.

There are spiral fittings fitted into the cylinder head tops that I have not seen on any other similar machine.

Those are called fir cones.
They were (mostly) an accessory, fitted over the exhaust valves.
Allegedly to provide extra cooling.
Not sure if there is any data to back this up.
I've not seen them on a Duggie before either.

Offline cardan

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Re: Douglas for sale
« Reply #7 on: 06 Nov 2023 at 21:05 »
The WD/23 stamp on the timing chest is interesting: one of the bikes I listed above https://www.vintage-motorcycle.com/en/motorcycles/archive-sold-bikes/douglas-350-cc-1923 is identical, and has some interesting documentation with it suggesting it never went into military service. I wonder if yours was similar? What's the first date in the reg record?

Re value: It has all the makings of a lovely thing. A sensitive deep clean and polish, as suggested by EWRon, and assembly, plus whatever mechanical tweaks required, would bring to the top of the pile for a 1923 TS. As it stands, it would have to be a "mid-range" price - higher than a project or an average restoration, but some way from the top because it is not together and running.

If you like a bit of fiddling, keep it for yourself. You can deep clean it without disassembling it: just take the screws and bolts out one at a time, clean, oil and refit. It's very relaxing and satisfying.

Cheers

Leon

Offline Dave

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Re: Douglas for sale
« Reply #8 on: 07 Nov 2023 at 17:15 »
Photos from Harry's montage above separated.








Offline Bob M

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Re: Douglas for sale
« Reply #9 on: 07 Nov 2023 at 23:50 »
Whether those fir cone valve caps help dissipate heat or not I donít know but they do have certain other advantages. Firstly no gasket is needed and they tighten further when heated. Secondly, their thread strips before that in the head. A comforting thought on occasion.

They were original fitments by some makers, for example J.A.P. and Matchless.
 
I smear a coating of Dixons Jointing Compound on mine before fitting. This is nothing but a linseed oil/graphite powder paste but I bought a tin of the stuff donkeys years ago and itís still going.
 
So far the only drawback is that the soft alloy marks easily so care is needed when removing them or they get tatty quickly.

Offline Harry 5

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Re: Douglas for sale
« Reply #10 on: 08 Nov 2023 at 10:43 »
Thanks for the up dated replies. 
cardan.  The first reg is 12/1/23. so post WW1.  Although ?? is it possible machines were used in WW1 unregistered and only registered after being shipped back to UK.  Engine number is 56300 if that helps.
Regarding cleaning, the pictures show it to be far worse than actual, with a coating looking like heavy yellow pollen that isn't actually there.  Years ago I suggested to my Uncle to repaint the m/c and had him horrified as it would ruin its value. Parts have only been oiled to prevent rusting.  He even refused the suggested "just drill the holes bigger" to fit new inner tubes as the new valves were larger diameter than the original fittings.  I failed to find the original pictures taken on my computer as earlier model had crashed with loss of memory so scanned some printed copies which suffered from loss of quality.

Perhaps as suggested I should make the time to reassemble the bike. Plenty of mechanical experience, but none with motorcycles.

Offline Harry 5

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Re: Douglas for sale
« Reply #11 on: 08 Nov 2023 at 11:11 »
Further to my thoughts to pull my finger out and do something with this machine.  Is there access to instructions on rebuilding the carburetor for the 2 3/4hp Douglas online or for purchase.  I received the parts dissembled cleaned and ready to reassemble. 

Cheers.  Harry