1921 Douglas 2¾hp W/20 Registration no. AH 4394 Frame no. not located Engine no. 44587
Early Vintage-era Douglas Capable 'Banbury' machine 'Barn find' for restoration
The Bristol-based Douglas Foundry took up motorcycle production in 1907 with a machine powered by a horizontally-opposed, twin-cylinder engine, and the company would keep faith with this layout until it ceased motorcycle production in 1957. Fore-and-aft installation made for a slim machine with a low centre of gravity, and the design's virtues were soon demonstrated in competition, 2¾hp Douglas machines taking 1st, 2nd and 4th places in the 1912 Junior TT in the Isle of Man. Douglas were quick to realise the advantages of the countershaft gearbox, its three-speed entries gaining the Team Prize in the 1914 Six Days Trial, a conspicuous success that resulted in the firm obtaining a wartime contract for the supply of military machines. Douglas' success continued after The Great War. In its publicity announcing the 1924 models the company claimed that 'well over 75,000 Douglas 2¾hp machines are giving satisfaction every day to their owners.' No need was seen for major changes: 'For many years now it has not been found necessary to alter the main design, which incorporated the vibrationless twin-cylinder engine, because, as a mount world famous for economy, ease of control and great comfort, it had withstood the buffeting and battering of every clime since 1908, under all conditions, in the hands of riders of both sexes and all ages.' It would be another two years before a wholesale revision by Chief Designer Cyril Pullin saw the new EW model emerge.
Its accompanying V5C registration document shows that this Vintage-era Douglas was acquired for the collection in 1986 having previously been registered to one Jack Montague Smith of Stowlangtoft, Bury St Edmunds. First registered in Norfolk, 'AH 4394' has a 350cc sidevalve engine of the fixed head type with outside flywheel and BTH magneto ignition. The transmission comprises chain primary drive to a two-speed gearbox with belt final drive. The front fork is of the side-spring type with stirrup front brake, while rear wheel retardation is achieved by a v-block belt-rim brake. Apparently substantially original and compete, this delightful 'barn find' should be relatively straightforward to restore.