Douglas 1916 2 ¾ HP 2 speed 349 cc side valve twin frame # 40127 engine# 38930
This Bristol-based firm developed the horizontally opposed fore-aft unit in about 1907 and continued utilizing this engine layout well into the thirties.
The earliest Douglas models had direct belt drive, but in 1910 a two-speed gearbox was added, with the control on top of the petrol tank. Douglas machines became very popular because of their lightness, ease of starting and speed: in the 1912 Junior TT races Douglas took first, second and fourth places.
In the First World War thousands of 2 ¾ HP machines were commissioned for use by despatch riders and performed splendidly.
In the early twenties year by year small improvements were made and many Douglas machines were sold each year. In a publicity booklet announcing the 1924 models the company claimed that “well over 75,000 Douglas 2 ¾ machines are giving satisfaction every day to their owners.”
The company saw no need for big design 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.”
This interesting survivor comes complete with acetylene lighting and bulb horn.
It is fitted with the special front forks with extra horizontal springs (an extra for military use?) and is technically in good condition.
It could use some cosmetic attention though.