1953 Douglas Mark V Frame no. 121895 Engine no. 101215
Lot 418
1953 Douglas Mark V Frame no. 121895 Engine no. 101215
Sold for US$ 8,050 inc. premium
Lot Details
1953 Douglas Mark V
Frame no. 121895
Engine no. 101215
During a 50-year production run that lasted from 1907 to 1957, the Bristol-based Douglas family produced unique motorcycles with horizontally opposed cylinders, early on with the two pistons situated fore and aft. So reliable and well-respected were the machines that in World War I British armed forces purchased some 70,000 Douglas motorbikes. The company did its part in the next World War as well, this time providing stationary 350cc electrical generators, again with their two cylinders facing each other, boxer-style. It's reported that a Douglas generator was responsible for providing electricity for Prime Minister Winston Churchill's wartime summit alongside the Sphinx in Egypt.

With the war over, the generator motor was repurposed as a motorcycle powerplant, this time with its cylinders situated left and right, jutting into the cooling breeze a la BMW. While this was a quick way of getting back into civilian production, the engine, designed for steady-state droning, would need some recalibration for bike use. This came in 1949 in the form of the Mark III, with redesigned cylinders, combustion chambers and pistons. This was followed by the Mark V, produced from 1951-54.

Larry Lattin's Mark V also displays the model's other innovative features. At a time when most other makes had rigid frames, Douglas was running a unique torsion-bar rear suspension. Up front there's the company's "Radiadraulic" oil-damped forks, a compact leading-link setup. Douglas was pretty proud of their machine and made no bones about, as this brochure entry clearly shows: "The Mark V represents one of the most highly developed models in the industry and has no rival for the motorcyclist who needs efficiency, comfort, reliability and perfect road-holding. A twin is best and Douglas is the best twin."

A selection of Douglas manuals is included in this sale.

Without Reserve

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that the title for this motorcycle is in transit
  1. Motor Cars (US)
    Auction Administration - Motorcycles
    Work +1 415 391 4000
    FaxFax: +1 415 391 4040
  2. Nick Smith
    Specialist - Motorcycles
    7601 W. Sunset Boulevard
    Los Angeles, 90046
    United States
    Work +1 323 436 5470
    FaxFax: +1 323 850 5843