1955 Douglas Dragonfly
Frame no. 1164-6
Engine no. 1164-6
Douglas Motors of Bristol, England, was a motorcycle company with a long and single-minded production in that, with a few exceptions, it produced only boxer twins (flat-twins being the English term) and mostly 350cc at that. From 1907, Douglas motorcycles were famed for their tractability and ease of starting, becoming one of the British Army's most-used motorcycles in the 1914-18 war. Douglas gained a fine record in the reliability trials and races of the 'flat-tank' era.
Post- WW2, their 'Mark' range of overhead-valve bikes bristled with advanced features such as torsion-bar suspension front and rear, unlike their mostly hard-tail rivals. What had happened, ignored by the now Westinghouse-owned concern, was the wartime move away from the smaller 350cc bike as a marketing favorite, replaced by 500cc and above. The Douglas range had also been engineered, not styled, and seemed ugly, with frames lacking any visual cohesion.
Meanwhile, the company was making much of its income from sub-assembly of Piaggio Vespa scooters and the new project , their final motorcycle, was embarked upon using a styled and revised version of their 'Mark V' engine, renowned for its smoothness, though, tragically, still of 350cc. The frame, a Reynolds Tube design, had tank and headlamp integrally styled with Earles-pattern front forks. Though a good ride and reliable, the 'Dragonfly' was is rare, with less than 1600 made.
This Dragonfly has only 3,800 miles recorded, having been stored for 41 years, though it was re-painted in the 'sixties. It starts and runs well and is to original specification, as well as concours-winning. This rare Dragonfly is for the student of the unusual in Motorcycle history.
- Please note that the title for this motorcycle is in transit.