c.1925 Douglas 494cc Model RA Engine no. EL361 Gearbox no. MG105
Lot 337*
c.1925 Douglas 494cc Model RA
Engine no. EL361 Gearbox no. MG105
Sold for £9,200 (US$ 14,764) inc. premium

Lot Details
c.1925 Douglas 494cc Model RA Engine no. EL361 Gearbox no. MG105 c.1925 Douglas 494cc Model RA Engine no. EL361 Gearbox no. MG105 c.1925 Douglas 494cc Model RA Engine no. EL361 Gearbox no. MG105 c.1925 Douglas 494cc Model RA Engine no. EL361 Gearbox no. MG105 c.1925 Douglas 494cc Model RA Engine no. EL361 Gearbox no. MG105 c.1925 Douglas 494cc Model RA Engine no. EL361 Gearbox no. MG105 c.1925 Douglas 494cc Model RA Engine no. EL361 Gearbox no. MG105 c.1925 Douglas 494cc Model RA Engine no. EL361 Gearbox no. MG105 c.1925 Douglas 494cc Model RA Engine no. EL361 Gearbox no. MG105 c.1925 Douglas 494cc Model RA Engine no. EL361 Gearbox no. MG105 c.1925 Douglas 494cc Model RA Engine no. EL361 Gearbox no. MG105 c.1925 Douglas 494cc Model RA Engine no. EL361 Gearbox no. MG105 c.1925 Douglas 494cc Model RA Engine no. EL361 Gearbox no. MG105 c.1925 Douglas 494cc Model RA Engine no. EL361 Gearbox no. MG105 c.1925 Douglas 494cc Model RA Engine no. EL361 Gearbox no. MG105 c.1925 Douglas 494cc Model RA Engine no. EL361 Gearbox no. MG105 c.1925 Douglas 494cc Model RA Engine no. EL361 Gearbox no. MG105 c.1925 Douglas 494cc Model RA Engine no. EL361 Gearbox no. MG105 c.1925 Douglas 494cc Model RA Engine no. EL361 Gearbox no. MG105 c.1925 Douglas 494cc Model RA Engine no. EL361 Gearbox no. MG105 c.1925 Douglas 494cc Model RA Engine no. EL361 Gearbox no. MG105 c.1925 Douglas 494cc Model RA Engine no. EL361 Gearbox no. MG105 c.1925 Douglas 494cc Model RA Engine no. EL361 Gearbox no. MG105 c.1925 Douglas 494cc Model RA Engine no. EL361 Gearbox no. MG105 c.1925 Douglas 494cc Model RA Engine no. EL361 Gearbox no. MG105 c.1925 Douglas 494cc Model RA Engine no. EL361 Gearbox no. MG105
c.1925 Douglas 494cc Model RA
Engine no. EL361 Gearbox no. MG105
Douglas had built racing and experimental overhead-valve motorcycles prior to WWI but the first production OHV models did not emerge until after the war's end. In September 1921 at Brooklands an overhead-valve Douglas set new 350cc records at 200, 300 and 400 miles. The first production models appeared at that year's Motor Cycle Show and soon demonstrated an enviable combination of speed and reliability. Sales were boosted considerably when in March 1922 Cyril Pullin became the first man to exceed 100mph on a '500' riding one of the new OHV Douglases. Having made a successful start, Douglas improved upon the concept with the successor 'RA' model, which took its name from the British Research Association, designers of the novel disc brakes fitted front and rear. There was a new frame and the gearbox was relocated above the rear cylinder, enabling the engine to be mounted lower down. Instead of a separate oil tank, engine lubricant was contained within a large aluminium sump. Another novel feature was the use of a twist grip for throttle control instead of the customary lever. Extensive use of aluminium kept the weight down to an admirable 275lb.

Douglas pulled out all the stops for the 1923 Isle of Man Senior TT, fielding no fewer than nine works RAs which were ridden by some of the finest riders of the day including Pullin, Rex Judd, Jack Emerson and Vic Anstice together with the previous year's Junior/Senior winners Tommy Sheard and Alec Bennett. Mastering the foul weather conditions, Manxman Sheard won while another Douglas ridden by Jim Whalley set fastest lap. Sheard also enjoyed the distinction of being the first man to lap the Mountain Course at over 60mph. Douglas had already secured an historic victory earlier in the week when Freddie Dixon and Walter Denny had won the inaugural Sidecar TT using Dixon's revolutionary banking sidecar chassis.

Capitalising on the RA's success, Douglas marketed it as the 'IOM Model', claiming that it was 'identical with the "TT" winning Douglas, which broke the record in all the big 1923 classics.' This last was a reference to Whalley's record-breaking wins in the 1923 French Grand Prix and Spanish 12 Hours race.

The machine offered here consists of an RA frame dating from circa 1925/26 and a 1928 DT-type dirt-track engine. The frame has the gearbox support lug typical of the RA while the gearbox, 'MG105', is a correct 'IOM Model' unit. Correspondence on file states that Mike Milner-Smyth acquired the RA as a 'basket case' that showed signs of a hard racing life, as evidenced by various modifications including the modern front brake. Offered for restoration and sold strictly as viewed, this rare overhead-valve Douglas sports roadster is offered with the aforementioned correspondence and assorted photocopied literature. The machine also comes with a spare fuel tank and a genuine but incomplete RA engine ('FF18') minus its cylinder heads.

Saleroom notices

  • No Notice
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine, Coins & Medals and Motor Cars and Motorcycles:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first £50,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 the Hammer Price
12% from £1,000,001 of the Hammer Price

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, check with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveler's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Credit card charges: a surcharge of 2% is applicable when using Mastercard, Visa and overseas debit cards.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Lot symbols
* Import low rate

VAT on imported items at a preferential rate of 5% on Hammer Price and the prevailing rate on Buyer's Premium.

Contacts
  1. James Stensel
    Specialist - Motorcycles
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 8963 2818
    FaxFax: +44 20 8963 2801
Similar Items