1957 Douglas 348cc Dragonfly Frame no. 1688/6 Engine no. 1688/6

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Lot 76
1957 Douglas 348cc Dragonfly
Registration no. ULL 678 Frame no. 1688/6 Engine no. 1688/6

Sold for £ 3,795 (US$ 4,929) inc. premium
1957 Douglas 348cc Dragonfly
Registration no. ULL 678
Frame no. 1688/6
Engine no. 1688/6
Douglas commenced motorcycle production in 1907 with a machine powered by a horizontally opposed twin and would keep faith with this basic design of engine to the finish 50 years later. In 1955 an extensively redesigned twin replaced Douglas's earlier models. Known as the Dragonfly, the newcomer featured a revised engine with stronger crankcase, single carburettor, alternator electrics and coil ignition. The duplex swinging-arm frame employed conventional Girling dampers in place of the preceding torsion bar set-up while the old Radiadraulic front fork was dropped in favour of an Earles-type leading-link arrangement. The large headlamp nacelle extending back to the five-gallon fuel tank was a distinctive feature, though one of dubious practical merit as the light unit did not turn with the handlebars. Douglas's final model, the Dragonfly did not receive the development it deserved, production ceasing in March 1957 following the company's take-over by Westinghouse. Classic Bike magazine tested a Dragonfly in 1982, finding that although its top speed (79mph estimated) was down when compared to more modern machinery, it nevertheless offered remarkable grip and surefootedness in tricky conditions. Its 3.25-gallon tank and frugal fuel consumption of around 80 miles per gallon attracted favourable comment too.

Although sold new via the well-known Pride & Clarke dealership in Stockwell, South London, this particular Dragonfly found its first private owner some 600 miles away in Cromarty, Ross-shire! 'ULL 678' was purchased last year from a Douglas Club member who had owned the machine since January 2008 but had grown too old to use it. Since acquisition by the present owner the Dragonfly has been kept as part of his private collection and not used, but nevertheless should require only basic re-commissioning before returning to the road. Described as in generally good condition, the machine is offered with its original logbook, Swansea V5C document and a copy of its VMCC Register entry.

Saleroom notices

  • The Engine Number is: 1423/6
Contacts
1957 Douglas 348cc Dragonfly Frame no. 1688/6 Engine no. 1688/6
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