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Bonhams 1793 Ltd – Motorcycle dept
101 New Bond Street, London
W1S 1SR
Tel:  020 8963 2817
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1928 DOUGLAS 500CC RA/DT RACING SPECIAL (LOT 399) SOLD by Auction

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  • £30,000 Auction Estimate
  • 1928
Message the seller
Price £30,000 Auction Estimate
Ad Type For Sale by Auction
Category Motorcycles
Make Douglas
Model RA/DT RACING SPECIAL
Year 1928
Country UK
Region Oxfordshire
Telephone 020 8963 2817
Status Trade
Date 21-Jul-2020
Ref C1248071
This motorcycle is to be auctioned at our Live and Online Summer Sale, Hanger 113, Bicester Heritage, OX26 5HA.

SALE TIMES
Friday 14 August Spares & Memorabilia (Lot 1 - 212) 10am
Saturday 15 August Motorcycles (Lot 301 - 462) 10am
Sunday 16 August Motorcycles (Morbidelli Collection) (Lot 501 - 704) 10am

VIEWING
In light of the current government guidelines and relaxed measures we are delighted to welcome viewing, strictly by appointment. All the lots will be on view at Bicester Heritage in our traditional Hangar 113. We will ensure social distancing measures are in place, with gloves and sanitiser available for clients wishing to view motorcycle history files.

Please contact Bonhams Motorcycles with your preferred date, time and vehicle registration number to book an appointment.

VIEWING TIMES
Wednesday 12 August 1pm to 5pm
Thursday 13 August 9am to 5pm
Friday 14 August 9am to 5pm
Saturday 15 August 9am to 5pm (Lots 501-704 only)

LIVE AND ONLINE AUCTION
Please note that whilst public viewing is available by appointment, the auction itself will be conducted from a remote saleroom, behind closed doors without public access, in accordance with the current government guidelines. All bidding will be conducted via Online, Telephone and Absentee Bidding. Please contact our Bids Department to register.

AUCTION ADDRESS
Hangar 113
Bicester Heritage
Buckingham Road
Bicester
Oxfordshire
OX26 5HA


1928 DOUGLAS 500CC RA/DT RACING SPECIAL (LOT 399)
REGISTRATION NO. BF 8703
FRAME NO. FF 23
ENGINE NO. EK 105
• Rare overhead-valve sports model
• Originally used for speedway racing
• Entirely restored (good-condition engine excepted)

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 Douglas models. 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. Riding an RA, Manxman Tommy Sheard won the 1923 Isle of Man Senior TT while Jim Whalley won that year's French Grand Prix and Spanish 12 Hours race. Capitalising on the RA's success, Douglas marketed it as the 'IOM Model', claiming that it was identical with the TT winning machine.

The RA also played a part in the development of the famous Dirt-Track Douglas. Douglas was the first manufacturer to establish dominance in the sport of speedway, which had been introduced into the UK from Australia in the late 1920s. According to the late Jeff Clew (writing in his book, The Douglas Motorcycle): "One of the first riders to demonstrate the art of 'broadsiding' in the UK was Stewie St George, a New Zealander who entered the Greenford Track's meeting on Easter Saturday 1928. He put up a superb display with his modified RA model...

"News of Stewie's performance reached the Douglas works and he was invited to Bristol for the day by John Douglas, to discuss the possibility of developing a machine specifically for dirt-track racing." The result was the Dirt-Track Douglas: basically an RA with its rear section replaced with that of an OB model. On his first outing at Manchester, St George won every race on the new machine.

We are advised by the private vendor that this RA was originally used for speedway racing before being modified for road use with mudguards and road tyres. The vendor advises us that with the exception of the engine, which was in good condition, the entire machine has been restored. Accompanying documentation consists of a Douglas Club dating letter and a V5C Registration Certificate.

£30,000 - 35,000
€33,000 - 39,000

As with all Lots in the Sale, this Lot is sold 'as is/where is' and Bidders must satisfy themselves as to the provenance, condition, age, completeness and originality prior to bidding.

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