Douglas Motorcycles 1907-1957

Kingswood factory

The Kingswood factory, Bristol, UK.

The Douglas Engineering Company was formed in Bristol by brothers William and Edwin in 1882 at first as a blacksmiths shop, but soon expanding to become an ironfounders. After the turn of the century and the advent of the motor vehicle they soon became involved in the development of engines.

The Douglas motorcycle began in 1905 as a prototype engine by Joseph Barter which by 1907 had evolved to become the Fairy Motorcycle. This was followed by a long line of horizontally opposed twin cylinder machines of 2.75 HP right through to the late twenties. 1914 saw production in large quantities for the war effort and also the start of the 3.5 HP models followed closely by the 4 HP machines. During the twenties many others followed such as the 350cc EW, 500cc and 600cc models and speedway machines. In the thirties a wide range of machines were produced including the S6/T6, Endeavour (the first transverse twin) and finally the pre-war Aero models. After the Second World War during which Douglas manufactured the horizontally opposed stationary engine, they restarted motorcycle production with the 350cc MK I, this being followed by the MK 3 and MK 4 models both with sports variants.

The start of the fifties saw the MK5 variant with the Competition and Plus series models. The final model, the Dragonfly, still a horizontally opposed twin was announced in 1954 with production finally ending in 1957. An overall marque life span of just 50 years.