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Lot 439: 1932 Douglas 499cc Model C32 Bulldog

Collectors' Motorcycles, Bonhams (16 October 2005)

An example of Douglas’s sports-touring lightweight 500 Bulldog, ‘YY 5716’ was first registered by one H J Holmes, of Watford, with Herts County Council on 20th October 1932. Regularly licensed during its early years but used only sparingly, it retains original tax discs for 1936, 1937 and 1938, together with two from 1953, and comes with old-style duplicate logbook issued in the 1930s. The machine was still on its original set of tyres (which it retains to this day) when put away for the 1938/’39 winter, and remained in storage, unused, until well after the end of WW2. After 12 years off the road, it was sold to one L W Heath, of Watford, on 2nd May 1951. Mr Heath stored the machine for a while and then used it during 1953, licensing it on two occasions (hence the two ’53 tax discs). The Douglas was then put back into storage and remained there until it was sold to the current owner on 2nd September 1959 with only 4,540 miles recorded from new.

Demonstrating an almost human ability to dodge work, ‘YY 5716’ immediately took up residence at the back of its new owner’s shed while a big v-twin was restored and a succession of other classic machines purchased and enjoyed. Never ridden by the current owner, it remains totally original and untouched (examination of the major fastenings suggests that none has ever seen a spanner) with fewer than 4,600 miles recorded on the Cowey speedometer.

This Douglas possesses a wonderful patination and appears in fundamentally sound mechanical condition (compression is good and the gears engage). It is offered with original maintenance manual for A, B, C, K, and M models, The Book of the Douglas, BTH magneto/lighting instruction books and Swansea V5 registration document. A truly remarkable motorcycle, worthy of the closest inspection.

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motorcycles
Bonhams, Classic & Motorcycle Mechanics Show, Stafford
TypeMotorcycle
Lot Number439
Estimate£2500-£3000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£3500
Hammer Price (inc premium)£4025
Year1932
Condition rating
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis number
Engine number5A/302
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors