Douglas Australian Delivery Model 1953

I am building a bit of a ✅✅✅ triple rare bird at the moment

So here is a build walk through, as I am known for 'having clean looking bikes'

it sort of starts with preparation and technique, and of course attention to details 

This also may be interesting as it's not just your every day bike 

✅'Last official recognised rod type chassis number' off the British production line.

✅A 1953 Douglas factory open handlebar headlight 'designed purely for Australian Roads' 

with the 'very first fully pop riveted horncast' plus it own striking tail light mounted lucas 480. 

✅Oh thirdly its also with sidecar, a period lightweight 'Tom Thumb' by Reg Tillbrook SA as well!


This sort of machine being a Douglas is a rarity 

so actually it's really a group effort,  specialist skills, knowledge and a library of Factory books that are needed.

A working group of friends is very very important (actually it's the most fun bit of the whole thing) 

Rolf, Marcus and myself have spent years researching what's actually factory correct 

we're at the point that's we're all having some sort of hand in each other's ROD/G model/ GL2 machines.   

We are actually at year five of research and building these bikes (Marcus is at year eight) 

they are not as documented as the piaggio machines of the same era (1950 to 57) having sometimes obvious or hidden differences - not everything is obtainable, and some piaggio made pieces don't even quite fit. 

thus you have a process that also involves parts swaps with international collectors and maybe jumping on a lathe, or using a metal folding press as well

It's years of gaining lost knowledge in relation to both Piaggio and Douglas bikes and spares of the era and what's available now as new (what's the correct best option) .

visually identifying spares from across 2 factories made up to 70 years ago, Douglas shut production in 1957

Is one very major problem .....even for the most experienced Vespa professionals 

there are actually only less than a handful of the Australian delivery model and maybe double that in English standards 

not a lot seen, even less in a 'working state' Mostly they are ornamental in bits within someone's Vespa collection  

remember it's not just building a bike in a ramdom way  - it's building factory correct with NOS parts of museum quality 

we're talking building down to the total correct nut bolt and washer.....with everyone looking over your shoulder, your friends, other hobbyists, collectors, and even the professionals...  

we're also building Frank and Deans (Vespa house)  English standard Douglas for their collection, also from 1953! at the same time.

Go figure! And what ever you do don't bugger it up 😆john and  don't scratch the paint 




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    10442373295?profile=RESIZE_930xHere's a laugh..... the 1953 economy pinched rail re manufacturing has consumed 2 Italian VIT pascoli floor rail sets and an extra  3 meters of rubber 

    I guess not so economical these days $+400 (200 per) rail set unshipped 

    now you know why Marcus and mine are the only local examples sporting pinched rail sets 😂

    • MEMBER

      Kermit's first wash....... after installation o rails...... glad that's over! Drilling into new floor and paint is very stressful..... don't scratch it john 🙄

    Why no end caps on the floor rails..... that's just weird!! 

    well as a economy measure the Douglas factory just made the rails longer and pinched the ends....... which of course is a problem as ALL rail sets are with those Italian designed alloy end caps

    result : you have to make your own longer floor rails and buy continuous lengths of rubber tread

    that's what's happening now

    how to get the dimensions..... borrow an actual original but ruined set and pattern copy them.....

    result this bike will be the only other locally that has correct pinched endcaps fitted
    • MEMBER

      and fit like so...


    • MEMBER

      being of brit make. it has a battery unlike its italian faro basso stable mates, to support park light functions 



    • MEMBER

      Basically what your looking at? 

      a 1949 bacchetta (rod type) vespa
      with a 'non cable' selector gear change 

      made under licence by the Douglas Corperation ( famous for motorcycles) adapted for British (and commonwealth countries).   

      This factory version (and the last rod out the factory door) was made for the Australian market in particular

      NSW QLD WA. 

      imported and sold by (ALLIED ACCESSORIES)

      aka Bruce Small PTY LTD




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