Re: [CR]Golden Arrow

(Example: Framebuilders:Rene Herse)

From: <>
Date: Sat, 18 May 2002 21:22:29 EDT
Subject: Re: [CR]Golden Arrow


Too nice a package to part out. I strongly agree.

Sometimes collector wheelware is as much or more a document of a culture's history rather than just a means for self-propulsion or an engineering artifact.

British cycling club culture didn't take off in the States. We don't have as many cycletouring stories from the thirties's and forties. If I were walking through a bicycle museum I likely would spend some time looking over this bike and its documentation.

Calvert Guthrie Kansas City

In a message dated 5/18/2002 6:36:38 PM Central Standard Time, writes:
> A friend told me about a bike for sale on a non-bike site. There was a
> picture of a roadster frame, fenders, unusual drop bars, drum brakes. big
> bike bag. I contacted the seller, an eighty year old gentleman from
> Boston.The bike was a Golden Arrow, 1938. In 38 his father offered the
> seller, then 16, and his older brother the choice between buying and
> sharing
> a jalopy or getting their own bikes. The brother chose the Record Ace, the
> seller the Golden Arrow. This is how it went. I'd ask about the bike and
> the
> seller would reel off these great stories...riding the Arrow from Boston to
> Canada in the forties, commuting to classes at Harvard, his son using the
> bike when he went to school, crashing into the back of a bus, having the
> bike stolen in 39 and being recovered by the police minus the saddle and
> bars which he recplaced. The fellow wasn't looking for a buyer, but rather
> someone to adopt one of his children! I paid $500 for the bike and all of
> the accessories, tool kit, Brooks carradice, lights, 70's Bluemels and the
> original rear Brittanica, and paper and a personal written history of this
> man's one and only bike. He even had his daughter call me months later to
> make sure I was happy with the bike. A year after the purchase he sent me
> the original can of S/A oil. The bike was built up with Marsh bars, S/A
> drum
> brakes front and rear, a very old Brooks saddle, and a top tube mounted
> shifter for the S/A 3 speed hub. He told me that the bikes were early
> imports to the Boston area and that one could customize the bike with
> details like wheels and bars. Much to my disappointment the bike had
> suffered some frame damage in the accident 25 years ago. Bent fork and
> slight bends in the top and down tubes. Chuck's comments about repaints
> seem
> appropriate here. I have way too much money into this bike to restore it,
> not that I'd want to, but the frame does demand some attention. It's got a
> great history but I don't have a museum to house it in. Parts are cool and
> I've thought of swapping them out on a similar vintage frame and keeping
> the
> frame in the attic. I don't feel like the guy intentionally burned me in
> any
> way and I never felt comfortable going back with him about the frame.It has
> made me appreciate buying bikes in the flesh...I might have missed the
> damage in person, but probably not. I'm less apt to want to sell a bike or
> frame through photos because I want someone to know exactly what they're
> getting. I've floated out the bike's availability here and elsewhere, but
> I'm not sure if parting it out is a good thing. Maybe I should just keep
> it,
> flawed as it is. Riding it for the first time carried with it all of the
> history and adventures this bike has had. This was one man's bike for a
> lifetime, not a wall hanger or part of his herd. It seems like that fact
> alone ought to keep the bike in the world. Any suggestions?
> Art Smith
> 100+ in dry Phoenix