"The Custom Bicycle" (Kolin & de la Rosa) has a chapter on Condor. They note that Monty Young "was 17 years old when he started manufacturing bicycle frames under the Condor label in 1946." Read one way, you could think it says that Young started the company, but read in the light of Mick's info, it looks more like a lad taking up a trade at an existing shop. Interesting; over the years I'd heard a couple of variations on attempted explanations for why the name "Condor," most having to do with the "rarity" of the bird (certainly they're rare enough over here, but they must be really hard to find in Britain* ;-). Mick's account makes much more sense to my ears.
"The Custom Bicycle" makes mention of the marque's cachet, but I recall Condors being touted as among "the very best" British lightweights in the American press prior to its publication.
Thanks again for the info, Mick!
Dennis Ryan in warm and stormy Louisville, KY, USA
* I was somewhat disconcerted by this curious affair For a single armadillo, you will own, On Salisbury Plain in summer Is comparatively rare, And a pair of them is practically unknown
-The Armadillo, by Flanders & Swann
-----Original Message----- From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]On Behalf Of Mick Butler Sent: Saturday, June 12, 2004 3:52 AM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: [CR] Condor Cycles
I always thought that Condors was started by a man called ? Conway. The bikes didn't sell well under this brand name. Mr. Conway sorry I can't remember his christian name had a wife a called Dora and a friend of theirs suggested that they take Con and Dor to make up the name Condor. Monty Young worked for them in the shop as a wheel builder cum shop assistant he later acquired the business from Mr. Conway.
Best wishes and be lucky. Michael Butler Huntingdon UK.