Hugh Thornton asks about how to date his old Frejus frame, which is devoid of original paintwork. Pity that because the finish on Frejus frames is often a good indicator of age of the frame.
There's little doubt that the 56 under the bracket is the size, but what puzzles me is the mixture of the TDF stamp and the Simplex ends. Frejus frames were imported into the UK in the early 50s by Jaggard Mills and Co of London. The 1950 catalogue lists three models, the base model "Strada" available only in 22", the "Corsa" available only in "22" and the "Supercorsa" available in 54,56,58, and 60cms. only this last model had Simplex ends. The 1951 catalogue listed the same models exactly , while a 1956 catalogue from the American importer listed only two models - "Professional Road" and "Professional Track", subtitled Supercorsa World Champion for both models.. Both models had the appropriate Campagnolo rear drop-outs. What puzzles me is that there is no mention of a TDF model. As to riders.. well none other than Ferdi Kubler won the Tour de France in 1950 on the "Supercoras" model... so that might have given rise to a T-d-F frame in 1952 or 53. The manufacturer had world champions in 1930, 33, and 48 - these are the dates on the headbadge. Other famous riders included Bartali, Martano, Giuseppe Olmo, Cino Cinelli, and Guido Messina ( Was he World Champion on the Track?) In the early years of the 1950s the UK importer sponsored a very powerful team that inlcuded George Lander, Daave Bedwell, Len West, and, I think, Clive Parker. They were all-conquering for a couple of years. Lander is claimed by many to have been UK,s finest ever roadman, while Bedwell went on to become a very successful rider as well. I think it reasonable to assume that your fame must be around 1952/53
Hope that helps a little.
Norris Lockley.. Settle.. UK