[CR]Ephgrave dates, numbers, and so on--sleuthing assistance

(Example: History:Norris Lockley)

To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 23:28:44 -0400
From: "Thomas E Ward" <tom.ward@juno.com>
Subject: [CR]Ephgrave dates, numbers, and so on--sleuthing assistance

Norris wrote:

<Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 01:27:52 +0100 From: "Norris Lockley" <Norris.Lockley@btopenworld.com>

In an earlier thread Jerome and Elizabeth Moos enquired about an = Ephgrave of "dubious" origins, knowing that there might be good copies = around. I have copied various marques but never an Ephgrave because I never = particularly liked the lugwork.. and because no one ever asked for one.

However there was a builder in Harrogate, Steve Elsworth, formerly the = foreman builder for MKM, who set up in his own right when MKM shut down = Steve built very largely for other shops, but did build many under his = brand OMEGA ( long before Mark Joint adopted the name) and later under = his own name..

In the late 70s/early 80s Steve came across a cache of EKLA lugs and = crowns and, at the request of a number of clients, produced a few copies of Len's No1 frames, but none ever carried any other transfer = than "Elsworth"

If, by a long shot your's is one of these, you can rest assured that it = will be of the very highest quality.

Norris Lockley..>

snip snip

Dear Norris & Ephgrave-friendly CR penpals,

I'd mentioned my ownership of an Ephgrave as well, and I'm grateful for the continuation of this thread. This one here at my place is resprayed, seems to be a plainer version, so I think of it it as an Ephgrave No. 2 frame--no cut-outs, chroming, etc. Does not have the stay-end "lollipops"--though the seat-tube flex-slot has an upside-down lollipop form in miniature...nice touch, that.

I finally turned the frameset upside down for a good look at the underside of the bottom bracket shell.

Mine is marked:

1 53 1929 LE

in that order with the LE appearing on the bottom bracket shell proper, and the other stamped letters and numbers on the adjacent downtube lug.

"1929" is repeated in the very southernmost point of the bottom bracket shell, perpendicular to the other stampings, and a bit past that one finds a proprietary "Nervex" above a long chain of numbers, perhaps a patent number--interrupted by an underside oiler fitting. There are two oil fittings in total on the bottom bracket.

Looking at the Ephgrave serial number chart on the CR site, I notice that they're all four digit serial numbers, but they're all in the 2000s and 3000s. "1 53" would suggest a date to me, but I wonder if that jives with: the Nervex bottom bracket shell--and also--the Campagnolo dropouts with which this machine is equipped . . .

I see that the Campagnolo dropouts (visiting Chuck Schmidts timeline) do go back to 1951....but I wonder if they might not have been replaced--or might this be a '60s frame?

I bought this frameset from a listmember--thanks again, I love it--and pics were posted last spring (I didn't keep the link). It's a sort of metallic maize color, pale yellow-gold, with black lining. I think it may have left a bit of a trail, perhaps passing through other CR hands along the way. Anyone who knows anything about the provenance of this frameset, please let me know or post to the list. It's fancy, but not ultra-fancy, so I feel it suits me. Again, thanks to my forebears for handing this down.

I believe it's authentic, but the actual date of the frame's manufacture (unless it's 1 53), and the and the originality of the Campagnolo dropouts, remain mysterious to me.

One other bit of information--possibly a clue to something--is that the roller guides for the derailleur cables, brazed onto the top of the bb shell, include one with two rollers (for the rear, of course). Wasn't one of the early Campagnolo rear derailleurs a twin cable type? I've never seen one, but the Campagnolo timeline mentions it. Could this help to justify the presence of the Campagnolo dropouts as original?

Thanks for your indulgence!

Tom Ward
New York