I worked with Peter in East Longmeadow back in, jeez . . 1984. His shop was located on one end of the building that housed his father's machine shop which specialized in high speed packaging equipment for the candy industry.
Peter really admired the fancy lugged english and french style bikes from years past. He built many bikes with simple pressed Prugnat and Bocama lugs, but his real love was the fancy show-type bikes with amazing workmanship on the lugs AND the hand engraved black anodized parts. They took forever to complete and they certainly helped to put him out of business, but they were stunning to look at. I don't think I really appreciated his fancy lug jobs at the time as much as I do now. I think it was neat for him to possess the drive to try and make these special bikes UNIQUE - and not a copy of something else's style.
Peter was very highly skilled as a frame builder in my opinion. The standards for construction accuracy, finishing, and design were very high. He went to the trouble to import his own mix of Reynolds 531 tubes in gauges he specified - rare for a small builder of his size. Another quirk of his was to use 26 mm top tubes (French size) instead of the 25.4 standard, as the larger diameter was stiffer (!) In retrospect such a small difference looks pretty ridiculous, but at the time it illustrates how much he went through to make his frames special. We had to expand the 25.4 top tube/seat tube lug sockets with a series of long tapered mandrels in order to make everything fit . . . Oh was this a bitch.
The last I talked to him he was in Leeds MA. teaching school at some private academy. This was maybe @ 10 -12 years ago. He was only building as a hobby by then. IIRC he had two or three brothers and the family had roots out of western MA. I tried googling him and his family last year but I had no luck. I hope someday I'll be able to drop him a line or give him a call. Let me know if you track him down. If you find one of his frames and it fits you I recommend giving it a try - they were really well built and the one I had rode like a dream.
Good Luck ! Mike Fabian in San Francisco ----- Original Message ----- From: Dicwrijr@aol.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sent: Thursday, December 09, 2004 6:17 PM Subject: [CR]Peter Ouellette
Anyone have any info. on this Massachusetts framebuilder? Or own one of his bicycles?? As I understand it, he was building in the early 80's and out of E. Longmeadow, Ma.
Dick Wright Berwyn, Pa.
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