[CR]Re: Confusion on a Raleigh (Gran Sport) -- Campag & GB equipped

Date: Sun, 13 Nov 2005 13:33:16 -0800 (PST)
From: Syke - Deranged Few M/C <sykerocker@yahoo.com>
To: "tom.ward@juno.com" <tom.ward@juno.com>, classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
In-Reply-To: <20051113.103645.5679.108221@webmail28.lax.untd.com>
cc: sykerocker@yahoo.com
Subject: [CR]Re: Confusion on a Raleigh (Gran Sport) -- Campag & GB equipped


Thanks a lot for the information. A couple of details I failed to mention on the first posting:

The right fork leg has a threaded boss with a chrome plate (Raleigh Heron cutout on the plate) bolted to it, looks like it was made to attach some kind of headlight. The front hub is a Sturmey Archer/Raleigh with domed nuts. Bottom bracket is Raleigh, chainwheels are 46/49. Original color was red and white. No fenders, of course.

At present, the responses I've gotten are of two varieties. The majority are going with the idea that I've lucked into something about fifteen years older than I expected. There's also a minority opinion that a non-catalog Gran Sport model was made between 78-81 using up old Grand Prix parts. At this point, the Grand Prix and Record were using Sun Tour and three-pin cotterless cranks.

The bike, when I got it was in rideable but horrible shape. The was a slight dent in the left fork leg, seat tube and left rear stay, obviously from a careless car bumper in the garage. The finish was a combination of scratches and rust. This put paid to any hopes I had of keeping the frame original. Bondo took care of the dents (a wiggle in the rear stay is still noticeable), and a decent, completely wrong color paint job put it back in shape to the point that I can take it on the street without being embarrassed.

For the next six months, this bike is my ticket to see if the old feelings toward bicycling are for real. If so, I start looking for something better (hopefully start with a NOS frame and build myself something). In the interim, I'm going to be looking for the remaining missing parts (GB brake levers, front derailleur, rear hub, new rims) toward eventual restoration. And if someone finally reproduces the proper frame decals, we strip the frame down again and paint it properly.

Just got back from 20 miles on the local backroads - damn, I'd forgotten how good a well made frame feels, even a cheap one. This made for an interesting Sunday: Morning M/C meeting and breakfast run on the Springer Softail, afternoon on the Raleigh.

Will be in touch about a copy of that ad. Thanks a lot.

George R. "Syke" Paczolt Montpelier, VA

"tom.ward@juno.com" <tom.ward@juno.com> wrote: Dear Syke and interested parties,

I think I've got this ID pegged with an ad (full page, though it's a small format magazine) from the inside cover of the September 1962 CTC Gazette (Cyclists' Touring Club). Within the ad, there's a perfectly front-on view (technical drawing rather than photo, I believe, but it's hard to tell) of the Raleigh Gran Sport, and the following list of specifications:

"* Cutaway lugs, simple and elegant * Fork crown, forged and machined * wrap-over seat stays * Oval-to-round fork blades and chainstays * Styled front and rear fork ends * Brazed-on fittings * Chromium plated front fork ends * New design chain-wheel and beautifully machined cranks * Low bottom bracket, height 10 3/4" * Domed nuts * 72 degree parallel angles * Bluemel Classique guards * Campag pump clips * Campag gear with Raleigh disc protector * Campag change levers and stop * G.B. alloy Maes pattern bend * G.B. alloy stem * G.B. 'Coureur 66' centre pull brakes, quick release * Brooks' B15 saddle, perforated * Racelite hubs, etc, etc."

I've reproduced the copy above as exactly as possible.

Pertinent stuff related to what Syke wrote: domed nuts refers to the hubs (Racelite were by the BH (British Hub) Co., and would likely be large flange with circular perforations 8mm in diameter (I have some right here on a '58 Raleigh Lenton Grand Prix, paired with Dunlop 'Special Lighweight' steel rims). You've got the Campagnolo Gran Sport rear derailleur, the chrome tips, the GB brakes, the GB bars and stem--all mentioned in the ad copy above. What about the wrapover stays? Botton-bracket height? Angles? Have we got a match?

Looks as if your machine reaches back much farther in time than you'd surmised. Also seems you have a good start on a restoration if you desire, with a good 70 percent or so of the original equipment being present.

Cost as a ten speed (you could have spec'd 5-spd as well) would have been Sterling 30.19.3 (remember, as the Pretty Things put it in song and song title in '65, "L.s.d"--pounds, shillings, pence--and that *was* what they meant, that year)--and "thanks to Raleigh Easy Terms" you could have spread that via their hire purchase plan over 9, 12 or 18 months. "Your Raleigh dealer will be pleased to give you full details"--and--'When answering advertisements, PLEASE MENTION "THE CTC GAZETTE" September 1962'.

Send me your address some time and I'll mail you a photocopy of the ad if you like. Also try comparing your frame number with the schemes archived on Sheldon's site or elsewhere, and see if your Raleigh doesn't match up with the early-to-mid-'Sixties. I feel confident this is what you've got. Congratulations on a pretty nice bike--and Campagnolo components at any level don't seem to have been an everyday affair in England at the time (nor in the States). My '58 Lenton Grand Prix (Reg Harris Road Model) is made of 531, but Cyclo-equipped, of course. Your 'Campag'-equipped model probably represented a nice step up--or step in--to the original owner and can be just as enjoyable now.

Note to self: must get out and ride, it's beautiful outside! I was bummed out to have to miss a ride with John Pergolizzi & Co. a weekend or two ago. Wanted to see the '46 Camille-Daudon, definitely! Hope there'll be another chance.

Tom Ward New York City

Syke Deranged Few M/C

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