I'm trying to go back a few years in the timeframe.
If I recollect, Raleigh made a bike badged Meteor for West Coast Cycle, a
Los Angeles distributor.
They had several models, including a Campag equipped machine that this one
seems to be. We sold some of these but only for a year or so.
I think it was made in the Carlton works.
I can't see 26" wheels with those lugs, something is out of whack or typo.
The 26" wheels models were either 3 or 10 sp stock bikes.
Would someone dummy up a stock frame with Campag and 531 decal? Not likely.
I think it has full size wheels otherwise the brakes wouldn't reach. It's
also been changed to upright bar. the original bikes came with GB drops I
think, maybr TTT.
Charlie Harding may have converted it?
Charlie came from Cork, Ireland where the family had two shops. He got
depressed over the demographic change which depressed business.
Simultaneously the family had been wanting him to come back to Cork and take
over the main family shop if I remember correctly. One day he finally got
fed up with not being able to read the names on the store signs up and down
the street, sold the joint out and blew town back to Cork..
The shop was about a mile from UCLA and enjoyed good school business until a
few more shops moved closer and kids wanted too many cheap bikes.
Charlie took over the Westwood shop from the Lynch family. Ed Lynch was a
member of the '48 Olympic Cycling team and was for many years very active in
promoting and supporting cyle racing and touring.
He was the first to bring in the Follis line of touring snd racing bikes
and was an early advocate of better and lighter bikes.
Much like my dad Ted Sr., Hans Ohrt, Mel Pinto, Gene Portuesi, Oscar Juner,
Bob Ferguson, John Eisenmann, etc.
Those just prewar years and then after in the '40's and '50's were pivotal
in bringing the US market into the real cycling world and away from fixed
gear or coaster brake mentality.
Schwinn was in the fore as the only real US manufacturer making Euro-style
bikes ie: Paramount, Superior, etc.
That's a little more than Otis asked for but then once I got jamming thought
I'd keep the pace going.
Palos Verdes Estates
> Anyone ever heard of a raleigh Meteor? It says it's custom built in CA...
> Cool looking bike, I especially like the fork crown.
> George Ramos
> Portland, OR
> I have no idea of the actual source. But C. Harding in Westwood, was
> Charlie Harding's bike store in Westwood CA. (Los Angeles). I know Charlie
> sourced frames from the UK and branded them Hardings as I bought one in
> I would assume the "Meteor" to be along those lines and not a true
> "custom" build. More like "custom", in built up to spec in the shop by
> Anyone know the whereabouts of Charlie Harding these days? He was a quirky
> but really great guy, and gave me a lot of guidance when I first started
> riding road bikes. In the early 80's his shop was just dying a slow death
> and full of NOS 60's, 70's and beyond. Wish I knew then what I know now!
> Jon Williams
> Grants Pass OR USA