It was interesting to see this pair of hubs as a star attraction on Ebay, a s I had just been fondling them last Thursday, presumably just before the s eller, sceno234, put them up for auction.
I had called on him at his house in the south western suburbs of Paris to p ick up a few frames that I had bought off him via Ebay some weeks ago. Over a coffee or two he showed around the workshop in the sous-sol of his house , where he cleans up and does what is necessary to the various accessories before he sells them. I gained the impression that he intended to mount the hubs along with some other classy stuff on an all-chrome Rene Herse th at was leaning against an internal wall..
The hubs looked very impressive with their extra large flanges, but I didn' t care much for the gauge of aluminium chosen by Herse to make his new flan ge for the front hub. I did not examine the hubs too closely as I though t that they were not for sale..but did notice that Maxi-Car was stamped on the barrels. My lasting impression was that the rider would have to be 110% certain of having engaged the locating surfaces and of having torqued up t he securing rod between the various elements, before leaping on the bike an d jumping on a big gear.. It was good to have seen them in any case..but I would not have bid as much as the Ebay price, just to have something differ ent. It has put it in my mind, however to have a go at making a pair of riv etted up standard threaded hubs , based on the old designs.
Sceno234 also had a 54cms R Herse frame in stock, painted up in that dismal utilitarian petrol blue enamel.. Everything had neen dismantled. He confir med that it was a 1961 model and showed the 6 and 1 digits stamped undernea th the fork crown. Although that work and the associated brazing was of a h igh standard the same could not be said of the fitting of the drop-outs. On e of the bldaes had been slotted to accept the drop-out cetrally, while the other blade had a slot well off the centre-line and towards the inner edge of the blade. Worse still this drop-out was brazed into the blade with its upper edge proud of the curvature of the blade tip, while the other drop-o ut was lower than the rounded surface. There must have been about a sixteen th of an inch difference, made much more noticeable by the fact that dirt a nd grease had settle in the lower slot. No post-brazing filing and cleaning up had been carried out.
I left the house more than ever determined not to go looking for Rene Herse frames during my hiolday.
Norris Lockley, Sancerre, Cher, France..using Nelson MIller's computer.