Re: [CR] "fake" 1950s Carltom Massed Start

(Example: Framebuilders)

In-Reply-To: <>
From: "Jon Spangler" <>
Date: Sun, 4 Oct 2009 21:58:30 -0700
To: <>
Subject: Re: [CR] "fake" 1950s Carltom Massed Start

Dear Don,

I appreciate your expert critique of the decals and finish on this "fake" Carlton bike, but am still left wondering whether the frame is a genuine 1950s Massed Start that has been modernized and repainted (albeit with improper decals) or whether it is, as you say, a later model of Carlton that has been misidentified or mislabeled by the seller.

We have frequent discussions here about the lug and fork crown variations (seemingly discernible by month) on Masis, Cinellis, and other Italian classics, for instance, and I know enough about what to look for just from skimming them. How does one distinguish a genuine 1950s Carlton Massed Start (or any other similar frame) from its later brethren based on the unique frame design details? How does one ascertain that the frame underneath this gorgeous paint job is or is not a Carlton "of a certain age"?

Looking forward to further enlightenment,

Jon Spangler Trying to learn something about Carltons and authenticity in Alameda, CA USA

On Oct 4, 2009, at 7:32 AM, <> <> wrote:
> Message: 2
> Date: Sat, 3 Oct 2009 20:19:37 -0700
> From: donald gillies <>
> Subject: Re: [CR] ebay outing: amazing carlton - fake, fake, fake
> To: <>
> Cc:,
> Message-ID: <>
> Content-Type: text/plain
> I have a 1950 flyer and I've seen massed starts and super pythons on
> ebay, and of course I saved the photos in my archive of Carlton Art.
> This is a beautiful bike, just beautiful. But it's certainly not a
> 1950's Massed Start bike. It could possibly be an early 1960's bike
> of some sort.
> I'll tell you just why this bike is a fake.
> 1. First, bikes in the 50's era had a different seat tube decal.
> Even though reproductions of that vintage seat tube decal are
> available from Nick at Lloyds, I'll can tell you exactly why the
> painter didn't use the reproductions, assuming he knew what he was
> doing. The painter used a 2nd head tube decal because the seat
> tube decal SHOULD contain THE MODEL NAME within the seat tube
> decal to be authentic.
> My 1950 Carlton Flyer says "FLYER" within the decal.
> Another 50's bike says "SUPER PYTHON" within the decal.
> Pix available on request.
> 2. My 1950 Carlton flyer is reynolds 531 throughout, but more
> importantly, its freak'in light, a 1900 grams frame for a 23"
> sized frame. The 531 decal used on my bike is the "thumbnail"
> sized decal that just says '531'. It doesn't have all the
> B.S. contained on the decal in the auction.
> 3. More importantly, where's the frick'in 'Carlton' script decal that
> belongs on the top tube or downtube, much like what Raleigh
> adopted in the 70's? What Raleigh adopted in the 70's, Carlton
> was doing in the 50's.
> Excuse my french. I have MADE copies of this decal PRECISELY
> BECAUSE its so difficult to find. doesn't make it.
> The bike should not have block letters on the downtube, it should
> be script letters, just like on my 1950 Carlton Flyer, and like
> the early 1960's Carlton Franco-Suisse that I am turning a Raleigh
> International into ...
> - Don Gillies
> San Diego, CA, USA

Jon Spangler Writer/editor Linda Hudson Writing

TEL 510-864-2144
CEL 510-846-5356