[CR] Is it really a Jack Taylor?

Example: Framebuilders:Masi

Date: Tue, 2 Feb 2010 22:02:16 +0000
From: Norris Lockley <nlockley73@googlemail.com>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Subject: [CR] Is it really a Jack Taylor?

When faced with a cycle frame that is painted in a single enamel colour with no decals and the seller isclaiming that it is a Jack Taylor, then there are several checkes to be made.

Jack Taylor frames were very often very very attractive, beautifully enamelled and epitomising a certain "je ne sais quoi" French something or other. On the other hand they could be very idiosyncratic..looking as they were ABC frames - All Bits Combined, by which I mean that not all the lugs came from the same box or even the same series...the front drop-outs did not match the rear ones, the treatment of the ends of the chainstays, seat-stays and fork blades tips were not always matching as if one person had made the frame and someone else had made the fork..without the two ever conferring as to style and finish. Sometimes I become convinced that Norman actually made certain frames from bin-ends ie odds and sods of tubing, lugs, crowns, stays etc..just to use them up.

I am convinced that this frame is a Jack Taylor Odds-And-Sods model. for the following reasons:-

(1) the plated overhanging top-eyes "a la Raleigh" style were often used by Norman..and often badly fitted too; (2) the lugs are Nervex Serie Legere, a set that Norman used to use regularly (on this Model) (3) the steel plate pressed rear drop-outs are also found on certain Taylors..they were a popular French (possibly Nervex) fitment in the late 40s and early 50s (4) the chainstay end is finished in the French scolloped-out style..a style that Norman often used BUT (5) the end of the seat-stay is cut straight off..or as though it came straight out of the box (6) the fork crown is a Wagner basic model without the milled-on chevrons...a model often used by Norman.

Dealing with (5).above..my thesis is that Norman prepared the overlapping plated top-eyes before he cut the seat-stay to its finished length. Having carried out the detailed work he simply sawed off the stay to length. I have a Taylor track frame here, that has suffered in an identical manner - two peas out of the same pod.

Having said all that...I have no doubt whatsoever that when that frame was factory fresh..in its British Racing Green enamel , with its gold and red double-box lining and the Old-English style transfers..it would be a sight for sore eyes..a rare beauty for all its idiosyncracies.

Norris Lockley

Settle Uk