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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 9:22 pm 
Old School Hero
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Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:17 pm
Posts: 199
Location: Chesterfield
Got this recently, I know it's a Hercules and I reckon it's late 40's? but does anyone know the exact model and original spec, it's fairly light and seat post is roughly 27mm;
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 9:25 pm 
Old School Hero
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Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:17 pm
Posts: 199
Location: Chesterfield
Here's a few more;Image

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I think the frame number is 2863 on top of seat lug


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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 12:36 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:07 pm
Posts: 1321
Location: Cotswolds
Looks like late 1940's/ early 50's with brazed on bits added later. Prewar Hercules sold F Southall lightweight club models, but post war this was a very small or non-existant market.
I retailed Hercules, Raleigh, BSA, and Phillips in the mid 1950's and have no memory of Hercules "lapwing" or the lightish kestrels. By then it was a very small market and club riders assembled their own bikes, partly due to purchase tax about 20% on bikes but not components.
I met Frank Southall on several occasions, he was sales manager, pre WW2 a very successful road records (place to place) pro rider.
Certainly a rare frame.


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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 6:47 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:07 pm
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Location: Cotswolds
Further findings: It appears to be a 1949 Kestrel Super Club, sold for £25.25 as a bike, also possibly as a frame. Due to the wonders of modern electronics, I found a 1949 hercules catalogue at hilarystone.com, under books, and it just happens to be showing the right page. It can be bought for £12.
Although my instant recall takes about half an hour, in this case it failed completely.


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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 7:50 pm 
Old School Hero
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Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:17 pm
Posts: 199
Location: Chesterfield
Great detective work KG, my badge is different and appears to have been built for 27" as 26" would be a very long drop...I will check further to see if forks and rear droputs are chromed? I suppose it could be a year either side? I have a 1934 or 37 Hercules catalogue somewhere ...just put in hercules catalogue and this came out on flikr
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikegerris ... 2633388334 sorry if links not allowed...the 1953 version did have 27" wheels and the correct headbadge, when it changed to 27" and had the larger badge though who knows? anyway thanks for the idea KG...case solved...however I reckon it's 22 1/2" or 23" so will be too big for me dammit!!! though I have just got an Armstrong Moth? in 22" that should be on 26" so should be ok???hopefully...fingers crossed.


Last edited by chambo34 on Sun May 22, 2011 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 8:13 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:07 pm
Posts: 1321
Location: Cotswolds
The 53 has brazed on cable eyes and pump pegs in the right places, so could be closer. Your fork rake looks slightly older. Also if you get export catalogues they can be totally different.
I used to buy individually specced Armstrong top quality frames when Dave Duffield was manager in the mid 50's. Stuff like silver brazed, nervex lugs, butted 531, any colour, any spec etc. for very reasonable prices, about £9 retail. He had Bill Gameson building them.


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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 8:25 pm 
Old School Hero
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Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:17 pm
Posts: 199
Location: Chesterfield
Yes the forks look virtually identical to the earlier catalogue though the frame including headlugs looks closer to the later 53 catalogue, obviously the pictures are just that picture not actual machines so fair to say I guess it's around 1950-ish...give or take a year.
I'll post the Armstrong pictures sometime soon.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:34 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:20 am
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This is very similar (identical lugs, crown, mudguard eyes) to a Kestrel Super Club frame I bought new as a schoolboy in 1954.

Mine was red metallic with full chrome forks and half chromed stays and was 'guaranteed' built from 'Reynolds 531 plain gauge tubes forks and stays'.

Unlike your model, it did not have any brazings for brake or gear cables.

The head tube badge on mine was different to in that it was the plain 'H" on green background with Hercules Birmingham England beneath.


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