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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:27 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:01 pm
Posts: 82
Location: Southampton
Right, bit of a newbie on here. Been into old racing bikes for years, and was in the VCC (Hampshire Lightweight Section) for a while, but that got knocked on the head with a young family, and then I got seriously sidetracked fixing up a beat up old campervan ...

Anyway, last year started sorting out some of the old clunkers I ride around to work on, and it rekindled my interest in vintage lightweights. I liked the idea of getting a local machine, and for me that was a Rotrax, from across the River Itchen in Shirley. I halfheartedly looked on ebay for a while then this bike turned up from a Southampton maker I had never heard of before? I was obviously curious and did a little digging on Jim Guard, and from the little info there was out there I discovered his shop was only a mile away in Macnaghton Rd near Bitterne train station. He operated from 1949, and was a cyclist as well. A member of the Southampton Wheelers and a keen time trial rider back in the day. (Thanks the the knowledge base on Classic Rendezvous googlegroups for a lot of this info, and my local historical society)

Well, here is what I have to start with anyway. This is a long term project I think, I'm in no rush. Also, as well as getting the bike back on the road I'm keen to put a little history together on Jim Guard. Bitterne has a local historial society which I've just joined, as I thought that would be as good a place as any to start. I'll add progress from both fronts to this thread.

Apologies for the quality of these photos, when I get a chance I'll take better ones in daylight.
This is what I've got to start with. When I collected it, the seller said he had skipped the wheels as they were rusty ... :shock: :facepalm: :facepalm: :facepalm:
Apart from the wheels it is complete though.

Image
Jim Guard lightweight by zombikombi1959, on Flickr

I didn't really get to see what I had bought until I got it home. All the components look complete and period to the frame ( All are equally rusty ... :roll: ) and good quality stuff for the time, which I'm guessing is around 1950, making this a very early Jim Guard.

Brakes and levers - GB Hidunimium
Image
GB Hiduminium brakes by zombikombi1959, on Flickr
Image
GB brake Hiduminium levers by zombikombi1959, on Flickr

Pedals - Chater-Lea, with the Tommy Bar hole 1939>
http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/chaterpedals.html
Image
IMG_5313 by zombikombi1959, on Flickr

Chainset and cranks - Durax Supercourse. The pedals and cranks all turn smoothly, so hoping the bearings and surfaces are good, but the chrome is in a very poor state. Lovely fluted cranks.
Image
Durax Supercourse chainset by zombikombi1959, on Flickr
Image
Jim Guard bottom bracket by zombikombi1959, on Flickr


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:36 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:01 pm
Posts: 82
Location: Southampton
The gears are Cyclo Ace close ratio 3 speed. I have no experience of these gears whatsoever! The appear to work smoothly though, nothing looks seized or bent or worn out ... But I am concerned about finding a rear hub and 3 speed freewheel that will work with it though :?

http://www.disraeligears.co.uk/Site/Cyc ... can_4.html

Image

Image
Cyclo Ace tensioner by zombikombi1959, on Flickr

Image
IMG_5311 by zombikombi1959, on Flickr

Image
IMG_5316 by zombikombi1959, on Flickr


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:49 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:01 pm
Posts: 82
Location: Southampton
And the frame? Looks to me to be all original paint, box lining and transfers to me, with chrome for ends and dropouts. Pretty tired. I'm not sure what the feeling is towards preserving original paint here ... One mans Patina is anothers Cancer ... Well, I just think you need to check out the kombi to see what side of that fence I am on ...
Image
Loch Linnhe Lunch Stop by zombikombi1959, on Flick

I have been told Jim had his frames built by a North London builder. The guys over on CR googlegroups had ideas but nothing confirmed yet.

Any tips on preserving and restoring the paint and chrome appreciated. I've been reading about the benefits of linseed oil on here and the LFGSS forum.

Image
Jim Guard down tube transfer. by zombikombi1959, on Flickr

Image
Chrome for ends by zombikombi1959, on Flickr

Image
Jim Guard by zombikombi1959, on Flickr

Image
Jim Guard frame number by zombikombi1959, on Flickr


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:50 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:08 pm
Posts: 2185
Location: Shrewsbury
Looks like a nice project breaking out :) That would make a great ride.

Always difficult to fully appreciate from photos but the paint doesn't look to bad. Chrome can often be significantly improved with some 0000 grade steel wool dipped in oil. You can also clean paintwork with the same method but be very careful near the box lining along with T.Cut. Another trick for chrome is to soak it in a solution of oxalic acid. You can get a bag of oxalic acid powder off ebay for a few quid and it lasts for ages. If you remove the parts and give them a 24hour soak it can make an amazing difference. The fork crown might be a piece of trim that you can replace if needed, it could be a bit far gone.

If you want to replate the chrome these guys in Madchester do a great job for a reasonable cost http://www.rschrome.co.uk/

If you like your Rotrax, here's one I made earlier :) A Rotrax Shirley.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/62249235@N ... 251120394/

Looking at the great campervan you have all of the above should be easy.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 2:09 pm 
r.B.o.T.M. & P.o.T.M. Winner
r.B.o.T.M. & P.o.T.M. Winner
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Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2010 1:41 pm
Posts: 2449
Location: Plymouth, UK
Really look forward to seeing this project develop. Love that gear system. Keep us posted.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:06 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:02 pm
Posts: 1273
Location: north hamshire
yes can it be restored cheap and half decent.? the brakes /leavers look well oxidised. the paint looks metallic grey
but has very fine , coloured detailed lines, would they be coach painted it would be fascinating to see you try and restore it on the cheap and try all those techniques mentioned. failing those a complete shot blast re chrome repaint cause it deserves it! .i would like to know where you can get transfers like that duplicated and ok to laquer over .
the head tube badge is amazing and actually has 'southampton' written on it !


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 5:54 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:10 pm
Posts: 668
Quote:
I'm not sure what the feeling is towards preserving original paint here ...


This is one of those things where diametrically opposed viewpoints are never going to understand eachother, so here goes nothing:


Some have an appreciation for the faded, the weathered, the dull, and the obscure, which, in the context of old bikes, need not include active corrosion, lack of lubrication, or pitted, badly adjusted bearings. If you want to live in a soap-powder commercial, that's up to you.

I don't think it's 'cheap'. There may be times when blasting, rechroming and respraying is appropriate, but if you went to a pro refinisher and asked them to preserve the original finish, just touching it up where necessary and getting rid of rust, assuming they didn't just laugh at you, they would probably charge you more, not less, because they are not geared up to do that. It takes too much time, and too much love, the expenditure of which is inconsistent with running a profitable business.

Not long ago I saw a nice old Gillot locked up on the street. It was probably fifty years old, looked it, and had never been refinished in it's life. Made my day. I said to myself; 'Jesus, I hope someone doesn't get it into their head that that needs a respray'.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 7:26 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:01 pm
Posts: 82
Location: Southampton
"It's only original once" ...

An interesting debate though. Coming from the vintage Volkswagen scene I've seen that change a lot in 10 years, where patina and originality adds to the price tag substantially now. Of course then the first thing these patina junkies do is slam them into the weeds ... :facepalm: But it all comes from the vintage hotrod and ratrod scene I guess. I was applauded for not painting my Kombi, back when patina wasn't such a big thing in VW circles. I was then of course vilified for not lowering it and fitting Fuchs rims, or what ever wheel was flavour of the week! :lol:
I don't think there is a crossover between hot rods and road bikes though. But I am always heartened when I see good original finish preserved. I guess age also has something to do with it. I am 40. To me this Jim Guard is an antique made 20 years before I was born ... I'm going to look at it differently to a 70 year old who would have fallen in love with it through the glass of a bike shop window, all shiny and new ...

Like the kombi, this will be more of an overhaul, than a resto ...

Love the Rotrax Robbie, looks mint!


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 7:55 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:11 pm
Posts: 1844
Location: wellingborough
wow that looks an easy resto job , try a light t cut of paintwork and get it rideable as is , would be my way of doing it


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:45 am 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:01 pm
Posts: 82
Location: Southampton
Well, we are fixing up an old house we recently moved into at the moment, so finding time for this is difficult. I don't want to get stuck in seriously until I can spend some quality time on it, rather than taking it apart, shuffling bits around the garage, losing them ...

But couldn't resist spending 20 mins out there tonight ... I hadn't established yet what sized wheels I need to start looking out for. If this was a 50's machine, then I had assumed it would probably take 27 x 1 1/4 wheels. I know this is only a general rule of thumb though.
(See Alex VT's article in Classic Lightweights)
http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/wheels-avt.html

I didn't think I had any 27" wheels to test this, but then I found them on an old 70's Carlton I'd picked up as a project for my son. They fitted fine, but the brake blocks in the caliper were way inside the wheel.

So next up a 26" was dropped in ...

Image
Working out the wheel size by zombikombi1959, on Flickr

The old fibrax brake blocks don't look like they've been moved around at all on the calipers, so I'm guessing this is the wheel size it has always had, and what I need to look for.

I thought the gap to the fork crown looked a little big, but I've got a 1946 Hobbs with 26" wheels, and the gap is similar, and looks fine with the 'guards fitted.

Image
1946 Hobbs of Barbican front brake by zombikombi1959, on Flickr



Also took a snap of the BB. Not sure what the marking signify, apart from BRITISH MADE obviously.
GR23? Looking through some threads on here I spotted the same markings on a Gillot.

Image
Jim Guard bottom bracket by zombikombi1959, on Flickr


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