1950 Claud Butler Avant Coureur - a cloak of many colours

sherlylock

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Picked this up this week from a lovely old gent called John, who used to be sidecar racer (pillion!) in the 1950s/60s. Spent a while chatting to him when I picked the bike up - a fascinating chap.

He was giving away (or donation to charity) a very tired looking Claud Butler. I spied what looked like axe head bi-laminate lugs in the ad so I took a punt on it and collected the same evening.

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After a bit of investigation and to and fro chat with the knowledgeable peeps on this forum it's decided that it is a Avant Coureur from 1950.....based on the frame number, the axehead lugs, continental rear dropouts, comparative frame weight (to other models of the same year) and more recently the discovery of a 531 reynolds butted sticker under the paint.

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It's been painted several times in its life. Blue/Gold colourscheme over light green, over black, over the original creamy, lemony yellow (under the headbadge was the initial giveaway).

However as I was stripping the paint on the fork I found a red vertical streak on top of the yellow. As I carefully peeled the stripped paint away it was evident that it is the remains of box lining. Seeing how well the old paint was coming off and leaving the original paint I applied some paintstripper around where the 531 sticker should be and lo and behold....what looks like a Reynolds 531 butted tubing sticker. Measuring it up and referring to the Hlloyds sticker timeline it suggests its one of the rarer 19mm wide sticker (which suggests 51/52 only which doesn't tie in with the frame date).

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So - a careful strip of the paint should hopefully reveal the original markings on this.......

At this point in time it's looking like a lemon yellow main colour, red box lining (and maybe lug lining) and chrome plated fork crown.

Stripping the paint on the seat tube will be interesting to see what (if any) decals lurk underneath.

Thanks to Peachy for the help in defining the model for this one. :)
 

sherlylock

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Bit more of a careful archaeological dig using the paint stripper and I've found evidence of the original Claud Butler script on the downtube.

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Downtube has olympic chevrons, some more box lining and what looks like the remnants of the Claud "Clapham works" sticker.

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Taking plenty of reference measurements!

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Now got a selection of decals sat in the basket on HLloyd cycles - they seem to have all the ones I need......
 

Peachy!

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Excellent..... and don’t get too hung up on the decal dating.. it only says “appears to be 51 & 52” I wouldn’t take that as gospel....
 

sherlylock

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Peachy!":188mghsz said:
Excellent..... and don’t get too hung up on the decal dating.. it only says “appears to be 51 & 52” I wouldn’t take that as gospel....
Absolutely......maybe HLloyd needs to update the description to "appears to be 50, 51 and 52" now....either that or my frame was hanging around for a year before being painted and decalled up. :LOL: I won't stress over it - the decal on the frame says it all.

Been having a think about components, and looking at the mish mash of stuff that came with the bike.

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Ofmega Cranks from the seventies.
GB Maes handlebars - original?
GB spearpoint stem - original?
GB Hidiminium brakes - original?
Huret Svelto rear derailleur - sixties/seventies
Shimano LB-100 shifter - mid seventies
Pedals - no idea......
Mismatched brake levers....1x GB arret (blue label) and one unbranded. Shame they don't match....
Shorty mudguards - no idea
Seat post - no idea.

So it looks like its had a make over mid seventies. Not a lot of this will be going back on....stem/bars/brake calipers and the GB lever if I can find a matching one. Rest of it will be stashed in the spares box for now.

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Peachy!

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Only kit I’d change would be the rear derailleur, the Shimano LB-100 shifter, the pedals & the brake levers...
I’ll have a dig about and see what I’ve got that’s not allocated for a build. Probably got;
GB Standard levers
Band on simplex friction lever
BBB pedals
Campagnolo rear mech...

Riding tomorrow so won’t be able to have a dig about till the evening...
 

sherlylock

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Peachy!":2ekzcax6 said:
Only kit I’d change would be the rear derailleur, the Shimano LB-100 shifter, the pedals & the brake levers...
I’ll have a dig about and see what I’ve got that’s not allocated for a build. Probably got;
GB Standard levers
Band on simplex friction lever
BBB pedals
Campagnolo rear mech...

Riding tomorrow so won’t be able to have a dig about till the evening...

Cheers Peachy - let me know what you have available.

I've had a dig around in the spares boxes to see if there's anything remotely suitable for a 50s build. Came up with a Campag Gran Sport deraileur (and pretty sure I have the Campag band on shifter levers - albeit a pair - for this)

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Got a pair of wheels which have Resilion Continental large flange hubs on them - according to Velobase these were introduced in the 50s.

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Cleaned up the rusty painty mess of a headset. Found a marking suggesting its a Gnutti. Paint stripped, soaked in Oxalic Acid and then given a coat of Renaissance wax it's looking a bit more presentable. Not a lot of chrome left on it though :(

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Also tidied up the bottom bracket. Looks like its a Bayliss Wiley but with a Raleigh Industries spindle. I guess it's been replaced at some point. Bearing surfaces of the Bayliss bits look OK so the original spindle must've become pitted.

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Bearing surfaces on all these bits look great so it'll be new balls and fresh grease for these and a refit for now.
 

sherlylock

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dan73uk":28mr5hoh said:
Great thread

Cheers - I'm enjoying this one immensely so far.....it's become a real archaeological dig through the layers of paint!

Concentrated the paint stripping action on areas where I thought there may be some box lining/decals/lug lining.

Headtube bilaminates are lined in with red.

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As are the bottom bracket bilaminates

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2 colour (blue/red) box lining on the down tube either side of the Claud Butler script.

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And the best bit.....I may have done a little wee when I found this :LOL: - top of the seat stays on the wrap arounds.....

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Started drawing these out with measurements so I can replicate the colour scheme and lining when it comes to refinishing the frame.

I've found a little bit of evidence of the twin box lining on the chain and seat stays but not enough to measure up at this point. I may have to rely on finding other frames of the same era and asking for measurements for these.

Doing some searching around it seems that the twin box lining/script text/clapham works decal and the olympic chevrons was definitely a 1948-1950 colourway.....found this 1949 example from a sales ad a few years back:

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And Peachy's 1948 Avant Coureur has similar markings.

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Peachy!

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I love those details... Pm me Mart if you need any more measurements as I’ve got a couple of old frames with very similar layouts.
Btw, all the CB frames with box lining that I’ve come across have “open” or three sided boxes on the seat & chain stays.
 

sherlylock

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Peachy!":2qz1g9dr said:
I love those details... Pm me Mart if you need any more measurements as I’ve got a couple of old frames with very similar layouts.
Btw, all the CB frames with box lining that I’ve come across have “open” or three sided boxes on the seat & chain stays.

Great info.....and thanks for the PM with reference pics!

So.....are there any frame painters who will re-do box lining and pinstriping, alongside a repaint and re-decal? All my builds so far have been homebrew, self paint jobbies - not very experienced in sending a frame out for refinish!
 
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