Claud Butler frame number identification

CBguy

Retro Guru
It's been a bit since I've looked at the numbers around time of Claud Butler takeover by Holdsworth in 1958. On further thought, seems I recollect seeing a similar pattern of numbers on early Holdsworthy Clauds thought to be likely from 1958 at time of the transition. It has been thought by some that some of the frames from that year were perhaps left behind in stock if not all new builds.

I had been keeping my own record of these on a Flickr account with pics & notes but unfortunately lost it all. Fortunately Dave Scrimshaw has most of that data in his collection. Looking at his Excel record there are five frames with similar frame numbers on the BB edge and a couple of these examples appear as the Challenge model. Perhaps it took a while to get their heads around the numbering system. These are the similar frame numbers in Dave's records in his Excel files:
http://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folde ... TNKZkN4TmM
358823
458571
558774
1158712
1158758

One interpretation is that the digits "58" in all these examples point to that as the year and the preceeding numbers as perhaps the month, however the numbers following "58" don't all appear sequential for the number of the build for that month/year. An explanation may be that builders at different locations were buildng frames and perhaps were alotted numbers in batches thus explaining sequential discrepancies re date and build number. (Alotting of batches of numbers has been noted by Kilgariff re "Shop" Holdsworth special builds during this same time frame.)

I do suspect frame in question (1058391) lies within this same grouping theorized to be from 1958. Although this does not explain the seat tube decal that was not used until 1963 - perhaps it was added later or at the time of a repaint?

A couple of the examples above discussed on forums, are as follows:
https://www.cyclechat.net/threads/vinta ... on.255095/
https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vint ... -help.html
 

dwscrimshaw

Retro Guru
Peachy!":zohxtf2k said:
Hmmmm, bit of an odd one. Fork details and Nervex lugs & curved brake bridge point towards early 60’s Holdsworth Claud, but that frame number doesn’t match although the position is correct for 1959-1963 Holdsworth Clauds as is the Olympic ring decal (‘63-‘75)
Any chance you could check the number on the fork stem?

Here’s an example of the numbers I would expect to see;


Gut feeling is a Challenge from 1963 but the number needs checking.

Any chance that is Oct. 1970 or does the location rule this out? Challenge last listed in 1966 also, but ignoring the 10... at the start 58391 is mid 1970. If this is the case then the prediction is out by a few months.
 

marchb89

Retro Newbie
Thanks everyone, so far this has been amazing to read and investigate further. I have checked at the bottom bracket and there doesn't seem to be another serial number there. I will take the forks off and have a look on the steerer tube and see if there's one there in the next few days.... just waiting for the correct sized tools from my dad.

I have asked my Nan, it was her late cousins bike from new, whether she remembers anything about it, and she seems to think it was around the early 60's when Jack bought the bike. It was his pride and joy and he bought it bit by bit with his wages, so the components may not match fully with the frame in terms of an off the shelf Challenge. Guess we will know more when and if I find the other serial number and can hopefully age the frame more accurately.

Ill keep you posted on progress
Thanks

Marc
 

Peachy!

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dwscrimshaw":2x1otie2 said:
Any chance that is Oct. 1970 or does the location rule this out? Challenge last listed in 1966 also, but ignoring the 10... at the start 58391 is mid 1970. If this is the case then the prediction is out by a few months.

Hello DW, the two things that are making me lean towards an early Holdsworth (pre 63) are the fork crown and stamp position... I’m liking CBguys theory at the moment. It will be nice to to know the steerer number when it gets cracked open.



marchb89":2x1otie2 said:
Thanks everyone, so far this has been amazing to read and investigate further. I have checked at the bottom bracket and there doesn't seem to be another serial number there. I will take the forks off and have a look on the steerer tube and see if there's one there in the next few days.... just waiting for the correct sized tools from my dad.

I have asked my Nan, it was her late cousins bike from new, whether she remembers anything about it, and she seems to think it was around the early 60's when Jack bought the bike. It was his pride and joy and he bought it bit by bit with his wages, so the components may not match fully with the frame in terms of an off the shelf Challenge. Guess we will know more when and if I find the other serial number and can hopefully age the frame more accurately.

Ill keep you posted on progress
Thanks

Marc

Our pleasure Marc,
It will be nice to see some progress shots of your restoration build. Don’t forget to post a thread on the readers rides section of the road forum
 

CBguy

Retro Guru
There appears to be no oiler on bottom of BB of frame in question meaning if my number theory is to hold any water it is most likely on top of BB. Prior to 1965 the oiler was usually on top of BB, non chain ring side and from years 1965 to 1968 on bottom of BB after which it disappeared. Marc, would oiler on top of BB that be the case with your frame?

From reviewing catalogues and collected examples, Challenge model came as either a frameset or a fully built up bike for catalogue years 1959 (first catalogue post takeover) until 1962 inclusive. From 1963 until 1966 only a frameset was available in "Challenge model". There were other what I would call "spin off CB models" that used the same frame as Challenge but with different paint and kit. Examples are European and Classique.
 

marchb89

Retro Newbie
CBguy said:
There appears to be no oiler on bottom of BB of frame in question meaning if my number theory is to hold any water it is most likely on top of BB. Prior to 1965 the oiler was usually on top of BB, non chain ring side. Marc, would that be the case?

Hi Cbguy, excuse my ignorance but what do you mean by an oiler? I'll have a look for you when I know what I'm looking for haha

Cheers Marc
 

CBguy

Retro Guru
Marc
It is also called a grease nipple and for attaching a grease gun. Usually a little brass nipple about 0.25" wide.
Doug
 

marchb89

Retro Newbie
Re:

Hi Doug,

couldn't find a brass attachment, but I did find a hole and I've shown this in the picture below, looks like could be the oiler position?

Please excuse the grease on the bike, it will be cleaned fully I assure you.

cheers

Marc
 

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