Claud Butler frame number identification

SallyCotterpins

Retro Newbie
Hello all Claud owners out there.
I’ve recently been trudging through this forum trying to collate numbers in an attempt to make sense of the various systems employed over the years to frame stamp Claud Butler bicycles, whilst doing this I noticed that over the past 10 years or so on this forum, there have been various attempts at this, lots of discussions going back and forth, guesses without photos, misreading of numbers and hanging dates off of other guesstimates as if gospel etc etc (some of which I have been guilty myself!) have made this search for clarity a bit messy to say the least.
So, here is my attempt to tidy it up, these are my interpretations, and not absolutes, with of course plenty of holes in, I have come to these conclusions after debating with various other members and reading various threads, so a lot of this comes from you guys! So here goes;
Up until the modern (& longest) Falcon ownership in 1987 and excluding any initial early 20’s start-up system or Claud Butlers attempt to re-start in competition with Holdsworth in the sixties, I believe that there are at least seven differing frame systems, namely;

1. 1928 – December 1949, Claud Butler ownership, first number = year, next = month, then annual frame count.
2. January 1950 – October 1956, Claud Butler ownership, first two numbers = year, next = month, then annual frame count.
November 1956 – March 1958 Receiver-ship black hole.
3a. March 1958 - Dec 1958, Holdsworth ownership, first number = month, next = year, then monthly frame count.
3b. January 1959 – Mid 1967, Holdsworth ownership, sequential until about 31000 Seperate thread HERE
4. Mid 1967 – Mid 1976, Holdsworth ownership, sequential from 50000 until about 71000
5. Mid 1976 – November 1985, Holdsworth ownership, six digits always starting with a 0
6. December 1985 – January 1987, Marlborough ownership. No info at present.
7. February 1987 – present day, Falcon ownership. No info at present.

Of which the first five are of the most interest to CB retro fans.
These systems differed in ways that although in the most part are very different, there are some cases (especially if you only look at the numbers out of context and only printed on a page) where they can be miss interpreted for one another, which is why photos of the numbers, frame details and reference material such as the Nkilgarif website & the VCC are absolutely essential to come to a reasonable assumption regarding type & age.
And of course, customer specials and odd shop builds will always pop up just to throw a spanner into the works!
But here are some guidelines to be getting on with;
FB_IMG_1630065305033.jpgFB_IMG_1630065394777.jpgFB_IMG_1630065483711.jpgFB_IMG_1630065458808.jpg
Here is one for your records. No idea of the age.. It has now been restored to some kind of former glory.
 

Brilloaul

Dirt Disciple
Hello all Claud owners out there.
I’ve recently been trudging through this forum trying to collate numbers in an attempt to make sense of the various systems employed over the years to frame stamp Claud Butler bicycles, whilst doing this I noticed that over the past 10 years or so on this forum, there have been various attempts at this, lots of discussions going back and forth, guesses without photos, misreading of numbers and hanging dates off of other guesstimates as if gospel etc etc (some of which I have been guilty myself!) have made this search for clarity a bit messy to say the least.
So, here is my attempt to tidy it up, these are my interpretations, and not absolutes, with of course plenty of holes in, I have come to these conclusions after debating with various other members and reading various threads, so a lot of this comes from you guys! So here goes;
Up until the modern (& longest) Falcon ownership in 1987 and excluding any initial early 20’s start-up system or Claud Butlers attempt to re-start in competition with Holdsworth in the sixties, I believe that there are at least seven differing frame systems, namely;

1. 1928 – December 1949, Claud Butler ownership, first number = year, next = month, then annual frame count.
2. January 1950 – October 1956, Claud Butler ownership, first two numbers = year, next = month, then annual frame count.
November 1956 – March 1958 Receiver-ship black hole.
3a. March 1958 - Dec 1958, Holdsworth ownership, first number = month, next = year, then monthly frame count.
3b. January 1959 – Mid 1967, Holdsworth ownership, sequential until about 31000 Seperate thread HERE
4. Mid 1967 – Mid 1976, Holdsworth ownership, sequential from 50000 until about 71000
5. Mid 1976 – November 1985, Holdsworth ownership, six digits always starting with a 0
6. December 1985 – January 1987, Marlborough ownership. No info at present.
7. February 1987 – present day, Falcon ownership. No info at present.

Of which the first five are of the most interest to CB retro fans.
These systems differed in ways that although in the most part are very different, there are some cases (especially if you only look at the numbers out of context and only printed on a page) where they can be miss interpreted for one another, which is why photos of the numbers, frame details and reference material such as the Nkilgarif website & the VCC are absolutely essential to come to a reasonable assumption regarding type & age.
And of course, customer specials and odd shop builds will always pop up just to throw a spanner into the works!
But here are some guidelines to be getting on with;
Hi
This means my bike is April 1953 and the 2851st produced and serial 33491?
534
2851
33491
How to find the correct model is not at all clear. Any help available appreciated
Thanks
 

Peachy!

Retrobike Rider
BoTM Winner
rBoTM Triple Crown
rBotM Winner
Claud Butler Fan
VCC Claud Butler ME
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Hi
This means my bike is April 1953 and the 2851st produced and serial 33491?
534
2851
33491
How to find the correct model is not at all clear. Any help available appreciated
Thanks
Yes to the first two parts, the following number 33491 might be a Holdsworth repair or rebuild number. As for the photos you attached, they’re not very clear, are they back to front? Also it works better if after you’ve attached photos to then insert full size images. They’re a lot clearer.
(you can edit posts by clicking on the the three little dots in the bottom corner of your post, select “insert multiple” click the tick box then click “full size” and then “save”
 

Peachy!

Retrobike Rider
BoTM Winner
rBoTM Triple Crown
rBotM Winner
Claud Butler Fan
VCC Claud Butler ME
Feedback
View
Here is one for your records. No idea of the age.. It has now been restored to some kind of former glory.
Hello Sally, if you read the first post on the this thread there is a link for these 60’s Holdsworth frames
That will point you towards 1964.
Bit late I know as you’ve found this out on Facebook. Finished photos look great BTW
 

Brilloaul

Dirt Disciple
Primed for recoat
 

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Bilunt

Claud Butler Fan
This is my first post so feel free to let me know what I should or shouldn’t do in future posts.
I’ve just purchased this two-seater marvel privately near Sydney (Australia) and have already replaced original seat and handlebars at the rear for my wife’s comfort.
There’s surface rust breaking through the paint and chrome but I’m hoping to arrest its progress and keep the bike as much as possible in original condition (with respect to its finish).
The cable is missing from the front gearshift mechanism, the rear selector works fine after minor adjustment and lubrication—similar story with brakes. I think new (softer) pads may make braking a little easier as well.
The fact that the front cog-gear-shift mechanism is inoperable is encouraging me to seriously consider mid-mounted electric assist—it’s quite hilly here.
I’m hoping the pictures attached may help identify year of manufacture and even jog a memory as it seems certain the bike was prepared in the UK and brought over here as-is, perhaps with the exception of the wheels and tires.
Anyway, hi, all advice/observations welcome.
BillD46E7EB4-244F-4F45-B7B6-31ED83B1EC07.jpeg2AF76BA7-11DE-4FDC-8335-5D90452F3400.jpeg12889DAD-93C0-423E-97CF-332AC14737A8.jpeg04844315-70A4-454E-987B-990EAEDBCC80.jpeg482DBAA4-03C3-4DC2-B9FE-BAACA8577636.jpegA2096C9B-B0BE-4259-9FDC-E6A83E591DEF.jpegD4C4D217-A34D-4C3D-A95F-67B729A0D995.jpeg8C43302D-1AEE-40C3-A4CF-4AEB9F22DDCE.jpeg0DE9B67B-12C5-4A14-8069-FC9F1825926D.jpeg527488F2-CF0F-4A8D-9E5B-1346C5DFBB11.jpeg
 
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