Help pls! Need a frame ID or rough date

oxo

Dirt Disciple
Hi,

A friend kindly gave me this frame to knock together a fixie for winter training. After spending yesterday stripping and wirebrushing off a really thick layer of what I guess was fairly modern thick two-pack paint, I was amazed to find this rather ornate and distinctive lug-work underneath. I guess whoever carried out the respray took it back to bare metal, as there was not the slightest hint of transfers/decal underneath the paint even though I was very careful with the Nitromors.

I've spent a few hours going crossed-eyed at every lug-work image I can find on the web, but not found anything that looks like my frame. I'm resigned to the fact that it's next to impossible to ID the manufacturer, but a very rough date of when this style of frame would have been current would be handy so that I could fit it out with a period groupset.

These are the clues I have:

1. There must have been a large headtube badge at some point judging by the rivet holes left at the front (see pics).

2. The fork drop-outs are stamped Campagnolo Brev and have 166 (or 991!) stamped on the steerer, although the forks may not be contemporary/original as the lugs are quite different.

3. The BB shell has the large serial number 25437 stamped into it, as well as (faint) NERVEX 51° 64° D222E38

I took it to my LBS today who thought there were similarities with early Claude Butlers.

SIMG_1972.jpg

SIMG_1975.jpg

SIMG_1974.jpg

SIMG_1977.jpg

SIMG_1976.jpg

SIMG_1978.jpg

SIMG_1973.jpg

SIMG_1980.jpg


Many thanks

Paul
 

Midlife

Retro Wizard
I looked at that frame and for some reason it has "Mercian" written all over it...not sure why but just a feeling.

Try getting in contact and see if they know about it :)

Shaun
 

oxo

Dirt Disciple
Some good leads that I'll be following up today!

Thanks for all your replies - much appreciated.

Paul
 

Rich34

Senior Retro Guru
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Paul - sorry to hijack your thread but if you don't mind me asking, how did you go about stripping the paint? You seem to have done a good job - I have a frame I want to strip as I'm wondering if there are hidden serial numbers under the crappy recent coat that someone has put on it, and I want to get it reprayed in a more fetching colour.

Beautiful lugs - I hope you find the answer and a nice headbadge!
 

oxo

Dirt Disciple
Midlife":1nivfo0i said:
I looked at that frame and for some reason it has "Mercian" written all over it...not sure why but just a feeling.

Try getting in contact and see if they know about it :)

Shaun

Wish it did, It would make life much easier :LOL: Seriously, thanks for the tip - I'll give it a go.
 

oxo

Dirt Disciple
Rich34":3bvhgivt said:
Paul - sorry to hijack your thread but if you don't mind me asking, how did you go about stripping the paint? You seem to have done a good job - I have a frame I want to strip as I'm wondering if there are hidden serial numbers under the crappy recent coat that someone has put on it, and I want to get it reprayed in a more fetching colour.

Beautiful lugs - I hope you find the answer and a nice headbadge!

A pint of Nitromors, which softened (but didn't strip) the paint, then once I was sure there were no decals/transfers underneath by careful scraping, I attacked it with a an angle-grinder armed with a wire brush plus a drill with a softer wire-brush for around the lugs. To be honest, it took so long it would probably have been better to have had it professionally grit-blasted! Still needs a lot of work with some fine-grade WetnDry and a Scotchbrite before it's good enough for refinishing.
 

Rich34

Senior Retro Guru
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Many thanks for the advice - much appreciated. I'm sure my local paint shop can probably strip it but I just like the idea of rubbing away and seeing some serial numbers emerge!
 
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