Just found this thread whilst researching my latest Holdsworth acquisition, a 531 Special. On Kilgariff these are shown as only built in 1975/76. Mine has a 4 digit frame number that supposedly dates as a '73 Custom build. Any ideas, please. Pics attached.
Looks like the Holdsworthy 4D custom/branded numbering prediction of 1970 up until 1976 factory move has been revised since last time I looked at data - maybe a year ago? The prior prediction would have had your frame #4615 as being built in 1975.
As you say, the present prediction dates the build of your frame to 1973. There is no catalogue for 1974 but Kilgariff does list the Special model as being offered in 1974. It is conceivable that your frame was built in the second half of 1973 as a new 1974 model. This was often done.
Kilgariff: "1974 Holdsworthy models were .........and Special."
The present prediction for the early 70's Holdsworthy custom/branded frames is uncertain. Perhaps Dave Scrimshaw will comment.
Hi, this is starting to give me some clarity. The information from the seller I was given when I bought this was that he was a relative of the original owner who had the bike refinished in original colour with some slight alterations, possibly the under BB cable guide, relocating the cable stop on the drive side chainstay and possibly the cable guides on the top tube. The work was supposedly carried out by an ex Holdsworth employee, the quality of the finish is excellent !. I would point out that the '531' decal is an 'up to' July '73 style, although frames used this after that date. The Shimano 600 groupset fitted is also supposedly original, as it is an early 3 bolt crank group from about 1975, when this groupset was introduced. It has all been well looked after, a credit to the original owner, who I cannot trace, at the moment.
On another note, reading back through this thread, I take it you are interested in other Holdsworth frame numbers. If so I have two more for you.
The first is the Mistral (#(0)60972, therefore 1984 build ?) I owned in the mid to late '80s. A sable brown frameset I bought from a shop in Enfield (sorry cannot remember the name) in about '86, along with a Chorus groupset, to built myself my dream bike ! Pics of frame label and me with bike. This frame was slightly unusual as it had a cage mount under the top tube. Unfortunately traded for a mtb in '92 as the craze picked up.
The second is one I am the current custodian of (#049831, therefore 1983 build ?). This has been refinished, and again is unusual with no lamp mount on the front fork.
Well, was pipped to the eBay post on this but the buyer very kindly gave me first refusal if he decided he was going to pass it on. Que two months later and now it has a new owner. Which I think makes me just the third. Last owner began stripping it down to clean and very, very gently polish...