Mystery frame ID help

torqueless

Senior Retro Guru
I was going to say Major Nichols Frame
That was my first thought too, but I don't think the serial number chimes. Also iirc that's not quite his wrapover style?
I'd be very chuffed indeed if it was a Mercian
I don't know why Mercian seem to have this extra kudos, or market value, over and above other long gone builders? I'd be just as happy for it to be a Jensen or a Major Nichols.
What are the wheelbase/geometry/fork rake/clearances like?
 

Mandobob

Dirt Disciple
The Falcon San Remo in the 1970s had exactly that wrapover seat detail from about 1969. A second clue is the five digit frame number which is also how Falcon numbered their frames, although they were more normally parallel with the spindle. The fork, which is original to the frame, was not what was usually used on the later San Remo but did appear on some Falcon models (Falcon were very inconsistent with their components!).

You appear to have interesting braze-ons for the front derailleur at the lower end of the down tube and seat tube. Is that a clue anyone?
 

Johnny Ragwort

Dirt Disciple
That was my first thought too, but I don't think the serial number chimes. Also iirc that's not quite his wrapover style?

I don't know why Mercian seem to have this extra kudos, or market value, over and above other long gone builders? I'd be just as happy for it to be a Jensen or a Major Nichols.
What are the wheelbase/geometry/fork rake/clearances like?
Indeed. I'd be just as pleased to find it was any other quality make, and as it happens, the fact that it's obviously a pretty good frame (whoever built it) makes me happy, especially for fifty quid!
 

Old Ned

Old School Grand Master
Roger Kowalski (Clive Stuart, Brian Rourke and following BR builders), Holdsworth and others used this style of full wrapover. Unless the numbers definitely tie in with the Mercian ones it could have been built by many potential builders. It is certainly a nice looking frame and well worth £50. I would have bought it at that price!
 

Johnny Ragwort

Dirt Disciple
More pics, including rear dropouts, some of the cabling braze ons around the bottom bracket shell and a shot of the whole frame and forks. The wheelbase is around 100cm, fork rake is roughly 35mm. Clearances are as shown in the pic with 700c wheels (and 25mm tyres): around 12mm to the base of the fork crown and 15mm to the rear brake bridge. Probably not much room for mudguards (and there are no mudguard eyes in any case).
Thanks for all the suggestions so far. My own initial thought was that it was a Carlton or something similar, but I was hoping it might be a Major Nicholls since I know the two my father in law owned (which are still in his garage) feature a similar wrapover stay. The serial number and general build quality does seem to indicate a Mercian, but that may be wishful thinking on my part! I think the next step might be to get in touch with Mercian and see if they can shed any light.
 

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Mandobob

Dirt Disciple
If it is an early 1970s frame, the reinforced back brake bridge detail is a quality detail for that time. Often not adopted until very late 70s / early 80s by many builders I believe?
 

Johnny Ragwort

Dirt Disciple
Just to wrap this one up... I sent a lot of the pics above to Mercian and they've responded that "it certainly looks like a Mercian and the number font looks like ours. Its possibly a early King but that's about all we can help you with though." So I'm going with it being a 1973 King of Mercia. Time to spend some money on restoring it... Thanks for all your help!
 

Mandobob

Dirt Disciple
What a great result. I wish Falcon held the records that Mercian obviously have. I am having to put them together myself.
 
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