Whatley's Cycles "Cressy" - early 30s Racer

andrewl

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Time to share a little something I picked up cheaply this time last year.

Cressy is a small town in northern Tasmania and this racing bike was made by a since long gone shop called Whatley's cycles. From what I can tell it was fairly typical of a local (Australian) road racing bike of the times early 30s (see the racing photo below), with a fixed rear wheel, two speeds - one for climbing and one for the flat (selected by turning the wheel) and only a rear hand brake (no front brake). Wheels are steel rather than light weight wood as they were move robust on the dirt roads common at the time.

Tasmania has a pretty rich cycling history and there was a time when most towns had a velodrome. My plan is really to simply clean up the bike as is and to preserve what remains of the original paint detail as it would have looked very pretty when new. I'm led to believe it was used regularly by an older gent up until the early 2000s for flat rides into town and back before being hung on the wall, and so it would be nice to get it back to a state where it can be ridden lightly at a gentlemans pace on sunny days.

Anyway here are the current before photos complete with many years of dirt and grime, and an interestingly positioned brake lever.

Enjoy :)

As purchased.

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Head tube badge

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Downtube detail

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Seat tube "Henry Whatley Cressy Tasmania"

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Climbing gear

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Bottom bracket detail

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Fork detail

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Serial number? 3208

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Brake caliper

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Smart - could have been the original owners name?

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Cool curved steel bars

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Road racing early 1930s Australian style

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GarethPJ

Retro Guru
I do love a road path sort of a bike. Thanks for posting those, it's inspired me to find or at least build something similar.
 

Old Ned

Old School Grand Master
Really interesting find, I like the paint job. I've never really thought of Tasmania and Australia having an indigenous local frame building industry but I suppose there must have been. European frames would have been very expensive to import, tubing would be cheaper!

I like the guy's hat in the racing photo!
 

andrewl

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Don't walk":3iicons7 said:
Love the paint job, are the rims painted to match the frame?

yes the rims have been painted to match the frame although the rear brake has worn the paint off the braking surface.
 

andrewl

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Old Ned":1r0gqbw0 said:
Really interesting find, I like the paint job. I've never really thought of Tasmania and Australia having an indigenous local frame building industry but I suppose there must have been. European frames would have been very expensive to import, tubing would be cheaper!

I like the guy's hat in the racing photo!

I think at some point in time most places would have had some bike frame building industry given cars weren't as affordable as they are today. That said Cressy is tiny so I can't see there being many frames being made.

The racing shot is great isn't it :)
 

GarethPJ

Retro Guru
Of course back in the day there were frame builders about who designed and built custom frames. There were those who did little more than buy in a kit of parts and braze them together and called themselves frame builders. However many shops bought in frames or even, perhaps, complete bikes and painted/badged them up as their own. Nothing wrong in that because I don't suppose they were passing the bikes off as anything other than what they were.

The real fun part with finds like these is often in finding out exactly what you've got.
 
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