1959 Holdsworth Hurricane

Discussion in 'Vintage and Classic Bikes' started by Scilly Suffolk, 27 Apr 2013.

  1. Scilly Suffolk

    Scilly Suffolk Über Member

    I found a 1960 bike on Classic Lightweights s/n 27338, so mine (27250) looks to be 1959/60 and looks to be a Hurricane: Zephyr and Cyclone had wrapover seat stays; Monsoon didn't have pump pegs or a lamp bracket.

    Intriguingly the Hurricane was available (up to 1959) in a fixed gear variant: the DTS bosses and gear hanger look unused. Being as all the components (save for the saddle, stem, tyres and tape) are as listed in the catalogue, or at least period, I'm now fairly convinced that this left the shop as a fixed gear rather than being converted.

    A couple of things that don't quite tie-in though: now the wheels are off, I have confirmed that it has Campag dropouts and not Agrati; my pump pegs are on the seat tube and the '58 had them on the down tube and by '60/'61 they were on the top tube.

    Other discoveries are a Villiers lockring, GB bars and a Williams chainset. Could the mudguards be original? The '58 catalogue describes them as being of "celluloid": this is early plastic?

    More pics here.

    01.jpg
     
  2. biggs682

    biggs682 Smile a mile bike provider

    Location:
    Northamptonshire
    looks nice scilly . what it needs is a pr of retro zeus & fiamm sprints and a reynolds stem and bars !
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Scilly Suffolk

    Scilly Suffolk Über Member

    Pretty sure the wheels are original: Racelite hubs, unknown. The bars are GB, but pretty scratched up.

    With a Brooks and a GB stem, it would be as it left the shop (apart from the tyres of course); GB stems cost a bit though...

    Hurricane59.jpg
     
  4. Davidc

    Davidc Guru

    Location:
    Somerset UK
    Worth noting that because Holdsworth frames were hand built and the bikes assembled at the London factory it was possible to have small variations on the catalogue spec. (I did in 1967) To do that you needed to have paid beforehand and then wait for the bike to be made.

    If those are original celluloid mudguards they go brittle, might be worth storing those and replacing them.

    I'm still jealous.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Scilly Suffolk

    Scilly Suffolk Über Member

    Thanks for that David: that could explain the position of the pump pegs. Having said that, I have (predictably) only been able to find photos of 1958 and 1960/1 Hurricanes, so I can't be certain that they weren't standard for '59.

    Could such variations extend to the dropouts, do you know? From what I have read, only the Cyclone was offered with Campag dropouts as an option, but that's what I have!
     
  6. Davidc

    Davidc Guru

    Location:
    Somerset UK
    I don't think so. My Holdsworth was a Cyclone, but later - 1966 model still current in 1967 when I bought it, by which time it was a lower spec Mistral, but affordable from saving my pay from a Saturday job at Sainsburys.

    The couple of changes I had done were the braze on for the front light omitted, and - revolutionary then - braze ons added for my French water bottle holder. I also paid extra to upgrade the brake levers and shifters. Changing drop-outs would probably not have been allowed as they were a part of the frame kit, while braze-ons weren't.

    I visited the factory, still remember the smell and the flames at each work station. Ben Elton's H&S man would have had a field day.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Scilly Suffolk

    Scilly Suffolk Über Member

    Lovely to hear from someone with first-hand experience.

    What you write about having braze-ons for a water bottle holder, may explain why mine were moved: although the holder on mine is modern, perhaps the original owner had something similar in mind; the position of the rear brake cable would have made the seat tube a better choice for the pump.

    The dropouts are something of a puzzle then! The only straw I can grasp at is in 1958 "The shops were being asked for 'specials' and so Holdsworthy allocated W F Holdsworth a block of frame numbers and Reg Collard, an ex Holdsworthy frame builder, started building Holdsworth frames to order, in a small workshop at 132 Lower Richmond Road. "Reg's output was 2 - 3 per week. He was often hindered in his work by customers who wanted to see their frame being built" (RT). Demand was high so delivery was typically 3 months, until 1964 at least."

    My bike does have a second set of numbers on the BB: a subsidiary serial number for Reg's builds? However, it doesn't seem likely that someone would commission a "special" that was no more than the base model with different dropouts and pump pegs.
     
  8. Andrew_Culture

    Andrew_Culture Internet Marketing bod

    Wow, it's gorgeous!
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Scilly Suffolk

    Scilly Suffolk Über Member

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