When I built frames in England back in the 1970s, and in California in the 1980s, no one and especially me, envisioned the Internet. I had no idea I would be writing about these same frames here, or corresponding with owners some thirty years later.
However, in 1984 when I embarked on a fresh project to build the “Fuso,” a new brand of bicycle frame, I knew the first one I built with the #001 serial number was somewhat unique. Too special to simply let it go to a bike store to be randomly sold to whoever happened along.
I decided to present it to a long time friend, David Ball. David had done a great deal of photography work for me, including the picture above of the #001 Fuso that I used in an ad campaign. The bike was part gift, but mostly in payment for his services.
Some years ago circumstances forced David to sell the #001. He also owns two custom bikes that I built, and had to make a choice of what to let go. The bike went to his local bike store owner in San Luis Obispo, CA who later retired, and the bike was stored and unused since.
Recently, this same bike came up for sale in eBay; David Ball made a successful offer and was able to buy the bike back. I am delighted the #001 Fuso is back with the original owner.
By a strange coincidence, just this week I have been corresponding with another old friend, Kent Radford. Kent and his brother Kyle were the people who commissioned me to build the Recherché frames in 1985.
The Recherché name and the decal design was Kent and Kyle’s concept, so it was obvious that one of the two brothers would get the #001 Recherché. It went to Kent Radford who still owns and rides it today.
Kent told me a neat story about a UPS driver who dropped a package off at his home, and mentioned he was a bike rider. Kent asked him, “What kind of bike do you have.”
The UPS guy answered, “Oh, you probably won’t have heard of it, it’s a Recherché.” Kent took him to his garage and showed him the #001. One of those, “It’s a small world” moments.
Apart from these two #001s, I am left to wonder, where are the other low number frames? A few years back someone contacted me after buying #10 in a Salvation Army store. Then I heard about #20 and #32.
With this in mind I am creating an on-line registry of frames I built. This will be similar to Bob Hovey’s Masi Regisrty, but with more information.
This will be a new website, (davemoultonregistry.com.) and will have separate listings for custom frames built in England, and those from California. Also, John Howard, Fuso, and Recherché brands.
I retired from framebuilding in 1993, so there will be no more of these frames built. I feel it is important to preserve those I did build, for current owners and those who may wish to own one in the future. I feel this registry will help achieve this goal.
The site should be up in a week or so; watch this space