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« Dying for Freedom | Main | Analyzing Depression »
Monday
Dec102018

1976 UK built custom

Just the last week on the Dave Moulton Bikes, Facebook group page, this custom frame showed up. Built in 1976, posted by its current owner Mark Awford. Mark inherited the bike from his uncle. and lives in Worcester, England, which is where the frame was built.

I still have my original frame numbers record book (See below.) This frame a 21 inch number M6178 along with the 22 ½ inch number M6177 above it, were sold to someone named O’Keefe and shipped to Alaska.  On the page it appears “Ontario” was written, then scribbled out and “Alaska” written in. 

I shipped a number of frames to Alaska during the 1970s. The customer’s that bought them were workers on the Alaskan Oil Pipeline, being constructed at that time. These men were earning large amounts of money and were in a remote area with nowhere to spend it. It all started when one of these workers wrote to me and ordered a complete bike. From that came orders from other pipeline workers.

If this bike was indeed shipped to Alaska, and I have no reason to doubt that it was, I find it a strange and almost bizarre coincidence that the bike should end up back in Worcester. All my Alaskan orders were for complete bikes, whereas most of my domestic orders were for frames only.

This one still has its original wheels. The rims have a “Built by Andy Thompson” sticker on them. (See below.) Andy, an excellent wheel builder, often worked for me in my shop, and it is his handwriting in my frame numbers book for this particular order.

A word about the finish, this frame has its original paint. The contrasting color head tube and bands around the seat tube were typical of English frames built in the 1970s, simply masked off with strips of one inch masking tape

However, the thin black lines and the precise lug lining, were the work of Les Schrivens, a local bike rider who with his father were sign writers by trade. These lines and stripes were all hand panted with a brush. Another Les Schrivens feature was the little motive he did on the seat-stay top eyes. Each one was unique and different for every frame. (See below.) It is a little feature that only the UK built frames have.

 

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Reader Comments (13)

Thankyou Dave Moulton for this very interesting blog featuring my bike. Just to let everyone know that the bike is actually for sale to I am open to sensible offers. Many thanks Mark Awford..

December 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMark Awford

Mark,
Do you know how your uncle came by the bike, how long had he owned it?
Dave.

December 10, 2018 | Registered CommenterDave Moulton

Perhaps an executive for BP, née British Petroleum? The company still has a considerable presence in Alaska. My uncle worked for them in Anchorage.

I did not know the story until some years after I moved cross-country but he was born thousands of miles away from my aunt and the rest of my father’s family. I settled to a house just one block away from that hospital.

December 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterChamps

Sorry I only know he's had the bike 20 + years its been stored in a bedroom in his house.

December 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMark Awford

My size I may be interested in buying the bike. What is the equip etc and can you ship to USA of course the main questing is how much are you thinking to get for it Email me at crumpy6204@gmail.com John Crump

December 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAnthony J Crump

Wow Dave, I had no idea you sent so many bikes to Alaska. I was one of those Pipeline workers who ordered a frame from you. The summer of 75 I was stationed in Fairbanks with lodging in old Fort Wainwright barracks and my roommate was an older (I was 25), English bike racer. I wish I remembered his name but I don’t. Anyway, I had my Raleigh International with me which started the conversation about bikes. He was the one who told me about you and got the ball rolling towards me ordering a frame from you.

As I recall I received the frame very well packed with British newspaper the winter of 76. I actually didn’t build it up till my Raleigh was stolen in Lahaina Maui in 1983. At that point I was able to buy slightly used Campy Super Record group off a triathlon bike a European rider named Fritz Perrard left behind on consignment.

Upon my request you built my frame with longer clearances for mud guards and bike racks, but it still had that great Moulton quick response. As it turned out, I never toured with the bike, but it was an excellent road bike.

December 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Robinson

I still have M6173 in Use most weekends

December 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Coleman

John Coleman, you beat me by four frames! Mine is M6177, built 1976, 177th Dave Moulton frame.

December 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Robinson

I am very tempted to buy the bike, but not keen on the Shimano equip? Plus the shipping charge to the USA is very high. But I will keep looking for one of Daves frame and forks in 21" size. Would be a real good buy for someone in the UK

December 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAnthony J Crump

Beautiful bike!!

December 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSam

Cool bike, cool story. Carbon producers desired a carbon-free life? Cool!

December 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJack

John R, now I envy you. Finding nice older steel frames (esp custom built ones) in 22.5" or so is very difficult.

December 14, 2018 | Unregistered Commenteredstainless

That is one handsome bike. The nice work with the brush is an excellent addition.

One question — why the clamp-on shifters?

December 29, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTBR

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