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Raleigh Works Racing - c1956

Submitted by Alexander von Tutscheck

raleigh-blundell-avt-rb1


Profile of a fine cycle No 20    ( 24.2.2014)
 
Raleigh   ‘  Works Racing Machine’ Richard Blundell's 24 inch’                                                             
Circa 1956 Raleigh pure track cycle,  24 inch.Frame no RP361 is the  “works” racing machine given by The Raleigh Cycle Company to Richard T Blundell. This rider was not a famous racing cyclist, his father was a director of  The Raleigh and was able to have this machine built for his son. This is most likely the only such bicycle given in this manner
 
How long owned: 2 years (in Feb 14)
 
How was it acquired:
I first laid eyes on  this machine in the Birmingham area (was it Solihull?) about 1994 but  it wasn’t for sale at the time. During the following years it changed hands twice and it wasn’t until two years ago that I was able triumphantly to secure it  for myself.
 
What makes this cycle special: Most of  the ’works racing machines that  'The Raleigh' built had track drop-outs but very few of them had the famed and very well documented  reinforced chain-stays that were a feature of Reg Harris’s Raleigh racing machines, neither of Ray Booty’s machines had these. This pure-track 24” frame has them, it is also fitted with one of the  very special  tool-room-made stems (below) that were a feature of RHH machines.

raleigh-blundell-avt-rb1
Tool-room stem  that was a feature of the Reg Harris machines.

Of all of the surviving Raleigh racing machines this one is thought to have the finest surviving original finish. It is not perfect but does anyone out there  know of a finer original finish example?

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Inch-pitch drive chain with 5-pin chainset
 
Anything else:
It is believed that The Raleigh built about thirty to thirty-five frames that were given to various riders of distinction between the  late 1940’s and the late 1950’s.Richard Blundell was the son of a director of The Raleigh who must have had sufficient authority to have this frame build. There is obviously a story behind this machine but sadly Richard .T. Blundell is dead - is - the story lost for all time or is there someone out there who can fill in the missing chapters? He  worked for Falcon cycles later on and was well know in North Lincolnshire cycling circles, maybe somebody up there has something to add to this?
 
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Left: The famous red-anodised Airlite large-flange hub which was synonymous with Reg Harris
Right: The iconic Raleigh fork crown and transfer >