Posted: Saturday 06th June 2020
The emergence of an Innanzi Tutto track frame for sale on E Bay recently has prompted me to look again the my notes on this most elusive marque. I have owned a possible candidate for many years its only credentials are that it came to me with a Bonduns head transfer and turned out to be almost identical to one owned by John Spooner in the 1970s.
According to VCC member Eric Lewis, Major Bondun, real name Bill Dunce started Bonduns in 1948 at Kingsbury Green Parade, Kingsbury London N.W. 9. Like a lot people who gained status in the forces, he retained his rank from the army and adopted a superior manner. Frame building was carried out at the back of the shop by his brother Alec Dunce who preferred to use an open hearth to braze up the frames that was operated by a large foot operated bellows. As Bill had married an Italian girl during the war he gave is frames an Italian name – Innanzi Tutto – meaning ‘above all others’.
At this time Bill became President of the Wembley Road Club taking over from Bill Derman of Dayton Cycles. Bill Dunce supplied the club’s top riders, Ken Smith and Ron Bendon with Innanzi Tutto frames for the club’s participation in the 1949 Brighton to Glasgow cycle race where they won a combined club award.As well as the Kingsbury address, a shop was opened in Brighton at 39 Sidney Street. There were a number of adverts placed in ‘Cycling’ around 1949/50 which appear to show the Brighton address as the principal one later on. Eric believes that Bill spent more time in Brighton leaving the Kingsbury shop in the hands of his brother. Despite being in the Wembley RC, Eric and some of his club mates were not drawn to buy a Innanzi Tutto, preferring instead to go south of the river to obtain the highly reputable Gillott.
It is possible that someone else built the frames at Brighton, possibly an ex Gillott builder. Madgetts Cycles of Diss were agents for Bonduns and an early frame hangs up in the shop. The lugs are fairly crudely finished and made into a kind of fancy design. It clear that there is a difference in frame build quality between the Madgett example and one owned by the writer and one John Spooner had in the 1970s both which seem superior. The recently surfaced track frame lies somewhere in between to my way of thinking.
It is thought that the business lasted only four or five years.