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James P Grundy - agent for Ephgrave in the U.S.

Posted: Monday 08th June 2020

Author: Peter Underwood

James P Grundy - U.S. agent

James Grundy was importing Ephgrave frames to the United States in the early 60’s even though he was only sixteen years of age. He had arranged his agency by post, using the letterhead below, so Les Ephgrave had no reason to realise that he was of such tender years and agreed to the agency if James coould sell 20 frames per year.

Letterhead used by James
Letterhead used by James

When James met Les some four years later he was very surprised at how young he was. Below are some artefacts from James’ archives. James also supplied the Ephgrave images used in The Ephgrave Story. These have provided an unique insight into the world of 50’s framebuilding.

In 1964 James ordered an “Italia” style road bike, and he debated with Les what style of fork crown to use.  Les sent the attached drawings and suggested the “E/27R” (very Cinelli like). What appeared to be integral stiffners on the wheel sides of the forks turned out to be  brazed-on strips.

The bike was green with silver panels, 23″ seat tube, 73 parallel, Campy ends with the front eyes only filed off.  It was stolen in the summer of 1972 in Montreal immediately following a race.

James still has four of his Ephgraves which he used for racing in the States:

3216  Track Frame, No. 2 lugs,  Grey with Red Panels,   1959 or 1960
3681   Road Frame, No.1 lugs, Blue with White Panels,   1961 or 1962
(#3681 was wrecked in a collision with a New York taxi and at  this point it is a beautiful lug set in need of all new tubes other than the head tube.)
3683  Track Frame, No. 1 lugs,  Blue with White Panels,   1961 or 1962
3872  Road Frame, Welded, a soft blue-green, no panels, no chrome  1964 or 1965

Thanks for reading

Posted: Monday 08th June 2020

Author: Peter Underwood

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