Gillott - 1955
Posted: Thursday 13th August 2020
|Frame||Frame serial number 554253. Built 1955. Reynolds 531 butted tubes, forks and stays, Nervex Professional lugs. Campagnolo rear dropouts. Gillott gradual rake front forks. Braze-ons: brake cable stops, gear cable stops for front and rear gears. Finished in metallic burgundy with cream band for seat tube and head tube. Lugs lined in gold. Chrome plated front forks and ends of stays. Bayliss Wiley bottom bracket fittings, TDC type headset.
Dimensions: Seat tube 24", top tube 22.5", Wheelbase 40.5"
|Wheels||Weinmann 27-inch alloy rims. Italian FB large flange front hub. Maillard large-flange rear hub with Reynolds wingnuts (with fixed gear) or FB large flange (with freewheel). 27" x 1¼" tyres.|
|Chainset||Stronglight 49D with TA early-logo 46-tooth chainring (or double with 34/48 rings)|
|Pedals||Allez with Christophe toeclips and straps|
|Gears||Single fixed 18-tooth sprocket (as shown) or Campagnolo Gran Sport and Everest 6-speed block|
|Brakes||GB Coureur with GB Superhood levers (early cast type, with adjusters), genuine GB hoods|
|Stem/Bars||GB 531 spearpoint chromed steel with GB Ventoux engraved alloy bars|
|Saddle||Lycett Swallow with chrome frame, dural seatpin|
|Extra Details||(when fitted): Bluemels Tour de France aluminium mudguards, Carradice saddlebag|
How it was acquired:
This frame was found hanging from the roof of a barn and covered in rust. It had been stripped of paint and left unprotected for many years. Fortunately the rust was superficial with no pitting of the surface so the basic integrity of the frame remained. All it needed to bring it back to its former glory was bead-blasting to clean off the rust followed by chrome plating of the forks and ends, a repaint, new transfers and lug lining. The chrome plating probably doubled the cost of refinishing, but was worth it.
Seeking out period-correct components to build the frame into a running machine proved to be particularly rewarding. Some of the componentry, including the rare FB large-flange wheels, I had already, but most of the bits were the result of many pleasant hours rummaging around at cycle jumbles. As with all of my machines, the specification of this Gillott does change from time to time because I can never resist tinkering. Sometimes it has gears rather than single-fixed, while in winter it usually has alloy mudguards fitted.
Features that make it special:
The fact that this machine was ‘saved from the scrapper’ makes it special to me. Also, when building a cycle from a bare frame there is the added attraction in that it allows you the freedom to create exactly what you want, from the colour of the frame to the type and number of gears to the precise specification. The end result is a machine that looks and feels just ‘right’.