Hetchins Magnum Bonum - 1969/7
Posted: Wednesday 19th August 2020
|Frame||Frame serial number H9145. Built in 1969, assembled 1970. Reynolds 531 butted tubes, forks and 'curly' Vibrant stays, Magnum Bonum lug design. Campagnolo front and rear dropouts. Hetchins forged double-plate fork crown with round-section fork blades. Braze-ons: brake and gear cable stops, gear lever bosses on down-tube, cube-ended pump pegs on seat tube, brake bridge on seatstays. Full-chrome finish, bottom bracket and vee at top of fork leg in red, lugs lined in red. Dimensions: Seat tube 23.75", top tube 23", Wheelbase 40.5"|
|Wheels||Campagnolo Record large flange quick-release hubs, Mafac MA2 700c rims, chrome-plated spokes|
|Chainset||Stronglight 49D double with TA 30/46-tooth rings|
|Pedals||SR alloy quill pedals with Christophe toeclips and straps|
|Gears||Campagnolo Nuovo Record front and rear, Suntour 6-speed 13-26 freewheel, Campagnolo down-tube levers|
|Brakes||Mafac Racer centre pull with Mafac levers|
|Stem/Bars||Reynolds Bailey alloy bars on Reynolds alloy stem (as shown) or GB Randonneur engraved bars on Milremo 4in stem (for touring).|
|Saddle||Brooks Professional, dural seatpost|
|Extra details||(when fitted): Red Bluemels Lightweight mudguards, Carradice saddlebag|
How it was acquired:
The frame was custom-made in 1969 for my father. It was his pride and joy and he used it almost every day for the next 36 years. It was left to me when he died in 2006.
On one of our rides together he told me that it was a replica of the Magnum Bonum that he had custom made for him in 1948. It was a present for his 18th birthday. To collect that first Hetchins he cycled to the Hetchins shop in London from High Wycombe on the Claud Butler he owned at the time, then cycled back the thirty or so miles home with the shiny new frame strapped across his shoulders.
That first Hetchins had to go in order to pay for a deposit for his first house but he always regretted selling it and some day planned to buy another. That day came in 1969 when he ordered this full-chrome Magnum Bonum from Alf Hetchin and built it up as a touring cycle as a present to himself in celebration of his 40th birthday. That was in April 1970. The same year, he rode it from Lands End to John O’ Groats, a journey he repeated again on this same machine in 2000, aged seventy. Some years earlier, he had ridden it from the south of Spain, over the Pyrenees, across France and on to northern Germany.
He also used this Hetchins most days for pleasure and must have put tens of thousands of miles under its wheels. The Stronglight 49D cranks fitted in 1970 bear testimony to this and have deep grooves in them from the wear of the toestraps. The Bailey bars date from the 1930s and these were fitted to the very first lightweight that Hugh owned. They were also on his first Hetchins Magnum Bonum in the late 1940s. Many of the other components, however, had been updated over the years with newer non-period parts, so I decided to restore this wonderful machine to its 1970 specification, as shown here.