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Classic lightweight restoration


For sure speed wasn't Bill's strong point. He also did outside jobs under other peoples names and I think he prioritised those frames. I waited about eight months for the bi-lam frame. He would never take the easy option. He could have used Campag ends and the customers would have been happy but he preferred to make his own, very labour intensitive. Also he persuaded me to have brazed on centre pull brakes which must have taken him hours to do. My first frame was lugged and he had filed down the lugs until almost nothing was left. God knows how long it took him.  Only trouble was all his masterly craftsmanship didn't make me go any faster!

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Can you remember how much the frameset cost, and maybe even adjust the price for inflation? Bespoke steel frames cost over a grand now...I wonder how well they compare?

My last frame, the Bi-Lam, was £247 in 1985 so a similar price to a decent off the shelf 531 frame and less than a Roberts back then and that included the Universal centre pull brakes. My first frame, the one with lugs, cost £112.41p in 1978. Where he got that price from I have no idea!

Bill sprayed the frames on the premises. His spray booth was an old Ex W.D. filing cabinet but he did a great finish.