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Re: Vintage Claud Butler Tandem?

Posted By: William.Orr
Date: 15 September 2005

Hi Guys,
Just bought a C B Tandem, Chrome Frame[some surface rust otherwise very sound],Wheels 26 X 1-1/4[rusty rims] front Chater Lea Hub with knurled adjuster,Rear with Hub Brake and derrailier Gear Cyclo Birmingham, Cantilever Brakes,Rear Drum and Foot pedal,Eccentric Bottom Bracket,Numbers under B/Bracket 8/2/34,Bike is quite rideable as is, Any help would be welcome, Regards,William

: A threads not dead till the fat lady ties it off.

: Adam Kolaczkowski wrote

: This followed Iain Kent's enquiry on CB Ultra Shortbase 882842, with presumed
: patent No 1576/36.

: Claud patented the Ultra Shortbase design, curved seat-tube, in 1936. The
: patent number is given in his 1951 catalogue as 464,959. Perhaps Ian
: Butcher can do something with this.

: Iain's Claud 882842 is pre 1950. Serials are VERY handy when dating a frame,
: so if you really want to research a frameset, and any digits of the serial
: are unclear, you should remove the forks and read it from the fork steerer
: tube. Here all digits will be clear, as they are not painted over. The
: fork and frame numbers should be the same and so it may also confirm that
: the forks are the originals.

: The easiest Clauds to date are 1950 to Oct 1956 (when he went caput). John's
: is one of these: 502 789. Such numbers are stamped in 2 groups, a serial
: number and a date code. Sometimes the date code comes first, sometimes
: second, here it leads. It is always 3 or 4 digits, starting with a 5. Year
: then month. John's date group is 502, so made Feb 1950. Johns is so far
: the earliest one I have seen in this system, previously it was Avant
: Coureur 502 795. It is possible that this system had not started in Jan
: 1950, time will tell.

: This is very handy, because we know Claud's first bi-lams were 1948. So any
: bi-lams which do not have 1950's date embedded serials have to be 1948,
: 1949 or Jan 50. Indeed, the official launch of bi-lams was the Earls Court
: Cycle Show Oct/Nov 1948, so very few 1948 ones will exist. From this we
: find 1949 Claud serials all start with a 9, the number of digits varies.

: It appears from the other early Claud numbers I have gathered, some supported
: by invoices, that through the 30's and 40's the first digit is a year
: digit. I think this will prove to be correct, but I cannot say it with
: certainty yet.

: I think Iains 882842, which has to be 1936-49, will be 1938 or 1948. Adams
: 721468 will be 1947 (assuming he is right to rule out 1937).

: Clippie headsets were the norm pre-war. Bill Hurlow tells me the new headset
: design, with push-in cups were available on the Continent just pre war.
: The Brits called them Colonial headsets, the Aussies called them British
: headsets.
: Holdsworth used clippies exclusively Pre war, except on the 1939 Anglo
: Continental, and continued using clippies though 1946, but by 1947
: Holdsworth used the newer 'Colonial' headsets only. I was therefore
: surprised that Glasgow Museum of Transport has a BILAM CB Ultra Shortbase
: tandem (so 1948+) with a clippie headset. This is not yet on display to
: the public so I don't have the serial (yet). So while Iains clippie tells
: us it's an old tandem, pre 1950, it does not tell us whether pre or post
: war. It could still be 1948, even with a clippie. (However, if it's a
: bi-lam it would have to be 1948).

: I hope this helps a little,

: Good luck, Norman (Glasgow)

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