early Phase II
This 25 inch Magnum Opus is of particular interest for a number of reasons.
First, the lug pattern is the Phase II version; the Phase II officially appeared in the catalogs in 1953, but this frame was made in late 1951. Note the flared head lugs for internal headset bearings and the plain topeye, both characteristic of pre-War frames. The seat lug lacks any embellishment at all along the seat tube. These features indicate that this is one of the first MO Phase IIs.
Second, the extraordinary gold-chrome finish is intact. This was achieved by fully chroming the frame first, then covering it with yellow-gold lacquer. Also note the triangular panel highlighting the fork tang (now somewhat faded after more than 50 years), sometimes seen on early 1950s Hetchins.
Third, the frame bears a complete set of Coronation transfers--down, seat, and top tubes--in original condition. One of the earliest surviving specimens.
The bike is equipped, as new, with the following components: Chater Lea chainset, b/b, headset bearing, and pedals; Campag Gran Sport mech; Titan stem, Maes bars; Mafac center-pull brakes; Dunlop 27 inch s/s rims on Campag hi-flange hubs; Weinmann s/s mudguards; Brooks Swallow saddle on Reynolds alloy seatpin.
A fine example of when not to renovate.