1953 Vade Mecum

Vade Mecum
Tottenham, 1953

This 23-inch vibrant frame was first sold 4th December 1953, price 10 pounds 14 shillings 2 pence. It was one of the first sold of this model. The frame was most likely sent to a cycle shop for resale as the price is discounted from the catalog price. The Vade Mecum was the first lug design to be offered with oval forks and the Cycling Weekly illustration showed the first use of the script transfer.

The frame was repainted by Argos (Bristol) and rebuilt where possible with the original components. The photos do not show the original wheels and airlite hubs as these had not yet been restored when the photos were taken. Of particular interest is the less common Simplex Competition front changer. This version has the earlier alloy 'knob.'

The components are as follows: front gears: Simplex front rod "competition" with one piece cast knob (not plastic) and brazed-on frame stop; Simplex lever on down tube; rear gears Simplex JUY 59 (was a decent working replacement as close to age as practicable); brakes: Weinmann type 730 with matching levers; crank arms: Diamant by Stronglight; pedals: Chater Lea; rims: Dunlop Racelite Special lightweight 27" x 1.25"; hubs: Airlite (not shown); wing nuts: GB levers; stem: BF; handle bar: GB Maes.

A splendid restoration to as-close-as-possible to original, and not at all unlikely, given that people often upgraded components as and when the pay packet permitted.

Photos courtesy of the owner.