This frame was sold by Harry Butler to an unsuspecting buyer as a genuine 1950s Magnum Opus Phase II. The Editor had the opportunity to inspect the frame closely; at least it has the right curl on the stays. However, numerous other details lead to the conclusion that the frame is not what Harry Butler made it out to be.

wrong transfer

MO Phase II lugs accurately cut. Generally, 1950s frames had bronze badges instead of transfers, although a badge might not fit on a frame as short as this.

Right lug but wrong details for a 1950s frame: this style top eye and binder boss are later.

wrong seat cluster

Genuine 1952 MO seat cluster.

the real thing

Wrong brake bridge, boss, & embellishment for a 1950s frame.

Genuine 1950s bridge (straight); note the extra mounting hardware on the brake bolt. Bosses and embellishments came later.

the real thing

Modern Cinelli fork crown,
not original 1950s.

The frame number H25447 does in fact correspond to a 1950s MO known from the Hetchins Register.
Note the font: the Butler stamps (left, Sans Serif) are different to genuine Hetchins stamps (right).
[Also note the double strike of the second '4'.]

If the original fork and rear triangle had gotten damaged, one might still try to salvage the rest of the frame with modern frame components. That would account for all the modern details on the otherwise original main tubes and lugs. But one could not sell such a thing as an original 1950s MO; it would have to be called a rebuild or an over-renovation. If that much damage and repair work had been done to a car, any subsequent buyer would have a right to know about it prior to purchase, and any garage or reseller would be legally required to inform a prospective buyer of such extensive repairs having been carried out.

The owner of the original frame bearing the number H25447 might be able to shed some light on this. If he is still in possession of it, then the Butler frame is an outright forgery with a duplicated frame number. On the other hand, if this is the original frame, or rather what has become of it, then Butler ought to have informed the prospective buyer that it is no longer an original 1950s frame, but a modern rebuild. In fact, Butler led the buyer to believe he was buying an original 1950s MO; I therefore consider the transaction fraudulent.

The possible duplication of frame numbers is a serious development in the current situation in which bogus Hetchins from several rogue builders are known to be circulating. It parallels the counterfeiting of Ferraris. Certain people cannibalize several Ferraris, cobble the bits together, and re-sell these bogus Ferraris as a different, more desirable, model (the 250 GTO is particularly subject to this phenomenon), with a serial number duplicated from one of the known more-desirable models. The maintenance of a register of historic Hetchins and their rightful owners can prevent such fraud. I urge owners of historic Hetchins to register their frames, and prospective buyers of historic Hetchins to verify the authenticity of frames offered for sale. The model most likely to be forged is the MO Phase II curly. As this model enjoyed a production run of more than 35 years, variations of detail are to be expected between early and late (genuine) ones. However, where a frame is advertised as an original 1950s frame but in fact exhibits a number of modern details, as above, caution is advised. If in doubt about the authenticity of a frame, contact this web site, or the Editor.

To enter a frame into the Register, or to verify a specific frame (date of production, etc.) from the records, contact the Editor:

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