W.B. Hurlow


British frame builder who worked for Condor, Paris, Mal Rees, Grubb, Claud Butler, and also on his own. The Editor received the following email from John Hunt:
Dear Editor, I'm a close friend of Bill Hurlow's and I've been showing him some of your site. He's 85 and still very fit with a photographic knowledge of the Hetchins period. I wish I could get him to write more things down but here are some things that might be added particularly with reference to the Ken Janes' piece. Bill says that the name Condor was formed from the first part of Wally Conway's name and his partner who had originally had a shop selling Triumph bikes at Triumph House. Wally Conway was Monty Young's brother-in-law and Monty's parents, Harry and Lotty Yarovitch, bought some of the business for Monty. When Bill built for Monty there had only been one or two poor Condors built, with very few orders. Bill transformed that and the rest is history. Bill never worked for Harry Rensch. Rensch had left Paris Cycles before Bill joined them as a Director. He worked with Harry [Rensch]'s ex-wife and wound up the business, eventually cutting up the jigs for the Paris Galibier! I think Bill will be known as one of the greatest framebuilders one day. I'm attaching a picture of his own intitial cut lug bike [see below]. This is his quality which matches anything ever done. Best wishes John Hunt.
Bill Hurlow died Sunday February 28th, 2010 in Canterbury Hospital.
For more information, please visit:
Classic Rendezvous, British Isles section
Classic Lightweights.
Click here for a lugless Hurlow feature elsewhere on the Internet.
See also the Condor WBH No.1 page at this web site.
See also the Condor Superbe page at this web site.











One of Bill Hurlow's personal time-trial cycles, and the only ornate-lugged frame he owned at the time of his death at Canterbury in 2010, is featured below; his son, Colin Hurlow, who lives in the USA, provides the following information: bicycle frame 233 was made by my father in the early 1960s at Herne Bay, Kent. His initials "W.B.H." are cut into the lugs. About twelve of these frames with the fancy initials lugs were made. Frame 233 was the one my father kept for himself. As the frame became quite old, the original finish was restored by an expert during the time my father owned it. My father planned to build the frame up again for riding, but age and illness didn't allow. I acquired frame 233 from my father's property when he passed away in February 2010. This is perhaps the best one he ever built. [Fotos below courtesy of the present owner.]






















Below, W.B. Hurlow special order. It was was ordered in November 1968 and delivered in August 1969. It was originally made for a dentist who, in high school and college, was a track racer in the Washington DC area in the mid 1930s and early 1940s. He and a lifelong friend, Bill Vetter, were cycle enthusiasts together. [The current owner believes] that Bill Vetter was acquainted with William Hurlow and acted as the mediator with regard to obtaining the bicycle. He himself owned bicycles made by Hurlow. Bill Vetter was well known in cycling circles for many years. He was an original member of the International Bicycle Touring Society along with Dr. Clifford Graves, Fred DeLong, and Captain Dan Henry. Bill Vetter also made some bicycle frames himself under his own name.
The Hurlow bicycle passed to the present owner in 2004 upon the death of the original owner. It has been preserved and ridden with the New England Section V-CC. It was totally stripped and overhauled, the wheels were rebuilt, and some components were replaced to make the bike road worthy and to give it more British influence. It was important to preserve the patina and to keep it period-correct.
Below are copies of original paper work. It appears that William Hurlow also supplied some of the parts for the frame. [Fotos and text courtesy of the present owner.]














The Editor received the following: [below] are some photos of W.B. Hurlow's last bicycle, which he rode until his death a few years ago. [The present owner] acquired it from his son. It came with a letter of provenance signed by his son [Colin Hurlow] which reads, in part: "Bicycle frame 1782 was made by my father in 1978 at Herne Bay, Kent. This "Italia" model frame was my father's personal bicycle. He rode it until his passing in 2010. He used it while cycling in the UK and he rode it in the USA on his trips to California. The finish on the frame is original and the parts on it are those my father chose and installed."

Photos courtesy of photographer Mike Graves.