Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking
17 posts • Page 1 of 1
Just spotted an Austral bike at the looking recycle joint.
Very old looking steel lugged frame, blue with white pinstriping with horizontal r/hanger. Austral stickers with headtube one has map of Australia and several rainbow stickers.
Anybody know of these bikes? Worth picking up?
I've got one of these bikes. The Austral you have described sounds like one dating from the 50's/60's. By this time the Austral brand had long been taken over by Malvern Star (for over 20+ years) and ceased to be anything special. To be honest it's not really all that valuable but if you think it looks cool why not grab it for a retro-resto project?
Austral also manufactured a range of other (farm/industrial) machinery I believe.
I have a mens Austral I was given (hand painted bright red and yellow....). It is fully brazed up and looks and feels weightwise about the same build quality as my Malvern Star 2-star racer/light roadster, square lugs and all. Would that be a good comparison?
More important does anyone have any photos to show what the original headbadge/downtube/paintwork looked like on these bikes? I had a quick look around the Internet and scored zero.
I've got an old Austral that we think is from about 1920 or before. The serial number on it is H905, which doesn't follow the usual MS format of 9S99999 or 9M99999 so it possibly pre-dates the take-over from Melvern Star.
I would be very interested in finding a photo of one with the original paint work. My father says he thinks it was originally black with gold pin-strips and chrome front forks.
If anyone has a photo of one of these bikes, I would appreciate it if you could send it to:
walkabout (dot) wombat (at) gmail (dot) com
If you do indeed have a pre-Malvern Star takeover Austral it should have the following defining characteristic - both front head-tube lugs should have a cut-out of a map of Australia (no Tasmania), as well as the fork crowns.
If it does, then you've indeed hit the jackpot!
That it does... both front forks have the map of Australia carved in, as well as as well as the head tube lugs.
Would you happen to know where I'd be able to find more information about this bike?
Unfortunately I do know it's had a couple of modifications done to it (inner-cog gears added, re-painted & new seat...) so it's not in original condition. If I were able to find out the original spec's and paint work, I'd love to restore it back to new.
Try this for a little bit of information:
http://canberrabicyclemuseum.com.au/Aus ... ticles.htm
There's not much else out there that I could find - other members may have more information that I do. Congratulations on finding a pretty rare frame.
Don't worry about the new paint and modifications - that can always be fixed with authentic period parts and a correct paint-scheme. Mine was painted black with the all lugs highlighted in scarlet red (its very faded but original, unrestored colours).
Hmm, When did the takeover happen? As I said I have a fully brazed up men's Austral (repainted in vivid colours )
which has the maps in both head lugs and both sides of the fork crown but it looks very 50's (or later) to me - I thought this was long after the Malvern Star takeover.
Sorry about the delayed reply. Research indicates that Austral was absorbed into Malvern Star in 1933 (plenty of other firms went the same way, Bruce Small was voracious in gobbling up competitors). After that it was merely an in-house name for them. Hope this information is useful.
Thank you, that's very useful info. Since the last mail I remembered I had two more Austral frames that live in the other garage, one mans frame and one ladies both with the crappy Dulux paintjob Both have all the maps but these two are definately roadsters or possibly early sports bikes as they have bolted up rear ends. The ladies frame has BSA cranks and chainring.
I know I'm probably asking for the moon here but does anybody know a frame number sequence that might date any of my three. Do the Malvern Star Australs follow the (assumed) Malvern Star number sequence?
Also for my own personal edification, does anybody have a list of the other makes that Bruce Small aquired and sold?
A recent pick up is this Austral . It was given a makeover by Cecil Walker around the early 50's judging by the parts it now has .
Universal brakes , prior pedals , Maxim Luxe hubs and alloy rims stamped ''Made in Italy '' . Unfortunately the rims have deep fatigue cracks in several places . All the parts are scruffy as is the paint but I plan to just clean it up and replace the bearings and rims . Eventually I may repaint it as an Austral but it has an interesting feature that I'd regret sanding off .
It's covered in ladies names . I've counted more than twenty and there are more that are illegible . Eyvonne must have been extra cute as she's mentioned twice . Was this a trend back in the day or was this rider in a world of his own ? Any ideas ?
I'll have to settle for some new alloys but will retain all the other parts .
G'day . I've developed an itch to repaint the bike in the previous post . The trouble is that I need some decals . Not much use doing a respray if I don't know what the original looked like . Any help with images of early decals would be appreciated . The serial number is 8309 .
Maybe this will help http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/RARE-VINTAGE ... 460bf88720
I thought i'd bump this rather than start a new thread.
My two friends and myself all have an Austral bike each that we are looking to restore in the near future. The trouble is there's not much out there in regards to this Australian bike company of yester year.
What i'm trying to do is gather all I can in regards to the old Australs and put together some kind of online resource page for other people to reference when in comes to their bikes.
If anyone else has any pictures, serial numbers, ephemera etc of their Australs I'd love to try and start to pool all of that together to create the above resource page.
So if you have anything you'd like to contribute please post it in this thread or feel free to PM if you'd prefer to email it through privately.
If you have an Austral bike I'd love to see pics of it!
Hopefully enough can be compiled to allow others in the future to have something to work off on their Austral rebuilds.
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