Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking
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I have a Master Sports motor pace bicycle that I am trying to establish a build date for.
I need to find out when Master Sports started production.
They were produced by Motor Spares Ltd, 547 Elizabeth Street Melbourne. I have a 1935 catalogue here, but it does not mention an establishment date of Motor Spares Ltd, or Master Sports.
Any history of this company will be very much appreciated.
I know that they were still being sold in the 1960's, and have a nice 'Barry Waddell' 1960's Master Sports road bike here, under construction. The brand was sold into the 1980's under the Repco umbrella.
I believe the Motor Pace bike may be just pre or post WW1, say 1910-1920, but can find no references to the Master Sports brand prior to 1934.
Thanks in advance.
Hi Warren, unless someone on the forum knows I'd suggest you track down an old Sans McDougal business Directory for Melbourne - this book listed all the busineses and individuals and their occupation etc, may be worth a trip to the state library. Alternatively I have had a search in Trove (http://trove.nla.gov.au/ and the earliest reference to Motor spares at that address is Saturday June 2nd 1934 - however the add lists quite a few branches so may have been in business a for a few years prior at least. You found a similar date so may you have been to the same source? first ref in Trove to Master sports that I could find was 1936 - not that this date is definitive by any means.
Motor Spares Ltd has a 1931 catalogue held online which shows at that time the head office and 6 branches.
A wide selection of car parts but no bicycles mentioned in that catalogue.
Master Sports were advertising in June 1934
and from mid 1936 were advertising riders success on their bikes example
and Busyman has one and a copy of an early (n.d.) advert.details
I have just found a 1965 Motor Spares car tools and equipment parts catalogue in my 'motoring' stash.
On the title page, it gives a brief outline of the company, and states that they have '27 conveniently located branches plus 30 years experience'.
Given the references above, this is approximate. No mention of bikes, but I think these were distributed separately.
Here in Bairnsdale at least, Motor Spares had a very large automotive store, and 'Mitchells Sports Store', sold Master Sports bikes.
The proprietor of the sports store had a very nice 5 star Malvern Star road bike, with all Campagnolo gear, but repainted and branded Master Sports.
You had to look twice, as when written in a script style, Malvern Star and Master Sports look very similiar.
I have a feeling that the Master Sports bike brand predates the Motor Spares organisation, and the bike brand was taken over at some point by Motor Spares.
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