bicyclepassion wrote:The serial numbers for 5 star Malvern Stars is a big can of worms. Quite a lot of 5 star Malvern Stars have no numbers, or numbers that dont conform to the accepted factory sequence.
The ones that 'dont conform', usually have something special about them. The fact that the number doesnt fit into the factory sequence doesnt mean that it is not a 'real' 5 star. I have seen hundreds of 5 star frames, and am sure that one of those was a 'fake', another maybe a fake, the rest seem to me to be 'real'.
I could write a book on the variations to 'normal'.
I think that the ones without serial numbers have usually had the rear dropouts replaced, and the number lost in the process. This is bourne out by the fact that in most of these cases, the rear dropouts are either Simplex, Benelux or Campagnolo, and are older frames with these ends put in later, as they became available, and as derailleur gears became more accepted for club level racing.
An old 5 star Malvern Star was as good a bike as any to 'recycle' for a young rider, and would be modified by a frame builder prior to a repaint. My own 1949 5 star lugless, purchased by me in 1972, has been painted 4 times that I know of, and has just recently had all of the modifications that I had done to it reversed, and put back to 'original' 1949 specs. It is about to have its 5th paint job.
The 5 Star frames with non conforming numbers, are usually high end frames, built to order. These are often, but not always, the best of the 5 stars.
Each 5 Star frame has to be judged on its merits. The frame number is only one part of the picture.
Interesting. My original point was that I was not confident in purchasing one of these 5 stars, because i don't have the expertise to judge them. However, if the lugs look right, the dropouts look right and have a genuine looking (Font) and conforming serial number then I can take a gamble. I guess that means that i am consigned to lower end frames but i'm okay with that.