Dating Super Elliott frames?

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iprocrastinator
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Dating Super Elliott frames?

Postby iprocrastinator » Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:19 pm

Hi all, just wondering if anyone knows how to date Super Elliott frames from the serial number or if it's even possible? I bought this ornate frame with matching forks and stem some weeks back from Port Lincoln (country SA) and the seller was the son of the original owner. He was pretty sure his dad bought it from Super Elliotts in Adelaide in the very early 40s, possibly even '39 but understandably he couldn't be 100%. When I first saw it I would've guessed about a decade later but I know diddly squat about them tbh.

What year did the 'E's change from chunky to this style? The serial is E53302 and it's stamped on the top of the seat lug, the bottom bracket and the fork steerer. Frame and forks are alloy covered in red primer under non-orig blue paint. Plan is to rebuild eventually. Thanks for any info! More photos on flickr here

Image

Image
(no headset, lower race or bearings installed here, stem is loose, wheels are random 27" for photo)

Torana68
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Re: Dating Super Elliott frames?

Postby Torana68 » Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:19 pm

Hi all, just wondering if anyone knows how to date Super Elliott frames from the serial number or if it's even possible?

not at this time.
What year did the 'E's change from chunky to this style?

They ran both at the same time as far as I know, this one is indicative of the beter frames, Im guessing post WW2 but thats all I can offer
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damhooligan
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Re: Dating Super Elliott frames?

Postby damhooligan » Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:28 pm

O.k., those frames are sexy and they are beatifull. ...

But I wouldn't wanna go as far as saying i want to date a frame... :shock: :lol:


Sorry, but it is friday night.. :mrgreen:
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iprocrastinator
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Re: Dating Super Elliott frames?

Postby iprocrastinator » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:17 pm

Cheers. I wrote down the other things his son remembered when we spoke:

Purchased from Super Elliotts in the city. His dad (Ron Foxwell) would often ride it on the old velodrome in Norwood, sometimes at a track in Payneham and also in road events to places like Victor Harbor and One Tree Hill. (I've not been able to find any race history on Ron, just one 1953 newspaper clipping about him being in a road cycling accident near Norwood.)
Metal pedals with spikes. Couldn't recall the brand of crankset. The BB axle was a special 'lightweight' one but it's long gone. Swooping bars.
Alloy rims (made a point, not wood!) with tyres and tubes that were all one piece and alloy hubs with sides as big as coke cans with finger size holes ringing them.
Top of the front tyre ran very close to the fork, hardly any space.
Fixed gear.
The bike was later passed down to him and he raced cycle speedway on it at Findon and it was repainted multiple times. Can't recall original colour.

So far I've found mostly dark blue, bright red and white in the lug crevices but also some mid-green and orange that could be even older. TT is 57cm, ST is 57cm.
Frame weighs approx 1.9kg, forks 650g on the trusty digital bathroom scales. :roll: :lol:

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Clydesdale Scot
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Re: Dating Super Elliott frames?

Postby Clydesdale Scot » Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:05 pm

if it is the same person as in the newspaper then the maths would have him born c1929
so it is unlikely to be bought by him in 1939.

Have you been into Super Elliotts? they had some old bikes on display.

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iprocrastinator
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Re: Dating Super Elliott frames?

Postby iprocrastinator » Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:03 pm

Clydesdale Scot wrote:if it is the same person as in the newspaper then the maths would have him born c1929
so it is unlikely to be bought by him in 1939.


Oh yeah, of course. I didn't even put two and two together there. :oops:
So either it's a different guy with the same name in the same area of Adelaide or maybe the sellers recollection is a decade out. If '49 or very early 50s, he'd be early twenties and around the right age to be buying a nice bike.

Clydesdale Scot wrote:Have you been into Super Elliotts? they had some old bikes on display.


No, haven't been in there for years. Last time I did it seemed just like any other LBS with little reference to the past and I have pretty much zero interest in new bikes. If the oldies are on display I'll go have a look tomorrow.

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Re: Dating Super Elliott frames?

Postby BRLVR.v2 » Sat Oct 08, 2011 9:42 am

That is veeery similar to one that I had a coupla years back. It's now in the hands of Silverlight on here. Maybe PM him for some help. Mine was believed to be circa early 40's and some type of Reynolds tube.

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iprocrastinator
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Re: Dating Super Elliott frames?

Postby iprocrastinator » Sat Oct 08, 2011 4:09 pm

BRLVR.v2 wrote:That is veeery similar to one that I had a coupla years back. It's now in the hands of Silverlight on here. Maybe PM him for some help. Mine was believed to be circa early 40's and some type of Reynolds tube.


Cool. Any photos of your old bike I could have a look at? Was the tubing ID stamped somewhere on the frame itself? I'll be stripping the paint completely later this afternoon, after F1 qualifying. :wink:

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Re: Dating Super Elliott frames?

Postby BRLVR.v2 » Sat Oct 08, 2011 4:30 pm

Nah , all the pics went when my last comp crashed, and nothing in P/bucket either. Mine had been a chrome job, so was pretty corroded. maybe PM silverlight/Mario.
It was super flexy in the chain stays when laying down any power, and didn't feel too stable as a street rider. i didn't have the money or inclination to build it up as it should(original), so sold it to someone who is serious about his bikes.

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iprocrastinator
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Re: Dating Super Elliott frames?

Postby iprocrastinator » Sat Oct 08, 2011 5:33 pm

Ahh bummer, oh well thanks for the info mate. Mine currently has a lot of exposed metal so the plan is to just strip off what's left of the paint as well as any surface rust, prime it, store it and slowly collect the period parts. I don't have a ton of cash to throw at it right now so whether it works out like that who knows but it won't be abused on my watch. :wink:

The nickel plating on the frame lugs and forks is to the point of peeling so it'll have to be professionally stripped and replated before any sort of decent rebuild can begin anyway.

Found this photo in silverlight's collection. An original receipt from March, 1950 for bike with serial E53234, close to my E53302 but only if the serials were issued in sequence I suppose. I'll give him a PM.

Image

BRLVR.v2
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Re: Dating Super Elliott frames?

Postby BRLVR.v2 » Sat Oct 08, 2011 8:14 pm

iprocrastinator wrote:The nickel plating on the frame lugs and forks is to the point of peeling so it'll have to be professionally stripped and replated before any sort of decent rebuild can begin anyway.



speak to a plater first, don't get it media blasted whatever you do. Plating requires a frame to be acid dipped was the advice I received.

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iprocrastinator
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Re: Dating Super Elliott frames?

Postby iprocrastinator » Sat Oct 08, 2011 9:30 pm

Yep, no worries mate, when the time came I'd just take the whole lot down to A-Class Metal Finishers in Lonsdale. They do nice work (for an A-Class price). All good. :wink:

Didn't get around to playing with the bike today, will do it tomorrow. Would be great to find some original markings on the down or seat tubes but I'm not hopeful because there's nothing left on the mostly stripped top tube. Seems it was probably taken back to metal every time it was resprayed.

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iprocrastinator
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Re: Dating Super Elliott frames?

Postby iprocrastinator » Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:38 pm

Well I took the remaining paint off today. Bike is pretty rough actually, plenty of bog, lots of small dents, drive side chainstay has been hammered for clearance, fork steerer is tweaked, much worse condition than I expected.

Care factor has lowered considerably. Now I'll just build it up ratrod style to cruise on.

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verbs and nouns
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Re: Dating Super Elliott frames?

Postby verbs and nouns » Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:49 pm

The fancy E was a sign of a nicer / more expensive frame (usually).

Also, the clearances on that frame don't look to be too early, closer to '50's maybe.

5*Rolf might be able to help. Or go into Super Elliotts.
Andy MASH SF wrote:You ride a (brakeless) track bike on the city street because it’s stupid and reckless–and by default: bad-ass.

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Re: Dating Super Elliott frames?

Postby BRLVR.v2 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:56 pm

iprocrastinator wrote:Well I took the remaining paint off today. Bike is pretty rough actually, plenty of bog, lots of small dents, drive side chainstay has been hammered for clearance, fork steerer is tweaked, much worse condition than I expected.

Care factor has lowered considerably. Now I'll just build it up ratrod style to cruise on.


yeah, given that it was used for skid kid racing, it's probably had a hard life in it's 2nd incarnation.
Mine seemed paper thin in the tubes and was flexy as i mentioned. The fork had a bit of sway with a front brake on it too.didn't enjoy the riding experience too much at all really.

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iprocrastinator
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Re: Dating Super Elliott frames?

Postby iprocrastinator » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:02 am

Yeah, it's seen a few no brakes racing 'incidents' I expect, thank god it wasn't used in their demo derbies. Kinda cool it having some skid kid history. Always wanted to be a FSK in the early 80s but lived too far and wasn't cool enough anyway. 8) You're right about the tube thickness, it's pretty thin. Better news today though!

Finished the clean-up tonight by removing all the patches of filler and am happy (relieved) to report that there wasn't much under them, mostly just very shallow knocks. The worst being three small ones side by side on the lower seat tube (which I thought was going to be one big dent). No corrosion probs, no holes. Overall, nothing that can't be be repaired by a pro. The frame looks great in bare metal but I'll cover it tomorrow. There was some good sized paint blobs in the lug crevices which I removed layer by layer and under the blue/red primer was a darker blue, then bright red, then white or cream and the oldest and (maybe) original colour was green, almost a traditional british racing green but a shade lighter and brighter. I'm not usually huge on green but this is a nice colour and would probably look good with contrasting clovers/cutouts and gold detailing.

The only real damage is the drive side chainstay. You can see where another crank's been fitted which has knocked so to provide clearance it's been pushed in about the same depth as the deepest point of the factory indentations. Thankfully it's been done pretty smoothly and not split or completely butchered. I'll have to speak to a frame builder about it, hopefully it's salvagable, what do you guys think? Some pics:

Image
Whoops, went through the nickel.

Image
Note three small dents on lower seat tube. Not too bad.

Image

Image
Sorry about the focus. Nice grass. :roll:

Image
Traces of green under white in many of the clovers.

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Re: Dating Super Elliott frames?

Postby WyvernRH » Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:14 am

iprocrastinator wrote:The only real damage is the drive side chainstay. You can see where another crank's been fitted which has knocked so to provide clearance it's been pushed in about the same depth as the deepest point of the factory indentations. Thankfully it's been done pretty smoothly and not split or completely butchered. I'll have to speak to a frame builder about it, hopefully it's salvagable, what do you guys think? Some pics:

Image
Sorry about the focus. Nice grass. :roll:


Hard to be sure without handling the frame but from the photo I would say that you don't have anything to worry about on the rear stay. It looks like whoever did it took some care to press in the tube and as you say, there do not appear to be any creases or cracks (unlike when it is done with a hammer.... :roll: ) Couple of ring-strike scars there but as long as they are not too deep you should be OK. The other tubing dents will fill easily.
Best get it looked at hands-on by a pro tho'
Cheers
Richard

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Re: Dating Super Elliott frames?

Postby silverlight » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:47 am

hi iprocrashinator
A Beautiful looking frame, those fancy lugs make the Super Elliott one of the most sought after marques among collectors.
I would say that the frame dates to mid to late 1940's, i have seen ornate lugs on other builds and were reserved for high end machines.
The frame is likely to be Reynolds 531 and given those wheel being added in the picture id say it is built with great geometry.
Im quite certain that this frame was built for someone who had money, they had it made to measure and requested most possibily the best lugs available at the time by SE, definetly not your average bike here, even the fork has extra tang, well detailed and given superb australian jobs offered at the time this would have been very special and the best money could buy.
I woudl say yours is a dedicated track bike, the brake attached on the rear was quite common.
I suggest tracking down as much of its history as possibile, well done so far, write it down for safe keeping.

Im attaching a frame i have with similar lug used as yours,
Mine is a "Phil Thomas Special" model as made by Super Elliott, Phil Thomas was an outstanding champion cyclist, he later went on the manage the SE store in Adelaide.
This frame features the same lugs throughout like yours, the head tube different, the top tube has a lengthed tang, this was seen as an extra special feature like yours on its fork,
I will get the serial number (forget to jot it down when writing this up) and see if there is any connection but to my knowledge im not aware of a SE serial registry, perhaps different builder and/or locations had their own by which distinguished them apart.
Mine has no brake hole on rear but my forks have, again riders used brakes ont he track.
This frame is light and was made for a female, i t goes to show women were just as competitive back then.

Image

Image

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Please keep us updated and let me know if i can assist further.
Great pickup.

SL

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WyvernRH
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Re: Dating Super Elliott frames?

Postby WyvernRH » Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:42 pm

[quote="silverlight"

Image

SL[/quote]

Sigh.... that has got to one of the best pieces of file-work I have ever seen......

Cheers
Richard

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iprocrastinator
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Re: Dating Super Elliott frames?

Postby iprocrastinator » Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:21 pm

Thanks for the input guys. Really great to see those photos SL. What a gorgeous bike, that top tube detail is super cool, looks like a sword. 8)

Seeing this one probably confirms why mine has the nickel (or chrome?) finish on just the head area of the frame and the top half of the forks. It's definitely the most similar I've seen after hours of trawling the net.

Few questions for you if you don't mind: Would that be the original SE paint or a slightly later SE refinish? Is the hand detailing Ray Greenslade's work? Would it be right to think the 'E' on the headtube has been intentionally left off to order as I'm pretty sure I've noticed a few other Specials in photos that are without the 'E' too? I'm a bit suprised the shop would've allowed the deletion of their branding on a frame of this quality even though to an enthusiast it would've still been indentifiable as a SE and I suppose the rider would've probably been wearing sponsored SE kit too. Is that the original headset? Mine came with a rounded style headset and I don't know if it's correct or not.

Cool bike mate, thanks for the pics. :)

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Re: Dating Super Elliott frames?

Postby silverlight » Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:36 pm

hi again
I believe mine is a later finish, as those of which i have seen around that time were a bit more flamboyant, it could very well be Ray Greenslade however i cant be too sure, I have an example of his work on another cycle i have and will have to check it closely together,
The serial of mine is E53, i will check around the frame if there is another number, I cant get to it at the moment the way i have it positioned.
I have seen and have other examples that the E was removed, yes i agree it would seem strange to remove the emblem, perhaps it was smaller contractors of SE building the specialized frames and would buy the lugsets from SE or perhaps it was asked to be built this way, Tom Robinson was responsible for building many of the high end SE.
The headset i have on there is a later one so please dont go by that one,
Let me get to the frame and ill take some other picts, heres another i found in my camera.

Image

tomdee
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Re: Dating Super Elliott frames?

Postby tomdee » Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:55 pm

Hi all
Ihave a Super Elliot special chrome frame.
My father raced it in the 30's
Its a track bike and I am thinking of giving it a rebirth.
It had bsa components so I need to source everything.
Any help would be appreciated.
I would also be interested in dating this frame.
I think he had it made to measure in the day.
Serial No. is E13685.

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iprocrastinator
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Re: Dating Super Elliott frames?

Postby iprocrastinator » Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:25 pm

tomdee wrote:Hi all
Ihave a Super Elliot special chrome frame.
My father raced it in the 30's
Its a track bike and I am thinking of giving it a rebirth.
It had bsa components so I need to source everything.
Any help would be appreciated.
I would also be interested in dating this frame.
I think he had it made to measure in the day.
Serial No. is E13685.


Sounds nice, any photos? 8)

tomdee
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Re: Dating Super Elliott frames?

Postby tomdee » Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:53 pm

Sorry cant download pics for some reason.

xl250
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Re: Dating Super Elliott frames?

Postby xl250 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:49 pm

G'day, I just signed up today, My name is Brad. Very nice looking frame work there. I to have an old Super Elliot with 28 inch rims. The serial number is :- D2478. Is this older than the "E" serial number? I rang S, Elliotts in Adelaide but they have no idea about serial numbers. The rear frame from the seat pole to the back wheel is detatchable and it has a big E embossed on the fork tube (not as ornate as the above) I'll post some pics if I can work out how.
Cheers.
Brad.

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