1940 Gents 23" Rudge-Whitworth Complete & Original Showroom Condition!
Date Posted : 2012-06-23
Group : Bicycles By Owner
This is a 1940 Mens 23" Rudge-Whitworth Limited 'Light Tourist' Model, complete & all original in Showroom Condition! It is miraculous that this 72 year old bicycle is in such outstanding, like new condition.
"By Appointment to the Late King George V" is stated in the colorful Royal Emblem transfer/decals on this bicycle's frame.. this means that in addition to being manufactured as wonderful, high quality, utility bikes for the civilian population, they were also requested special, manufactured and ridden by Great Britain's Royal Family. This is an EXTREMELY RARE example of a Rudge-Whitworth of Coventry bicycle before the company was bought up by the much larger Raleigh Industries in 1943. So in 1940, this true Rudge was a product of wartime Great Britain. It is an amazingly rare gem in so many ways.. bicycle production for the civilian population was significantly reduced if not completed stopped during this time, as precious resources were reserved for the war effort. Unlike the goliath Raleigh who produced their models by the millions, Rudge-Whitworth made far fewer, making their bicycles more special and rare. This partially explains the almost cult-like following by Rudge enthusiasts. This Rudge was manufactured at the original Rudge Whitworth factory in Coventry, England. Neighboring British manufacturers, Lucas and Dunlop, supplied Rudge-Whitworth with several of the popular components found on this model. Dunlop, a major British rubber manufacturer got into making all-rubber tool/saddlebags for bicycles form the early 1930s into the 1940s. And Dunlop also produced the steel rims for these bikes, wich were fitted with the famous Sturmey Archer internally geared AW hubs and complete gear assemblies. Another neighbor, Lucas Industries of Birmingham, England, supplied Rudge-Whitworth with beautiful 'King of the Road' bells, cyclometers, reflectors, and lighting. Rudge-Whitworth produced and branded several of it's own components as well. As seen on this bike for example are the original natural rubber 'bullet grips' molded with the 'Rudge-Whitworth Coventry' logo. The beautiful and original leather sprung saddle is embossed "No. 701 - Rudge-Whitworth Limited".. and the original, working black celluloid frame pump made for Rudge by APEX, is also stamped with "Rudge-Whitworth Coventry", famous 'hand logo', and inlaid with gold lacquer.
A littel History - Rudge and Whitworth Cycle Co:
"Dan Rudge built the first Rudge bicycles in 1870. In 1894 it merged with the Whitworth Cycle Co to form Rudge-Whitworth. They made an excellent reputation for themselves over the next twenty years for producing a full range of beautifully made machines with many clever and unique features, and ridden by King George V and family. Their road racers were widely used and they diversified into motorcycles in the early 20th century. In 1935 they were bought by EMI (the record company) and under Jack Lauterwasser¹s direction produced some superb top end racers as well as more mundane machines. EMI however soon decided that cycles were not for them and Rudge was sold to Raleigh in 1943. Raleigh had acquired
Humber in 1933 and were to acquire many others after WWII and soon used the Rudge name to badge engineer what were essentially Raleigh machines with Rudge pattern fork crown and chainwheel. Hence there were Rudge versions of the Lenton and of the Clubmen. The name was finaly killed sometime I think in the early 60s in Britain but may well have been used in export markets later. In Britain the name used on rebadged Montague folders in about 1989."
This is a true Gem of Elegance in magnificent, showbike condition!
A 1940 Rudge-Whitworth of this caliber and condition is more than just one in a million, it is simply unheard of and impossible to find, making this a highly collectable peice of history. All original, complete, and with all original accessories and extras makes this machine extraordinary!
This was built during a time when bikes were still bikes, and Britain was king of the industry. I can't explain why, but Rudges are special, as anyone who knows and loves them will tell you. Maybe it was the limited production numbers, or their famous 'hand symbol' logo on the head badge and components, or the slanting chromed fork crown.. they have always charmed me.
A vintage Rudge 3-speed in excellent to mint condition has become highly sought after and is commonly refered to by many as their dream bike. The ultimate in human powered transportation, vintage Rudge produced 3-speeds were built as durable utility bikes made of quality steel. They were ridden to work by the people who made them at the factory in Coventry, England, and that sence of pride in ownership comes through. I can't say enough good things about them. With their lugged steel tubing, deep-rich-durable-luxurious-glossy paint, gold pin-striping, leather saddles, internally geared hubs, stylish fenders, beautiful chrome everywhere, saddlebags, frame pumps, and the list goes on!! They are a Rolls Royce of Bicycles - at the top of the line and undeniably in a class all their own world wide. If you collect vintage Rudges, or just looking for a perfect bicycle to ride city or country in high style, you will want this one! It is certainly the ultimate 'show-off' bikes for that group ride or Sunday spin in the park.
This Rudge was bought brand new in Hudson, MA in 1941, and was obviously meticulously cared for and ridden very littel during the owners entire life. I acquired it form the original owners niece(now in her eighties), who had inherited a house full of her uncles posessions. Since then, it must have been kept in a time capsule. It even has the original license plate form the town of Hudson, MA.
*Serial number stamped on frame/bottom bracket is: A682440
*The entire bike is absolutely rust free. Even the undersides and insides look incredibly shiny and new.
*This both rides and operates with mechanical precision. All wheels spin forever. Gears shift flawlessly. The drive-chain is like new and perfectly lubricated. Pedals, freewheel, and cottered crank assembly move smooth as glass. Has a 46 tooth chainring. Such a solid bicycle.
*Drive-train is clean, lubricated, and in like new condition!! No rust or corrosion at all.. the finish looks brand new, and each link is stamped with 'The Coventry"
*Rare and all original Sturmey Archer quadrant gear shifter, cable, indicator chain and three speed internally geared AW hub. Gear cable guide wheel is wartime blackened steel wich last forever.
*Rear wheel Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub is stamped AW 0 denoting the year of manufacture wich was 1940... and has original steel flip-top oil port.
*Original front wheel hub has oil port and steel clamp cover. Hub is stamped 'BRAMPTON - MADE IN ENGLAND'
*Dunlop front and rear rims are matching and original, and stamped with 'DUNLOP 26 x 1-3/8 EA3M MADE IN ENGLAND UK Pat No.255436'
*Bottom bracket has original steel flip-top oil port.
*Original bottom bracket cup is stamped 'THURMAN - MADE IN ENGLAND'
*All original 'wartime blackened' cable clips stamped with 'patent no. RD768514(GB)
*Handlebar clamp is beautifully chromed and stamped with 'Reg No. 825228'
*All the chrome on these is outrageously beautiful and like new. Produced during a time when they triple chrome plated over a layer of copper.. over the base steel!
*Many of the lock-nuts, nuts, bolts, screws, clamps, and component housings and hardware have a 'wartime blackened' finish, wich to me is a very attractive part of bicycles form this period. These are all in excellent condition, without any damage, and original to the bike.
*The original caliper brake assemblies and levers are super clean, without nicks and scratches, gleam with chrome and are in perfect working order. Brake cables still have their original black cloth housings in clean, beautiful condition. Calipers stamped 'Made in England'. The lever assemblies have a very intresting design wich I had not seen before this bike... see details in photos!
*High quality lugged all steel frame construction. The very comfortable frame geometry allows you to pedal foward quickly and effortlessly while sitting upright.
*Beautiful black matching full fenders for all weather riding... the paint on the underside of these is as glossy and new as the top side! These fenders are held in place by very slender and elegant fender stays.
*Original chromed headlamp bracket
*Original black celluloid APEX "frame pump" stamped with famous hand logo and 'Rudge-Whitworth Coventry', inlaid with gold lacquer. Top rim stamped 'British Make'. This fits into the pegs on the downtube. Shines bright and works perfectly.. leather washer still functioning inside!
*All original paint is present and absolutely gorgeous!!!.. deep, rich, glossy and black.
*All original decals/transfers are present and clear. Beautiful double lined gold pin-striping. All Rudge-Whitworth logos and Stunning Royal Emblems in gold and full color with original brilliance with no fading!! Royal Emblems on chain case cover and downtube read, 'By Appointment to the Late King George V'... gorgeous.
*The black, natural rubber 'bullet' handlebar grips bear the text 'Rudge-Whitworth Coventry' and hand logo, as well as fine-lined pattern detailing,
adding tremendous elegance. These grips are unbelievably rare to find in this condition.
*The amazing original brown leather sprung saddle is still in strong, beautiful condition. The Rudge 'hand logo' and 'No 701 Rudge Whitworth Limited' are embossed into the leather on each side. The 'blackened' springs and hardware are like new.
*It's original, rare, like new Dunlop all-rubber saddle/tool bag with perfect straps and buckles in excellent condition. 'Dunlop' is nicely embossed accross it's body. ' No cracks, tears, scratches or fading. Perfect. Contains original Rudge-Whitworth tools and oiler can.
*Original oiler can with screw-on cap. Body of can stamped with 'Rudge-Whitworth Coventry' and famous 'hand logo'
*Two Original bike tools stamped 'Rudge-Whitworth' for easy, convenient on the road repairs or adjustments.
*It is very obvious that there was never a kickstand on this bike, as there are none of the usual markings on the paint where it would have been clamped.
*Original rubber block pedals "Made in England" amazingly still have all their tread in tact.
These beauties are 4 inches, have nice chrome, screw-on end caps, and blackened spindle sheaths. These still spin very fast and smoothly!
*Tires are 26" ' The Silver Star Tyre' in perfectly condition. Still very supple rubber with no cracks and no wear! The tires and tubes are the only things that have been replaced on the entire bike. The tires have only been changed once on this bike by the original owner many, many years ago, so these are the second pair and are like brand new, but apparantly bought in the 1950s or 60s. The walls also read 'Inflate Hard' and 'Extra Fine Quality'. It is very clear that these are indeed high quality tires. Original tires were most likely Dunlops.
*Original Lucas Industries rear fender reflector in extraordinary condition. Back of reflector lens stamped 'Lucas Industries Birmingham' Housing is made of white lacquer painted steel, with a 2-screw bracket/clamp, wich also secures the rear fender stays to the inside of the rear fender. Please note that the four small 'dimples' on the outside of the reflector housing are part of it's design, wich hold the reflector lens secure on the inside.
*Original chromed Lucas Industries 'King of the Road' Cyclometer is clamped to the spokes of the front wheel to measure distance. The outer surface is ornately detailed with a relief reading 'Joseph Lucas LTD Birmingham - King of the Road - M26' M26 means it is the correct size for a 26 inch wheel.
*Original metal bicycle license plate form Hudson, MA.. where the original owner lived and rode. The tag is still in excellent condition, made of metal, with green and white paint.
*And last but not least is the fantastic, original, solid brass Lucas 'King of the Road' bicycle bell!! Beautiful relief design inset at center of bell cover. 'LUCAS' stamped into lever. Rings crisply, clearly, and loudly! A perfectly lovely bell for a perfectly lovely bicycle.
*I can also include printouts of the original 1940 Rudge-Whitworth Bicycles Catalog, wich has this bicycle with illustrations and description!
* This beautiful machine seems to have been hardly ridden.
A very collectable peice of bicycle history perfectly preserved. To buy a new 'high end' 3-speed today, you'll find the quality/workmanship are half that of these old English built Rudge models - half the beauty, style, and longevity too... truely the last of the classics. Rudge-Whitworth bicycles are of the highest quality ever manufactured, made to last 100 years, so this still has at least that long. They are very easy to pedal, and have a very comfortable frame geometry, you move fast on these -- not clunkers by any means! A dignified and classy way to travel on a solid machine. And anyone can work on these simple and dependable bikes, they're pretty much indestructible. Internally geared transmission, full chain case, and full fenders allow trouble free riding for all seasons in any weather. Such a joy to ride, makes my smile muscles hurt every time!
The frame is 23" form center of bottom bracket to top of seat tube. It has been perfectly stored, well taken care of and rides beautifully. You will be hard pressed to find a better Rudge than this.. especially one 72 years old!
The price is $5500. Cash and Paypal accepted please.
SHIPPING: Available for local pick up and I will also ship domestically and internationally. Please note that the price listed above for shipping was not calculated accurately for some reason. Shipping alone domestically for this bike will be closer to $130 via FedEx packed in an Aircaddy bike box, and I highly recommend purchasing an 'Aircaddy' bicycle box for $100 to ship any bike of value to any location--I use them often and succesfully--it's the strongest, most reliable box made for a bike--and it's reusable. The box will ship to me form shipbikes.com and then I will carefully pack it and ship to you. The $130 cost for shipping domestically is actually a good price considering the Aircaddy falls under freight. International shipping could be considerably more with this method depending on the city. Whether domestic or international, please contact me for a shipping quote before buying.
Please contact Alex at 212-365-0652. Thanks and Good Luck!
**I post a lot of detailed pics because it drives me crazy when I'm looking at an ad that does not show an item well. I tried to take a photo of every part of this bike form many angles. In addition to the photos above, here again is the link to 289 jaw dropping photos of the Rudge. Keep in mind that as as nice as the pics are, they pale in comparison with the beauty, brilliance, and elegance of the bike first hand. I've been collecting only the best vintage Rudges, Raleighs, Lentons, and Superbes for several years now. Most of my bikes have hardly been ridden - and some never ridden at all. You will not be dissapointed with this. I have rarely seen a more beautiful, elegant and well built bicycle: