W. F. Holdsworth ‘Special’ (SOLD) | 1959 | Road-Path | 23″ (c-t) | #26301 | more pics
This gorgeous frame passed through Hilary Stone’s hands a few years ago. The paint is original metallic grey with white, black and red panels and gold pin-striping between some of the panels. I haven’t verified it’s provenance but here is my best educated guess:
The ‘Special’ Builds designation indicates a special order or custom build. This one was made at the W. F. Holdsworth shop at 132 Lower Richmond Rd. by Reg Collard. By the late 1950’s:
“The Holdsworthy Company had now progressed to the stage where they produced a set range of cycle frames and were no longer prepared to build to individual requirements. The two shops were being asked for ‘specials’ and so the Holdsworthy Company allocated them a block of frame numbers and Reg Collard, an ex Holdsworthy frame builder, was recruited and started building Holdsworth frames to order, in a small workshop on the premises of 132 Lower Richmond Rd Putney. The designs were based on the Italian Colnago frames and were of very high standard”
Frame geometry is most likely based on the ‘Zephyr’ Road/Path model. Road/path models have track ends for Time Trialing as well as mudguard eyelets to accommodate fenders for commuting or winter training. The fork and bridge are drilled for brakes and there is clearance for fenders over 700c wheels.
“When Roy Thame approached me to set up a custom build workshop at 132, I jumped at the opportunity. We had to get all the jigs etc. built by a local toolmaker. With these and cylinders of oxyacetylene and oxygen, we were in business. We already had a long list of orders. Soon after the first frame was completed we had a visit from Sandy and Mrs H. Great excitement! Orders came flooding and very soon there was around three months waiting list for a new frame. I was building mainly road frames plus track frames, which doubled up as time trial bikes, most people raced TTs. on fixed wheel until the mid sixties. We also produced a limited number of touring frames, with brazed on fittings for custom-built carriers and various other accessories”.
FRAME DETAILS: Fluted wrap-around seat-stay top eyes were introduced circa 1957. A newer style of lugs was introduced circa 1959 to replace the ‘Coronet’ style but the fork crown retains it’s Coronet styling. The seat-stays are rapid taper and pencil thin at the track ends and the bridge is arched. Round fork blades.
- Frame +Fork: W. F. Holdsworth Zephyr TT geometry
- Headset: Light Race
- Stem + Handlebars: GB
- Brake Calipers & Levers: GB
- Crankset + BB + Pedals: Specialites TA
- Rims: Mavic Module ‘E’ Clinchers
- Hubs: Harden ‘Bacon Slicers’
- Tires: Vittoria Randonneur 28c
- Seatpost: Campagnolo NR
- Saddle: Brooks
W. F. Holdsworth, Company History