Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Early 1950's Hartley Racer

I have been very fortunate to have obtained a couple of very nice Australian machines over the last few months. the first is a nearly completely original early 1950's Hartley Racer, these frames where brought into New Zealand By Hills Cycles Works, one of New Zealand's most important racing bike shops of the 1950's-70's.
Hartley was the first foreign race bike frame that Doug Hills obtained the license to import, followed shortly after by the very expensive Bertin cycles from France of which I will go into more at a later time. At this time, circa late 40's early 50's, import licenses where extremely hard to come by, as they where only given out by the government, who had very stringent import controls in place. Because Doug Hills was a returned service man, he was able to obtain the precious license, which he immediately put to good use.
I acquired this bike from Mrs Rogers, whose Husband Richard .J.Rogers was a prolific track racer in Auckland during the late 40's into the early 1950's. This bike belonged to a good friend of Mr Rogers, but the friend Bill Page, unfortunately was killed wiring a house in the mid 1950s.
The bike was given to Mr Rogers by the family of Mr Page and has sat largely unused since.
I have stripped the bike back to the frame, and have been slowly cleaning and polishing all the parts before reassembly.
The only none original parts where the rear derailleur and hub.

Above; Early Hills Cycles decal, looks to have been influenced by the Bertin logo?

Above: Durax Special Courses cranks, with Simplex chain rings.

Below; Hills advertisement from a January 1952 New Zealand Cycling Review, as you can see the Bertin frame set was a third more expensive. I have a Bertin from this period, which is a nice bike, but I don't think as much time had been put into the Bertin, as has obviously been lavished on this Hartley frame. I will post more photos of the Hartley when I have finished refurbishing it, and you will see what I mean, this is one beautiful bike.

Hartley Road bike as I received it complete and original sans rear derailleur and hub.
Nearly full French group set;
Durax Special Courses cranks
Simplex chain rings and spiders
Simplex front rod changer, one would assume Simplex TDF or similar R/D
CLB High-Life brake calipers and levers (love these)
Major Taylor stem
Strata lite "Binda" alloy bars
Constrictor alloy 27" rims
Nice Brooks B37 saddle


  1. hi can any one tell me wat i can pick up a doug hartley for price that is from the 1950s

  2. Hi,
    I have one of these in nearly original condition. What are they worth?