Saturday, December 29, 2018

1971 Carlton Team Professional Mk3

This tattered magazine cover showing Brian Jolly on
his Carlton Professional in 1971, was the spark that lit
a bit if a crazy obsession for me about four years ago.
 I noticed that the rear stays were full chrome, I had never seen
a Carlton Team bike with a chrome rear triangle before, and as I am
a huge fan of the high end Carlton Cycles, my interest was piqued.
The following story and bike build takes place over this
three - four year fits and starts.
I owned a copy of the 1970 catalogue which showed the
normal half chrome stays, after searching for a while I 
came across a 1971 catalogue which I 
eagerly awaited...
While all this research was going on I had decided to make
myself a replica of Brian Jolly's '71 Team Carlton.
I picked up a very rough team bike on our local auction 
site for pretty cheap, which I intended to use for the project.
I was super pleased when I picked it up to find that it was
a 1971 frameset...sometimes you get lucky!

  Unfortunately I didn't take any photos of the frame before stripping
and rechroming.
 The Carlton back from the chromers (last in line)

 Here it is masked/etch primed/undercoated, and the 
white panels painted and masked, waited for me to mix up 
the famous 'Lagoon Blue'.


The 1971 catalogue wasn't much help, it had the same photos as
the 1970 catalogue, by now I was starting to assume that Bulls Carlton
might well be a frame set built by a favored frame builder 
with Carlton decals,which was pretty common practice for professional
 riders around the world.
1971 Team Professional Carlton from the catalogue...
exactly the same photo as the 1970 catalogue.
Strangely the bike in both the catalogues don't seem to be
  Carlton Professionals that were on sale in 1970 or 1971.
Notice the different seat cluster, also the Camagnolo 1010a drop outs 
have the fender eyelets, whereas the Professionals (as far as I know) 
had the 1010 drops outs without eyelets, also the slack frame
 geometry...all very strange.
Cycling November 7, 1970 

Mixing the Lagoon blue, using the catalogue and my beaten up old 
Pantone colour book as my guides.
All painted, now just waiting for decals and clear coat.

Finally I found the piece of the puzzle that I had hoped might show up,
a Carlton add from a February issue of Cycling advertising the 
Team bike with full chrome forks/head lugs/seat panel and full
rear triangle.
Cycling January 30, 1971

 Unfortunately I had already had my frameset 
chromed and was half way through painting it, when I found this
add, I hadn't realized the whole seat cluster was chromed, I had just
had the stays polished and chromed.
Of course it seems obvious that you would do that now...oh well.
So after about three years of slowly putting together the info and (mostly)
correct period is my 1971 Carlton Team Professional Mk III.
Butted Reynolds 531 of course.

 1971 Team specs from Cycling February 20, 1971
 3TTT Stem with Fiamme Stem.
I don't think the Fiamme bars were used by the Team, 
but I couldn't help myself, just really like that logo, and as this is
what you look at most when on the drops, I allowed myself this 
  slight deviation from original.
VAR spare tubular bag.
The great innovator Gerald O'Donovan (R) Directeur of the
Carlton Team at the time, and who of course went on to set up
and manage Raleigh's famous Specialist Bicycle Development Unit
 (SBDU)  so serious pedigree for these Carlton team bikes
is unquestionable, but is probably often overlooked.
The chrome rear stays, and REG Cobra pump.
ALE bottle and cage.

Wes Mason on what looks to be a Carlton Contre la Montre
Time Trial bike.
Period Canetti Tubulars which were sold through Holdsworthy.
 Weinmann Vainqueur 999 centre pulls, spongy but surprisingly effective.
Lots of pretty chrome, notice the slightly clunky
red lining, I did this intentionally as I have noticed that
all the original Carlton Pro's I have seen were pretty
heavily lined.

I used Fiamme rims, the front is actually Neil Robinson's 
time trial wheel from his Dulux days, it is a 28h track rim.
Very fragile on the road I am told.
 Yes I even used original campagnolo grease, what can
I say, I am now just another sad rivet counter
 Lovely Campagnolo Nuovo Record drive train.

56/46 chain rings, the 56 is quite a bit of fun, but the
46 might need changing, it can make some of the bigger hill 
work feel pretty brutal.
 Team rider Trevor Bull trade card.
Carlton also had one of the nicest team jerseys of the period IMO.
If any who reads this know where I could obtain one, or any old
British pro memorabilia for that matter, please let me know.

An iconic derailleur that actually works pretty good.
Tied and soldered spokes are always a nice touch.
 The 1971 Carlton team line up was a very formidable team 
in the UK pro scene, they competed very successfully on 
Road, Track and Cyclocross. 
Gordie Johnson getting a great result for Carlton-Truwel in 1970
Those chainrings and a nice Everest slotted chain.
 Campagnolo bar end shifters, work good, and look the biz.
So after much research and buying a complete set of Cycling Magazine
from 1971,I know that this model was only advertised three time in
  1971,and seems to have then reverted back to the half 
chrome front/rear style that we all know.
It was also never offered in Carlton's official catalogues.
 I presume that this model proved either just to expensive to produce 
at the price point that (Raleigh) Carlton were aiming at, 
or maybe Raleigh just wanted to shift the limelight to the  
TI Team Raleigh project which was about to be unveiled in 1972
...bit of a pity.
 Nice little photo taken inside the Carlton factory in 1970.
Notice that they are still using a hearth in the brazing process.

I left the original headbadge unrestored as a nod to the
battles this old race bike had seen before I restored it.
Brian Jolly in action, cycling February 1971.

  I have ridden a couple of short shake down rides, one 80km 
ride and one 20km TT so far, and will say that I am very glad 
that I spent the time getting this one pretty close to period correct.
It feels very 1960's to me, the narrow bars, and just slightly
longer wheelbase probably account for his, it is also 
very supple in it's ride and soaks up road noise nicely.
All and all a well rounded and balanced vintage race bike.

If anyone has any further information and or corrections on this subject 
they can contact me here..

 Last photo goes to my honey, who calmly puts up with my
mad obsession with vintage cycle racing.