Raleigh Grand Prix...with Carlton Shop decals??

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HARPO

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Dec 28, 2010
2,046
Floral Park, NY, United States
I haven't had one of these in probably 20 years, and since it was still with the original owner who was moving, I bought it. Another project so I won't be bored!

Owner was my height, 6', and a very nice gentleman who kept the bike in a nice dry basement. This is probably the reason that the Simplex front derailleur hadn't cracked open like so many I've had. Bike needs a good cleaning and detailing, but all functions as it should and smoothly.

What got me were the decals on the forks and down tube..."Made In Workshop, Carlton Race Approved. Made In England". I thought those only went on the high end bikes with 531 Reynolds? And the nut on the rear derailleur Has a "C" on it, not the Raleigh "R" like on my Sports models. Any idea why? Obviously this is just a basic 10-speed, right?
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HARPO

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Dec 28, 2010
2,046
Floral Park, NY, United States
I forgot to say I paid $40 for it...:)
 

HARPO

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Dec 28, 2010
2,046
Floral Park, NY, United States
Still need to polish the chrome, but I'm pretty happy with it. And yes, it's a 25 1/2'' frame...but I'm good with it. And it still has its original, dried out and cracked, Dunlop tires on it.

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juvela

I live for the CABE
Aug 2, 2014
1,836
Playa del Rey, United States
------

Thanks very much for sharing this oddity HARPO! :)

Will leave discussion of its numerous anomalies to the Raleigh Industries experts...

Am able to contribute on dating -

very first year for this model 637 Simplex Prestige rear mech was 1970-71.

very first year for this model Simplex Prestige shift lever set was 1970-71.

final year for the Atom model 440 pedals with the slotted dustcap was 1971.

if you check the backside of the Simplex Prestige rear mech you will find a date of 1970 or 1971.

this model of Weinmann cable anchor only seems to have been around for one and one half to two years ca. 1969-70.

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HARPO

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Dec 28, 2010
2,046
Floral Park, NY, United States
@juvela Catalog shows 1972 as being the first year that Raleigh used Simplex on the Grand Prix. Prior year it was Huret. So this makes sense.
 

64 Pete

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Jan 12, 2015
17
@juvela Catalog shows 1972 as being the first year that Raleigh used Simplex on the Grand Prix. Prior year it was Huret. So this makes sense.
Harpo,
I'm working on a similar Grand Prix, also blue with Carlton decals and a Carlton nut on seat post binder.
No wheels so don't know if axle nuts had caps on them.
I think if you check here you'll see that Simplex started in '71.

http://www.kurtkaminer.com/TH_raleigh_cat_us71carl.html

Pete
 
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bulldog1935

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jan 21, 2013
3,898
Bulverde, TX
Check the serial number (probably on the seat tube or left rear dropout) - if it begins with W, the frame was made at Worksop in the Carlton shop beginning 1967 - a few Grand Prix were.
it may begin with zero, but if it begins with a letter, the next letter is the month, and the next digit the year (70s)
WL4003924.jpg


ps - good effort - your bike cleaned up nicely
 
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HARPO

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Dec 28, 2010
2,046
Floral Park, NY, United States
Bike went onto a happy new owner a couple of months ago...
 
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juvela

I live for the CABE
Aug 2, 2014
1,836
Playa del Rey, United States
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this be the first/only GP have seen to come through with a solid axle wheelset

perhaps they ran out of hollow axle Normandy Sport hubs at the Worksop facility and someone made the "executive decision" to substitute solids...


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sykerocker

Look Ma, No Hands!
Jan 23, 2020
43
70
Ashland, VA
No, that's far from the only Grand Prix without a quick release rear. I've got a '72 in Red that was: a. Built by Gazelle in Holland and labeled as such on the seat tube between the front derailleur strap and the bottom bracket, and b. Not only had bolt on wheels front and rear, but the rear hub was a flip-flop hub, threaded on both sides. Just got the shock when going thru my pictures that I seem to have never photographed it.

Now, keep in mind that the '72 model year was when the American Bike Boom was ramping up at full speed, and at the shop we were desperate for just about anything in a quality 10-speed that we could get to sell. Schwinn's were sold 4-10 weeks in advance, Raleigh's ditto 4-6 weeks. The factory was desperate for enough bikes to ship to the dealers, and were pulling out all the stops. So there would be some 'slight variations' from catalog specs just to get bikes out. And a desperate American wannabe rider really wasn't going to be overly picky about how the bike he'd bought a month ago was going to be equipped. After all, if he decided it wasn't good enough for him, we'd happily sell it to the first person on the next shipment list, who suddenly had a bike this week, not four weeks from now. And bump the unsatisfied customer to the next available Grand Prix (aka, either the next shipment in 4 weeks if he was lucky, or two shipments - 8 weeks - later if he wasn't).

I think.

I say "I think" because this seems to be a regional thing within the Raleigh system. I worked for A.R. Adams Cycle in Erie, PA, and never saw a Raleigh Grand Prix of this vintage set up like this. Everything we got thru the shop came with factory-specified Normand hubs and quick releases, and any markings led one to believe that it was built in England. I got this bike since I moved to the Richmond area, and a good friend/regular riding partner/vintage bicycle collector for at least 15 years before I got the bug has seen quite a few of these. In fact, back in the late 80's/early 90's he'd pick them up for $5-10.00 and strip them expressly for the hub sets. Fixie mania was starting out on a very small scale back then, and he could pick up $15.00 or so for the hub sets alone.

So these Dutch built Raleigh's seemed to have been shipped to whatever regional facility that covered Virginia sales, while the region that covered western Pennsylvania got all their bikes from England.
 
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