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Rudge Whitworth...Not What I Expected...BUT!

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HARPO

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Another Craigslist find, but not what I expected when I got there. 🙁

Photos of the bike were not good, and when I spoke to the gentleman, he said his neighbors house was being cleaned out and the bike was going to be tossed. It belonged to the 90 year old man who had lived there (original owner), and the bike he said was covered in dust, etc. when he saw it. So, he took it and placed it on Craigslist for "$100 or best offer".

I asked if he had the lights for it when I saw the Dynohbub, and he said yes. They were in a box. He said he cleaned the bike up, but really didn't know anything about bikes, but couldn't see it being tossed. So, after getting directions to his house (45 minutes from mine) off I went.

Upon seeing it, I was very disappointed in the overall condition from a distance. And then to make it worse, the gears wouldn't shift. Crank just kept spinning around. Cables were all cracked. Light was in pieces in a plastic container. Tires were shot. Saddle dried out. So I told him it would be way to much time and money to put into in on top of what he wanted.
I did show him though how to date the hub (which is July 1953), what the hand on the crank meant and how it was also on the logo, etc. He said make an offer, and I said I couldn't. 😕

And then I saw the bent fork! He said I was right and he didn't see it. I thanked him and was about to leave when he said he was going to toss it then and asked if I would I just want to take it for parts. He'd be happy doing that he said, and was thankful for me giving him info on the bike overall and what to look for in the future. 🙂

Maybe I'll find a fork and complete it at some point...maybe it will be parts. Anyway, a worthwhile trip not far from home!

Oh, and I just HAD to remove the basket that you'll see in one of the photos!! 😉

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SirMike1983

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
The fork can be straightened if there are no sharp kinks or cracks in it. The steel is fairly soft and should tolerate being straightened once. The fork is toast if it has a sharp kink or crack in it where it bent. You'll just have to look and see. The fork jig and frame arm should fix it if it's just a bend and nothing more.

The frame should be checked for straightness behind the head tube.

Curious about the endrick rims - the typical deluxe rim set for that period was the stainless matte center Westrick.

Cables can be made from a spoke nipple and Bell Systems D crimper, or can be made by soldering on an end, or by use of an appropriate knarp.

The bike can probably be saved with enough time and effort. You have the winter in front of you to fix it before next season. As a 1950s model, I'd say give it a try and see if you can save it.
 

HARPO

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
@SirMike1983 The back fender isn't to bad. The front fender is pretty banged/rusted up, but as I begin to dismantle, I'll see how bad the front fork really is. 🤨

Thanks for the extra tips to see about getting this guy back on the road at some point. I'll look it all over more closely tomorrow. I'm happy it's that old (a year younger than me! 🤪 ) and wasn't tossed years ago. I'll also see about working some magic on the paint soon to begin with just to get more into the project. 😎
 

HARPO

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
BTW... anyone know what the marking on the kickstand is? Is that an "R" for Rudge?...🧐
 

SirMike1983

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
If there are no splits all the way through the saddle, a small amount of proofhide or pecard's would be the place to start. I have one saddle from the early 1960s with lots of crazing on the surface but which is still otherwise solid and can be ridden. Each one is a little different. Neck can be fixed with the frame arm or a pipe vise and the right amount of force.
 
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