..here is one that showed up here that I overhauled which required some headscratching on my part,
because it was threaded standard, not Raleigh, but with a 71mm width BB shell. So I ended up trying
at least three different BB spindle cup combinations before I finally gave up and used a sealed unit
that would span the appropriate width. It has markings from both Sun and Rudge, as well as the wrap
around seat stay attachment that was used (I'm pretty sure) quite a bit by Carleton.
I really have no idea of the year on this one, and most of the components had been altered by the time i got it.
Originally Posted by cranky old road
I bought mine new for $100 from The Stuyvesant Cycle Shop in December 1966. It originally had Normandy hubs and 27" Weinmann clincher rims. The crankset was and is Williams stainless cottered. The derailers were Huret Alvit. I've replaced the front with Simplex Prestige. The saddle Brooks B17. The brakes Weinmann Vainqueur center pulls. The Weinmann stainless fenders are originals. The frame and fork seem to be identical down to the paint with the Rudge above although the 531 tubing decal is a different design. It originally had the Raleigh white panel on the seat tube and Raleigh decals but I removed them as a youth because the Carlton branding was "cooler." My next door neighbor bought a Blue Raleigh Carlton at the same time from a shop in Winston-Salem, NC that had the more standard Raleigh head badge rather than the shield with World Champion stripes that mine has. The SN on my dropout starts with a U. There is also a SN on the BB shell (which does have the oil fitting or drain.)
To be clear, "Raleigh Carlton" was the brand and model name it was sold under in the US in the mid 60's. It is featured as an intermediate quality model in the contemporaneous edition of The Complete Book of Bicycling by Eugene Sloane. It was promoted as a Carlton factory built frame and Carlton catalogs from the same period included similar bikes with more exposed chrome and British features like the lamp mount.
Thanks for your help looks like I'm getting closer to a definitive answer, very interesting these old bikes.