1952 Urago " Tour De France ",1969 Lejeune:1984 Raleigh Gran Tour: 1981 Fuji S12S 650b conversion : 2013 Rawland Stag 650b
Maybe it should be titled "Raleigh Carltons" but I was looking into some of the history of Raleigh, the Carlton Worksop connection, as well as the later Iikeston/SBDU and Nottingham Lightweight Unit. It is all quite interesting if not fascinating, if only because of my current Raleigh Gran Tour as well as having a '74 International and at one time years ago a new '78 Super Course. So there is a bit of a connection there but what I was focusing on was the last year of operation of the Carlton Worksop location ( an ex Rolls Royce building apparently ) which appears to have been 1980, and their moving over to the Nottingham factory as a small entity within which produced the better quality higher end Raleighs from 1981 and on and their connection as Raleigh took a few of the better Carlton frame builders over to Nottingham - shutting down the Worksop location with labor disputes playing a large role in that, I believe. I do know they continued to use the ' W ' prefix as was the practice for Carlton produced bikes before then. I found some information on the Gran Tour ( sold as a frame set only ) gleaned from some online catalog scans from 1983/84 and after checking the complete serial number on the bike I found this: WN4002700 which makes it a late production 1984. I almost feel like putting a small Carlton decal on the seat tube as a homage to the marque but would it be a sacrilege of sorts?. The frame tubing is Reynolds 531C as well as forks and it is nicely made. Anyone else have a Carlton/Raleigh from late '79 to the mid '80's? I have not seen any others with the same script style for the Raleigh down tube decals on any other except the Gran Tour - so far.
Some say that the only great great Carltons were built before the Raleigh buy out in 1960. I'm not one of them because I haven't seen enough examples. I own a '59. It's nice, but not exceptional. It has a script down tube decal, but only because that's the one I liked best from what I found online. My frame was purple rattle canned when I bought it.
The Zirk is just filling the hole untill I can find a suitable oil cup. It's just for looks since the BB is a Miche cartridge.
The downtube decal is not the one it wears now. It's a reasonable facsimile from an online sign maker. It wears a white and black reproduction now. The stays are painted all the way to the dropouts now, too. The chrome lugs are Carlton's own Capellas.