I found this beauty on ebay and got it for £51. It had a very bad rattle can paintjob in a rather hideous shade of green and had been stripped down and given BMX saddle and hand grips. I had read about this bike on Tony Hadlands site and had to have it.
1st job was to strip it down and powdercoat it. I chose Burgundy as it was listed as one of the colours these bikes had been made in. While it was away for Powdercoating I set to work on making mudguards out of balsa and walnut veneer.
I had a bit of a dilema about whether to modify the bike to make it more useful (bikes are designed to be ridden) or to keep it as original as possible. I knew from having ridden it that it was an amazing ride.
In the end I let the bike decide which parts it kept. I couldn't get the right size cotter pins (I think it must take 9mm) so it got a new Bottom bracket, which went in with so little hassle I knew the bike liked it. The cranks I had lying around. Then I bought new tyres as I wanted something a bit puncture proof with low rolling resistance. The choice in 451 tyres is limited so Schwalbe Duranos. I couldn't get them on the old wheels at all so I built new wheels with Sun ICI-1's and stainless steel spokes on an XRD-5 (W) rear hub and an old elite VT front hub. I now have bombproof wheels with hub brakes and 5 speed gears. The saddle is a Lepper Weltmeister dutch mattress sprung leather saddle.
So how does it ride? Its very responsive, picking up speed with remarkable ease and small hills that would require a gear change on my Kingpin go un-noticed. Despite over 1kg of saddle, heavy hubs and the original steel stem, handlebars and seatpost it is remarkably light. The high pressure tyres make it very bumpy but the saddle soaks that up so you only feel it from the handlebars.