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Old 09-06-04, 07:19 AM   #1
Joe Schofield
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Who knows about Carltons?

Hi All. Newbie here. Anyone know about Carlton history? I've acquired a brilliant British-made Carlton and am trying to find more info. I understand that renowned hand-built manufacturer Carlton was bought by Raleigh in 1960 but carried on making Carltons alongside Raleigh top-end bikes. Plant moved in 1974 to Ilkeston, nearer to Raleigh's works.

My bike is 531C frame, slope-shoulder forks, Weinemann brakes and mostly Shimano drivetrain. Bloke who gave it to me said it was original but this may not be so. He thinks it is around early 1980s; from the look of it I would estimate anywhere between mid-1960s and mid-1980s. I've looked at but can't get enough info for certain dating.

Does anyone know when Carlton stopped building? Or how come more-or-less identical Carltons and Raleighs came out of the same plant for many years? Some Carltons have Raleigh badging; other Raleighs have Carlton badging; mine has nothing but Carlton downtube stickers. Some folk say that Carltons went downhill after Raleigh took over, but there's never any specific charge. Mine is a brilliant ride that goes like the wind. Anyone have any info to add that might help track down a build date?

Thanks for any help. SP.
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Old 09-22-04, 12:37 AM   #2
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If the decal says 531 C then that "C" is a dead giveaway, Reynolds only classified their tubesets with "C", "P", etc. after a certain date...I'm not certain of that date, but you can find out. Seems it was the early '80s, but my brain is rusty.
Hmmm...Carlton...I remember when that was a low-tar cigarette...
like I said, rusty.
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Old 09-22-04, 12:52 AM   #3
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Sorry but his is the only carlton that I have much knowledge of.
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Old 10-06-04, 12:05 AM   #4
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had a carlton criterium from the 70's or early 80's once-still have some of the parts including a strange set of bars with the brake handles attached directly to them....suntour raleigh badged derailers and raleigh badged weinman brakes......
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Old 10-06-04, 07:12 AM   #5
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Here is a great page on Carltons.

A very old family operation for most of it's existence, Carlton was the domain of the O'Donovan family until its purchase in 1961 by Raleigh Industries. Even then, Gerald O'Donovan became well known as the guiding innovator at Worksop and later, Ilkston, where more exotic Carltons and Raleighs were made......

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