1935 Colson - update 3/4 Finished!

Discussion in 'BUILDS' started by GTCOMA, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. GTCOMA

    GTCOMA

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    I have just begun work on my second Colson. I'm fairly confident it is from some time in the 30's but not sure of the exact year yet. I'm pretty sure it is a Flyer. The serial # is 5L2294. Can anybody confirm this?

    So far it looks to be solid. The wheel spin free and the hoops look straight. The rear hub is a Morrow and the brake seems to work fine. So I should be able to clean, rebuild and relace everything. It looks like the bike was originally green. I took a picture of the outline left behind from the headbadge. Anybody have a Colson headbadge they are looking to part with?

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  2. Uncle Stretch

    Uncle Stretch Moderator

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    Re: Crusty Colson

    Man I love those painted floors and a clean work bench....If you have seen the show twister you will know what my shop looks like. Take a picture and email or pm rms37. He will know what you want to know about it and then some. Looks like it going to be a fun build. Love those motorbike frames. :mrgreen: Got three Elgins and its still not enough. :lol:
     
  3. Unchained

    Unchained

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    Re: Crusty Colson

    Cool! I always like a Colson. Very nicely made bikes. :D Looks like it would take 28" rims easy.
     
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  4. rms37

    rms37

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    Re: Crusty Colson

    Hi, I posted a piece on the site a while back with what I know about dating Colsons. 5L2294 is a typical serial number for Colson and the interpretation that my friend and I arrived at is that the the first digit is the year, (5=1935), and the letter is probably a month code followed by a sequential production number for the month. 1935 was the year of the unique Colson Aristocrat series but Colson continued to produce standard moto-style frames into 1936.

    You may also want to check out the new vintage bicycle web site:

    http://classicbicycles.comuv.com/phpBB3 ... 68be8f94ab

    The site was initiated last week by Ratrod member 37fleetwood and he has posted 2 complete 1934 Colson Catalogs there that show the Motobike models.

    I've also included most of the text from my earlier post on the subject.

    Here is the scoop on Colson Serial Numbers.

    A friend of mine specializes in prewar Colsons and has a reasonably large collection of them. We logged the serial numbers of his bikes and the few I have. Comparing the serial numbers to the models, we noted patterns that generally worked to tie the individual bikes to the year they were produced.

    Beginning with the 1937 models the serial numbers usually consist of two lines of information. One is a letter followed by a number and the other is four or five numbers.

    The conclusion we drew from our sampling is that the number in the two character line represents the last digit of the year the bike was produced. The letter may represent the month of that year but our sampling to date is not large enough to confirm this.

    The caution is that the sampling to date is large enough to show a pattern but not large enough to confirm the pattern and some Colsons are not stamped in a manner that fits this defined pattern and decoding.

    On the bright side, the bike you are working on does fit the pattern, so, first of all I would guess that the 1 in the second line may be an “I “. The 8 in that line following our decoding would represent production during 1938. The four numbers above are likely a sequential code relative to the two character base code.

    1937 codes appear to be reversed, with the two digit code above the four/five digit one. From 1938 most of the bikes have the larger code placed above the shorter one.

    Typical codes by year would be:

    F7 over 12345 equals 1937,
    12345 over F8 equals 1938,
    12345 over F9 equals 1939,
    12345 over F0 equals 1940,
    12345 over F1 equals 1941,
    and 12345 over F2 equals 1942

    The bikes we identified as pre 1937 have one line codes as opposed to two line codes and several of the 1934 and 1935 models have the last digit of the assumed year of production located at the front of the serial number.

    Examples would be: 4 B1004 would signify 1934 and 5H2188 would signify 1935. The 1936 bikes we recorded did not follow either the earlier or later patterns.

    No postwar Colsons were included in the sampling so I can’t speak to whether or not the prewar pattern holds true for postwar bikes.

    I’ll end this with a reiteration of the caution that the numbers we were working with are a small sampling of Colson production. Anomalies and alternative interpretations of the Colson serial number system may surface as additional numbers are added to the model.
     
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  5. GTCOMA

    GTCOMA

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    Re: Crusty Colson

    great info! Thanks!
     
  6. Uncle Stretch

    Uncle Stretch Moderator

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    Re: Crusty Colson

    Ok now you know the year....rip the rust off and lets see some paint on it. :lol:
     
  7. rusty513

    rusty513

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    Re: Crusty Colson

    Where we at on this?? I plan on seeing this thing finished in Dayton.
     
  8. GTCOMA

    GTCOMA

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    Re: Crusty Colson

    Ha! I wish. My daughters have different plans for me right now. Somtimes it is hard to make it out to the garage when there is Candyland to be played and diapers to be changed. Chad is in for an awakening in a few months...
     
  9. rusty513

    rusty513

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    Re: Crusty Colson

    Yes Chad is & as much time as he likes to spend in the garage with his bikes & hot rods
     
  10. thatismytruck

    thatismytruck

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    Re: Crusty Colson

    This bike will have some sort of catfish theme, right?
     
  11. GTCOMA

    GTCOMA

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    Re: Crusty Colson

    Finally got a chance to start scraping all the crud off. The wheels and hubs look like they might just be shot. It looks like the rear morrow hub is missing a few parts and the front hub is super crusty. All the chrome is gone and is total rust.
    Under all the paint and rust on the frame are some cool brass brazed joints.

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  12. GTCOMA

    GTCOMA

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    Re: 1935 Colson - As seen on TV

    This was on the last episode of American Pickers.

    I'm pretty sure it is the exact bike I am working on, if not, it is very close...

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  13. rms37

    rms37

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    Re: 1935 Colson - As seen on TV

    The Picker bike looks to be a Schwinn built Mead. Same period but different Mfg.(like a 67 Camaro next to a 67 Mustang)
     
  14. GTCOMA

    GTCOMA

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    Re: 1935 Colson - A New Plan

    Well, considering the poor condition of the original rims and hubs, I've decided to to go in a new direction. I think this is going to be a full on rat. I'm using parts that I have, so I will have to improvise. As I plan right now the rear will hold a 26" Quick brick mounted on a nexus 7 speed hub. The front will have a 24" Thick Brick, and yes the big fat tire will fit in the front forks. For an old bike the forks are surprisingly wide. It should have a nice slight forward rake to it.

    I might even throw on my set of chrome profile cranks. I hope to keep the skiptooth sprocket up front

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  15. necessaryevil

    necessaryevil

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    Re: 1935 Colson - A New Plan

    I think you'll be the first to run a quick brick rear/thick brick front combo. Can't believe that tire fits in those forks :shock:
     
  16. bairdco

    bairdco

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    Re: 1935 Colson - A New Plan

    have you tried fitting the rear wheel yet? i've got a '31 (i think) Colson Flyer, and went to put a 26x2.3 Kenda Kiniption on, and the tire rubs the chainstays. the axel nuts are hanging off the drop-outs, so it's either frame stretching, or a skinnier tire...
     
  17. GTCOMA

    GTCOMA

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    Re: 1935 Colson - A New Plan

    The quick brick is only a 2.125 and I measured the frame and it is really wide, so I'm 99% sure it will fit fine. I also have a 39 Colson with a 3 speed nexus and a 2.125 tire and it fits fine. The 7 speed hub is super wide, between 5.5 and 5.75 inches wide. I rough fit it into the edge of the dropouts and I'll only need to spread the frame about a quarter of an inch...
     
  18. GTCOMA

    GTCOMA

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    Re: 1935 Colson - A New Plan

    A little progress. I got most of the paint off the frame and all the paint off the fork. Test fit the wheels. All the hubs and tires fit the frame just fine.

    The nexus 7 amazingly fits fine...
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    The paint free forks
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    The huge tire up front
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  19. sensor

    sensor

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    Re: 1935 Colson - A New Plan

    nice :mrgreen:
    you should try the bars off the nirve on that one(that is if you can stand flipped bars)
     
  20. rusty513

    rusty513

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    Re: 1935 Colson - A New Plan

    This thing is going to be SWEET!!!!!! Any ideas of paint color yet?
     

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