Holdsworth Models

An underlined model name is a link to that model's dedicated page.

In 1927 Sandy acquired the Ashlone Cycle Works, 132 Lower Richmond Rd, Putney, London SW15. Jack Capeling (Sandy's 'fixtures and fittings') made the first three Holdsworth frames here, numbered 01, 02, 03, possibly in 1929 but certainly by 1933.

Old Money: Pre decimalisation (15 Feb 1971) there were 12 pennies to a shilling and 20 shillings to a pound. So the price £13-19-6d means 13 pounds, 19 shillings, 6 pence.
Stelvio
The 1933 Stelvio
24 Nov 1933
1934 Catalogue:
  • Mistral £13/17/6
  • Cyclone Path £13/17/6
  • Sirocco £13/17/6
  • Zephyr £10/10/0
  • Stelvio £10/10/0
  • Hurricane £9/10/6
  • Typhoon £7/17/6
  • No.1 Tandem £20
  • No.2 Tandem £16/16/0
Framesets alone will be supplied, in Reynolds HM tubing, with BSA, Brampton or Holdsworth fittings:
  • Chater Lea or BSA £5/15/0
  • Brampton £4/17/6
  • Holdsworth £3/15/0
The average worker earned c £3 /week then.
Holdsworth did not have a stand at the Olympia Show at Earl's Court 5-10 Nov 1934, however in Cycling 9 Nov 1934 they advertise the Tornado and Double Diamond Tandem for 1935.

Frame production continued in the sheds at the rear of 132 Putney until a production facility was opened at Quill Lane in 1935.
Cycling 9 Nov 1934

1936 Models from this advert dated 4 Dec 1935 Cycles Tandems etc
1936 range
  • Tornado
  • Stelvio (Touring)
  • Cyclone (Road/Path)
  • Shawbury
  • No 2
  • Putney Race
  • Double Diamond
  • Tricycle Conversion Set
The Curlew was advertised in March 1936.

1936 Catalogue Cycles Tandems etc
 
  • Olympic
  • Tornado
  • Zephyr (Ladies)
  • Stelvio (Touring)
  • Cyclone (Road/Path)
  • Curlew
  • Upright Typhoon (also as Ladies)
  • Shawbury (also as Ladies)
  • No 2
  • Putney Race
  • Double Diamond
  • Tricycle Conversion Set not mentioned but assumed available

Olympia 1936 La Quelda was launched during 1936. This Olympia Show advert dated 3 Nov 1936, mentions La Quelda, Cyclone Road-Path model, Cyclonic Tandem and Tricycle conversion Set ready for the 1937 range.

New Models were normally launched at trade shows, so they do not run to the calendar year. Some care is needed to avoid the 'catalogue trap' when trying to date and ID models. Just because a model first appears in say the 1975 brochure that does not mean none were made in 1974. The model may have been launched at the trade show in Nov 1974 or indeed at any time during 1974. " the main thing was to have something new for the cycle show at Earls Court. So launch dates were set around then" (Charlie Bruce, Holdsworthy 1967-71).

22-29 Sept 1937 Earls Court Cycle Show, Holdsworth announced their '1938 cycle programme', they exhibited 12 cycles and 3 tandems. Models were as per the 1938 cat, except the Middlesboro Velo is not mentioned and a Ladies Typhoon is. The Reynolds Stand has 'A', 'HM' and '531' tubing. Accles & Pollock display Kromo.

1 Feb 1939 5 new models were advertised: La Quelda Supreme, La Quelda Flyer, La Quelda Club, all steel welded, L'Internationale (Road Race) and Empire Champion Path. The La Queldas are all the same, it is only the finish that varies.
1938 Catalogue 1939 Catalogue
Olympic La Quelda Supreme *NEW*
La Quelda Empire Champion Path *NEW*
Roi De Velo (Path) L' Internationale *NEW*
Middlesbro' Velo (Track) La Quelda Flyer *NEW*
Tornado Tornado
Stelvio Tourist Roi De Velo (Path)
Cyclone Middlesbro' Velo (Track)
Curlew Stelvio Tourist
La Variable Cyclone
Typhoon Modele Milanaise
Tandems 1938 and 1939 La Quelda Club *NEW*
Cyclonic (SWB) La Variable
No. 2 Tandem Super Rapide
Double Diamond Upright Typhoon
  Tricycle Conversion Set

ID Hint: Pre WW2 all Holdsworths had clip type headsets except L'Internationale. This model was new for 1939 and had the new push-in headset cups. Clip headsets continued to be used immediately after the war. In 1946 they used some pre-war components. Bill Hurlow recalls that when he returned in Oct 1946 the first frames he made had clip headsets.

Post WWII La Quelda frames were soon "bronze welded", now called "fillet brazed". Top seller from 1947-52 inclusive was the Cyclone.

In 1947 a specialist aluminium welder (Ray Cook) was employed and at least one all aluminium-alloy welded prototype frame was produced using Reynolds Hiduminium tubing.

In the 1940s to 1970s the UK applied a heavy Purchase Tax on new bikes (over 24% in 1949), but this tax did not apply to all components. To reduce the tax, many enthusiasts would buy a frameset, pick their components and do the assembly themselves. So a high end Holdsworth frameset could have any mix of components. However, a Holdsworth frame stockist in UK would probably have offered the Holdsworth range of components too, so a certain kit similarity could occur. Many US bikes were bought as framesets and built-up.

1948 Cyclone de Luxe launched.

An all aluminium-alloy welded Holdsworth was shown at the Earls Court Show, Nov 1948, as was one by Hobbs. These experimantal frames had been made over 1 year previously from special Reynolds Hiduminium tubing. These were the first all-welded aluminium-alloy frames to be constructed in Great Britain. It was unclear whether they would go into general production. Continued petrol rationing meant supply difficulties and high demand. Sandy says in both 1949 and 1950 Catalogues "I regret that owing to present conditions I can only supply a proportion of the prospective riders of Holdsworths". Both cats offer the same limited range, probably an attempt to increase production.
Framesets: La Quelda is a lugless Cyclone, the De Luxe is a posh Cyclone. The Flyer cycles just get a chrome crown & better kit than the Club cycle. Complete Cycles:
Petrol rationing ended on 26 May 1950 so materials supply would improve and demand will have stayed bouyant for a short while. However when the huge Fawley and Cheshire refineries came on-stream (The PM opened Fawley officially 14 Sep 1951), demand fell again as more folk splashed out the extra for a motorbike or car.

1951 Catalogue:
  • Sirocco *Holdsworth's Latest*
  • Cyclone de Luxe (Road or Track)
  • Tornado*New*
  • Cyclone (Road or Track)
  • La Quelda
  • La Variable*New*
  • Typhoon*New*
  • Tricycle Conversion Set
    frameset
    frameset
    frame or cycle
    frameset
    frame or cycle
    frame or cycle
    frame or cycle

Of the 4 new models, at least 3 were shown at the Earls Court Cycle Show, early Nov 1950 (possibly not Sirocco)

1952 Catalogue:
  • Whirlwind *Sirocco renamed*
  • Zephyr *New*
  • Tornado
  • Cyclone (Road or Track)
  • Cyclone Ladies Diamond frame
  • La Quelda
  • La Variable
  • Typhoon
  • Tricycle Conversion Set
  • Whirlwind has Sirocco lugs, unlike later Whirlwinds


  • All available as frameset or complete cycle except the Tornado, which is frameset only.

Accles & Pollock Kromo tubing has appeared as an option on most models.

Perhaps discovering the wind is spelled Scirocco they renamed theirs Whirlwind to limit embarassment.


1953 Catalogue:
1954 Catalogue:
1955 Catalogue:

Notes:

Tornado is dropped and La Quelda replaced by the lug-less Italia, it is complete cycle only, with Campag Gransport 10 spd. Hurricane is lugged or lug-less.

The Prancing Horse with Crown headbadge appears in the catalogue, but only on the Cyclone and perhaps Hurricane.

Campag ends are offered as an option on Cyclone and Monsoon.

1956 For the first time the Hurricane was offered as a frameset only. The Hurricane, Typhoon, Monsoon, Cyclone & Zephyr were all available as cycles. The Trike conversion costs £13-2-6. This data is from a 1956 price list, the Whirlwind is not mentioned but may be available.


1957 Catalogue:

All models get the 'Prancing Horse with Crown above' headbadge, which first appeared on some models in 1954. Campag dropouts with rear adjuster screws are an extra.

The Whirlwind gets new headlugs.

In July 1956 president Nasser nationalised the Suez canal, hitting fuel supplies to the UK and British industry. Claud Butler succumbed in Oct 1956. Petrol rationing was introduced in Jan 1957 and by the time it was lifted on 14 May 1957, much of British industry, including Holdsworth, was (and remained) on a 4 day week. Production levels would be low in 1957.

1957 There was a bust up at the factory, foreman Charlie Roberts left as did the "Specials" builder Reg Collard and many others. Holdsworthy now produced a set range of cycle frames and were no longer prepared to build to individual requirements. Specials were discontinued a couple of months after Reg left.
Production of 'Special Builds' moves to '132 Putney'

1958 The shops were being asked for 'specials' and so Holdsworthy allocated W F Holdsworth a block of frame numbers and Reg Collard, an ex Holdsworthy frame builder, started building Holdsworth frames to order, in a small workshop at 132 Lower Richmond Road. "Reg's output was 2 - 3 per week. He was often hindered in his work by customers who wanted to see their frame being built" (RT). Demand was high so delivery was typically 3 months, until 1964 at least.

1958 Models: Shop Specials were made too. 1959 Models:

Shop Specials were made too.

1960 Range
    frameset
    frameset
    frameset
    frame or cycle
    conversion set
Cyclone & Zephyr 'similar' models, but Road and Track variants.

Shop Specials were made too.

1961 Catalogue:
    frameset
    frameset
    frameset
    frameset
    frame or cycle
    conversion set
Cyclone & Zephyr are effectively the same model, but Road and Track variants.

Shop Specials were made too.

Sandy Holdsworth died on 28 Aug 1961.

The shop started producing it's own Holdsworth models, prior to Mrs Holdsworth's death on 24 Jan 1964, as the plan was to split and form a separate company, but she died before that could be instigated.

The WF Holdsworth 'Italia range' designs were of very high standard, they were based on Italian Colnago frames so were given Italian names: Italia, Strada, Pista etc. The Italia was built as a stock frame, the others were specification built. (RT). Mike Shea's Strada had spearpoint extensions on the BB by Reg Collard. (Dick Brodrick). Mike Shea's 1964 Strada
  Strada (130K)

Some stock frames were made by Alec Bird, but only for a couple of years, other frame builders were also used for stock frames. When Reg left (1970?) Tommy Quick took on the building of 'specials' and continued to 1995, although the name on the shop frames changed from 'Holdsworth' to 'Roy Thame' in 1975.

1963 The Mistral was launched.


1964 Catalogue
    frameset only
    frameset only
    frameset only
    cycle
    conversion set
The Cyclone has Agrati ends only. There were Shop models too.

1965 The shop adopted their own frame numbering system, since 1958 they had been issued periodically with batches of factory numbers for their Special builds.

York Rally Lightweight Cycle Show 1966: "Much interest was shown in the lightweight racing tricycle on the Holdsworthy stand, and as well as examples of Grubb and Claud Butler club models, there were displays of tracksuits, Regina 'Gold' freewheels, and Kowlait tubulars". [CycleTouring Oct/Nov 1966]


1966 Catalogue
  • Mistral Campag forged ends
  •        Extra: Campag vertical ends
  • Cyclone 5 or 10 spd
  • Typhoon 5 spd
  • Tricycle Conversion Set
    frameset only

    frameset or cycle
    frameset or cycle
    conversion set
The Cyclone has Agrati ends only. There were Shop models too.

1968 the Super Mistral was top of the factory range. It had a fully sloping Prugnat fork crown, half chromed rear stays, fully chromed forks, a quick release seat bolt and brazed on hanger for the centre-pull rear brake. The very first ones probably didn't have any chrome.


1968 Catalogue
    frameset
    frameset or cycle
    frameset or cycle
    frameset or cycle
    frameset or cycle
    conversion set
There was a Shop range too.

1968 Professional Shop model, based on Bob Addy's bike. This was a "Strada" done in team colours. The Factory made Professional was launched 1970 Advert November 1969 Advert June 70

The Equipe was launched 1969-71. It has plain gauge Reynolds tubing, Prugnat lugs and 105cm wheelbase. It was available in orange with blue panels, blue with orange panels or silver with white panels in 1972, although the brochures imply team colours only. The 10sp Tourer had a wider gear range using 40/48 rings with 14 to 26 freewheel. Full length plastic mudguards and a rear pannier.

Early 70's track bikes were Pista, Professional Sprint and Competizione Track.


1971 Holdsworthy Catalogue
    frame or 12 spd cycle
    frameset
    frame or cycle
    frame or cycle
    frame or cycle
    frameset only
    cycle only
    cycle only

All cycles available in 5 or 10 spd, bar the Pro which is 12 spd only.

The Cyclone is a budget Mistral, using 531 plain gauge tubes, with Campag ends an optional extra.

There was a Shop range too.


Holdsworth Record Record: is a lower end touring machine.  It has a long wheelbase and long curved forks. Dennis Fong's resprayed Holdsworth Record c1972 (33KB)

 

1972 Holdsworthy Catalogue
    frame or 12 spd cycle
    frameset
    frame or cycle
    frame or cycle
    frame or cycle
    frameset only
    cycle only
    cycle only

The range is unchanged, only increased prices and more braze-ons available on the Pro if requested.

There was a Shop range too.


1973 Cycles & Frames for USA Export: They say "There is an International shortage of top quality components such as Campagnolo, Stronglight, TA, Cinelli and Clement...we reserve the right to substitute if considered necessary". This shortage, continual European price increases and pound/dollar conversion rate fluctuations has made it impossible to produce our "Bike Riders Aids" (USA only?). Due to great demand, delivery on the Strada, Pista, Cronometro and Professional models is approx 20 weeks. Catalogue prices for complete cycles include UK tax. Exported cycles are exempt from this tax, prices for USA are as follows: ("All carriage and custom charges are payable on receipt").

Range in Jan 1973: Holdsworthy frameset cycles
Equipe  5 spd, 10 spd or 10spd Tourer   $96, $100, $125
Record 5 spd, 10 spd   $138, $156
Cyclone with Standard or Campagnolo Ends $45 or $50  
Mistral 5 spd, 10 spd $63 $238, $315
Super Mistral 5 spd, 10 spd $76 $299, $330
Super Mistral Fastback $78  
Professional Track $76  
Professional 12 spd $98 $407
Tricycle conversion sets. Not available at present
WF Holdsworth
Competizione (Road, Track or Cyclo-Cross) $75  
Italia $83  
Pista: optional: chrome forks + 12" rear $95 or $110  
Strada: optional chrome forks + 12" rear $98 or $112  
Cronometro: optional chrome forks + 12" rear $98 or $112  
Cronometro Ultralight: option chrome fork + 12" rear $105 or $119  

1974: The W.F. Holdsworth LTD catalogue has the Italia and Competizione ranges, but also offers the factory Pro:

Pista & Strada Cronometro Italia & Competizione Professional
Road and Sprint
1974 Shop Catalogue P1 1974 Shop Catalogue P2 1974 Shop Catalogue P3 1974 Shop Catalogue P4

1974 Holdsworthy models were Mistral, presumably Equipe, Record, Professional 12spd, Cyclone, Super Mistral, and Super Mistral Fastback. Possibly first year of New Record 'Sport10' and Special.

1975: Shop ceases 'Holdsworth' production

Probably between Mar and Sep 1975, the shop stopped making Holdsworths, so the Strada, Italia, Pista, Cronometro, Cronometro Ultralight and Competizione models were no longer 'Holdsworth', they wore Roy Thame decals. "For the 1975 Harrogate show we introduced the Campionissimo range, these replace the Strada etc". (RT)

The Autograph was probably launched late in 1974. The 'Keith Lambert' Autograph bore a decal celebrating his 1974 BRRC win. The Autograph continued celebrating other HC riders BRRC wins. It was shown at the 1975 Harrogate show. Les West won the BRRC in 1975, Geoff Wiles in 1976 and Phil Corley in 1978.

About 1975, the price of chrome from South Africa increased substantially, so it's use was progressively reduced (Jim Hagan, Holdsworthy).

List July 1975 with Campag gear frameset cycles
Equipe 5 spd or 10spd Valentino Extra   £64.45 or £68.75
Autograph 5 spd or 10spd Nuovo Gransport   £77.95 or £82.25
Record 5 spd or 10 spd Record   £99.95 or £111.75
New Record "Sport 10" Record   £130
Cyclone with Standard or Campag. Ends £35.25 or £40.50  
Mistral 5 spd or 10 spd Nuovo Record £47.25 £194 or  £212
531 Special £59.50  
Professional Sprint Frame (Track) £56  
Professional 12 spd Nuovo Record £71 £275
Professional 12 spd Super Record/ORO   £365
Tricycle conversion sets - Production 'temporarily' discontinued
A page from Aids 19761976 Catalogue

The Professional is available as Nuovo Record 12 and Super Record 12 cycles.
    frame or cycles
    frameset
    frame or cycle
    frame or cycle
    cycle only
    cycle only
    cycle only
There is very little chrome on any of the 76 range, only the Pro dropouts and the lamp bracket on Equipe & Autograph models get chromed.

1977 The Competitor and Silver Jubilee were available in the 1977 range only and so are quite rare. The Competitor appears to have been adopted from the Claud Butler range. The Silver Jubilee tourer was to commemorate the Queen's Silver Jubilee.
1978 Catalogue Complete Cycles:
  • Professional SL frameset *New*
  • Professional frameset
Others may be available as frameset only,
(Special, Mistral and Championship?)

Professional SL: Made from Reynolds 531SL tubing, with Prugnat cut-out lugs, 74o parallel and 39" wheelbase.
  • Super Professional SL
  • Super Professional Super Rec gruppo
  • Nuovo Professional Nuovo Rec gruppo
  • Special
  • Mistral
  • Championship
  • Autograph 531
  • Mystique
  • Equipe

1980 The Elan was offered, probably it's first year.


1981 Catalogue:
    frame or cycle
    frame or cycle
    cycle
    frame or cycle
    frame
    frame or cycle
    frame or cycle
    frame or cycle
    cycle only

The Elan is mentioned as the most recent addition to the range, but already very popular.

Data from 1981 BR Aids, published Easter 81 but went to the printer in Feb.


1982 Catalogue:
  • Nuovo Record
  • Special
  • Mistral
  • Lady Mistral *New*
  • Elan
  • Avanti (531)
    frameset
    frameset
    frame or cycle
    frame or cycle
    frame or cycle
    cycle only

Late 1983 Catalogue:
    frame or cycle
    frame or cycle
    frame or cycle
    frame or cycle
    cycle (or frame?)
    cycle (or frame?)
    frame or cycle

1984 the Triath-Elan was introduced


1985 Catalogue:
    frame or cycle
    frame or cycle
    frameset
    cycle only
    cycle only
    cycle only
    cycle only

Marlboro had a presence at Oakfield Rd since pre Easter 1985, but they bought Holdsworthy cNov 1985, and production quickly transferred to Darlaston in the West Midlands.

1986: Marlboro-Holdsworths

1986 Catalogue:
  • Professional (531 pro)
  • Triath-Elan EX (531c)
  • Triath-Elan (531c)
  • Brevet (531)
  • Avanti 501
  • Challenger GT (501)
  • Challenger (501)
    frameset only
    cycle only
    cycle only
    cycle only
    cycle only
    cycle only
    cycle only
1987 Catalogue:
Complete cycles only
  • Quicksilver (531c) with Shimano Dura Ace
  • Triathalon 'Classic' (531c)
  • Hornet (501)
  • Blue Streak (501)
  • Gemini Tandem (531)
    21.5 lb
    23 lb
    23.5 lb
    24 lb
    Tandem

The Marlboro Rapier was launched, sporting a 'Made by Holdsworthy Co Ltd' decal during 1987 or later. It appears that when Marlboro sold the Holdsworth and Claud Butler brands to Falcon in 1987, they retained the 'Holdsworthy Company Ltd' name.

Falcon-Holdsworths

After the 1987 takeover by Falcon Cycles Ltd (an Elswick PLC Company), they offered Holdsworth "Racers", Claud Butler Tourers (neglecting MTBs) and Falcon "Sports Cycles". The Holdsworth Derwent is from this era, the Corsair is c1990.

Year Holdsworth Model Colours Frame Sizes
1990 Professional Sports models  
  Espirit    
  Criterium    
1991 Professional 346 Black 21, 22, 23.5, 24.5
  Criterium 345 Pearlescent Pink 21, 22, 23.5, 24.5
1992 Professional 619 14sp Midnight Blue 21", 22", 23", 24"
  Criterium 618 14speed Pearlescent Pink 21", 22", 23", 24"