Winston arrives from England!
Winston is a 1955 Raleigh Sports that recently arrived in the US with a returning serviceman. The bike was purchased in rural England and was used almost continuously as a commuter vehicle. When we purchased the bike we could see that it had been protected in the traditional English manner- repeated coats of motor oil to protect against rust. Despite the discouraging exterior, we knew there was a treasure under all that grime.
Restoration included total dis-assembly and an intensive cleaning. While I don't recommend it, the oil coating did protect the bike. The painted frame and the chrome survived nearly intact under a thick layer of crud and responded nicely to careful cleaning and polishing. All parts are original with the exception of grips and new tires. The original grips were saved but too deteriorated to use so we replaced them with a set of vintage Raleigh grips from the 60s. This bike was ordered with a nice set of factory options- dynohub and light kit, Lucas cyclometer, upgraded Brooks B66 saddle and the Sturmey Archer switch-on dry battery unit that provides a standby lighting power source when the wheels aren't turning.
The bike looks and rides great after the rebuild and we're hoping it rolls along for another 55 years.
A complete set of photos can be found on use.com:
Nothing more to add, a lovely bike all around.