In 1941, a promising 19yo cyclist named Cyril Sumner lined up with 40 other competitors at the start of the gruelling, gravelly 116mile Beverley-to-Perth handicap road race.
Cyril rode this circa 1938-41 5A Ascot to 8th place overall. He finished in a time of 6hrs 12mins – remaining ahead of the vastly experienced and defending champ and scratchman, the legendary Bill “Tito” Bonser who, that year, set the fastest overall race time again.
For his effort, Cyril won a “special racing machine”, a new lightweight and ornately lugged Swansea racing frame numbered 6864.
Long neglected, Cyril’s son had the Ascot and Swansea frames repainted in 1982 as part of a “father & son” project to help Cyril recuperate from a major heart operation.
Cyril’s elderly children passed the Ascot and never built Swansea frame to the club member who has since replaced the “budget upgrades” with period correct items. They include the Wrights leather seat and GB brake caliper and lever. With no one he knew interested in the bikes, Cyril’s son said “it would have been a shame to take it all to the tip”.
Crank – BSA
Chainring - Williams stamped 1938
Wheels – Made in Australia Dunlop steel rims
Freewheel - TDC