1931 Rudge-Whitworth ‘Model 38’ Celerity Lightweight

 

By 1931, many small cycle makers had sprung up around London producing hand-built lightweight cycles, and Rudge-Whitworth introduced a range of sporting roadsters to compete. With the world in turmoil as a result of the stock market crash, British cycle makers were treading wearily. Neverthless there was business for the companies who made what customers wanted … and at the right price. Rudge-Whitworth lowered their prices, just as they had done in the late 1890s when the cycle trade in Britain and the USA experienced difficulties. They used advertising slogans such as ‘It pays to buy a PEDIGREE bicycle’ and traded on their Royal patronage, as can be seen in the down tube transfer (decal) that proclaims: 

SPECIALLY APPOINTED TO HM THE KING

The ‘Celerity’ is brazed throughout and fitted with fishtail lugs and tapered chain stays and back stays. The celluloid handlebar used on this example is shown fitted to the ‘Speed Iron’ in the 1927 Rudge-Whitworth catalogue. The optional three-speed gear turned the ‘Model 38’ Celerity into ‘Model 3843’. With gear, it retailed at £7 19/- 6d.

 

1931 Rudge-Whitworth ‘Model 3843’ Celerity Lightweight

Sturmey-Archer three speed gear (1951)

21″ Frame

26″ Wheels

Frame No A124373

(Now sold)

This Celerity is a rare model; less bicycles were sold at this time due to the Depression. This example was restored and repainted some years ago and has had little use since. It’s not concours – there are a few scratches to the paint, but it’s still in very good condition cosmetically and mechanically. The Sturmey Archer AW hub is from 1951. This interesting lightweight machine is ready to ride.

I photographed it at Preston Park, Brighton – the oldest velodrome in the country (1877).

 

 

 

 

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1931 RUDGE-WHITWORTH CATALOGUE EXTRACTS

 

THE HANDLEBAR ON THE CELERITY WAS STANDARD ON THE 1927 SPEED IRON

TAPERED CHAIN STAYS & BACK STAYS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1931 RUDGE-WHITWORTH CATALOGUE EXTRACTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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