Percy Thornley Stallard was literally born into cycling, being delivered in the back of his fathers bicycle shop in Wolverhampton England in 1910. Surrounded by a life of cycling, he began competitive racing at the age of 17 and rapidly made a name for himself with the Wolverhampton Wheelers Cycling Club. By 1933 he was selected for the World Road Race Championships in Montherly France, and again in 1934-1938 by which time he was Captain of the team. In 1939 the race was cancelled due to the outbreak of war in Europe and this early chapter of his life ended.

The first frames to feature the Stallard name were produced in 1938/39 by builder Mount Cycles of Wolverhampton. This brief production run also ended with the beginning of the war. However in 1945 Percy began building bicycles in (now) his shop in Wolverhampton which were heavily influenced by French design. His first model was the “Stallard Continental” or the “Model A.” Within a couple of years he added the Montlhery and other models followed soon after. Many of the model names were derived from races which he or his riders had done well at!

23 inch frame size, other info on BB is unknown

My example of a P.T. Stallard is a 1948 Montlhéry, which is traceable by an easy to identify frame numbering scheme. I picked up this frame and fork for a song from one of the vendors at this years Eroica California market in Paso Robles this year. I will admit that I had little knowledge of this marque before that day but I was intrigued when I saw it, and well, you know how these things usually end!

Montlhéry, 1948, #274 of that year

“Early frames featured a 3 digit number without a letter prefix. Later, models are identified by a one or two letter prefix followed by a 4 or 5 digit number. The letter prefix specifies the model while the first number corresponds to the year of the decade, with following numbers referring to the production run.”

The available frame models were as follows:

  • C   = Clent
  • GC= Ladies Clent
  • CH= Cotswold
  • M  = Montlhéry
  • T   = Track
  • SU= Standard Universal
  • LU= Ladies Universal
  • Z   = Zacopane

The bicycles produced in his shop (such as this one) were highly sought after by racers and club-men throughout England. Lacking ornate lug work, Stallard’s cycles focused on quality and practical design, and incorporated the latest in component technology. This bicycle is an excellent example of an early post war racer!

The frame and fork have been repainted at some point to the above color scheme. Traces of the original paint show that it was originally a medium blue color. I will be taking it down to bare metal for repainting.

I was fortunate to find period correct decals for this model, including for the down tube, head tube and seat tube. An additional “made in England” label and some paint border stripes for the white panels complete the needed detail. The original headset was included (without bearings) but the races were damaged to the point of being unusable. I have an early Magistroni head-set that will replace it.

The tubing used in this frame is unknown at this time as are the lugs. Perhaps some further research will reveal the material used. The seat-post diameter is 26.8 mm.

The frame also had its original bottom bracket installed. It is a Bayliss-Wiley model with it’s distinctive “made in England” stamp on each piece. Interestingly the rear dropout spacing is 114 mm, which was a 3 and 4 speed standard before 5 speed came along and spacing went to 120 mm.

My intentions for this bike are still developing at this time, but I do have an idea that goes something like this:

  • New paint in an original color scheme
  • Ghisallo wood rims with Campy high flange hubs
  • Campy 5 speed drive train
  • Old school drop bars
  • Brooks saddle (of course)

I will start looking for some of the needed parts but there is no hurry on this project. It will likely take a couple of months before I have this ready for paint. Any progress made will be noted in later posts.

 

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