Classic Lightweights UK
Raleigh track machine: 1947 - 1952As ridden by Reg Harris and Oscar Plattner
Owned by: David Rapley (Australia)
Reg Harris lent one of his frames to Oscar Plattner several months before the 1952 World Championships. Plattner had desired one for some time and Harris obliged him 'through the back door'. It was painted black and carried the signage of Plattner's sponsor. However there was no disguising the Raleigh forks or head badge.
Plattner won the 1952 World Championship and on Harris's instigation was signed up on the spot to the Raleigh team. Raleigh had won another World title! The frame was immediately painted in team colour and Plattner was contracted to them for another six years. He later had a least one other Harris Raleigh easily distinguished by its partly chrome plated forks.
Plattner raced several times in Australia during the European 'off' season and after one of these visits left this machine with the English Olympian Peter Brotherton who had settled here. Brotherton had been at the 1952 championships and knew the frame well. It was raced sparingly in Australia, Brotherton winning the prestigious Bendigo Golden Mile and once defeating Sid Patterson in a Match Race on it.
Peter Brotherton winner of the 'Bendigo Golden Mile' , 1957 with the
Harris/Plattner Raleigh track machine. 'O P' (Oscar Plattner) can clearly be seen on the seat tube .
When Brotherton retired from his cycle business the frame passed to the Australian Olympian Daryl Perkins who preserved it and later assisted in its restoration.
I acquired the frame last year still in its 1952 paint, which unfortunately was beyond keeping, but the colour match was there. As a complete bike it had a variety of parts fitted but has been returned to near 1952 specs.
To complete the restoration I am looking for a pair of Raleigh Record Ace pedals and one of the rare Cinelli adjustable stems which Plattner used.
Below is an updated (2009 January) image of this fine machine now with Cinell adjustable stem and the Reg Harris signature red Airlite hubs
Now all it needs are the Raleigh pedalsI must thank John Wheatley, Peter Brotherton and Peter Underwood for their historical assistance.
Three detail shots showing flat-plate track ends (left), bottom bracket with reinforced chainstays and cutout on shell to allow access
to bolts on 5-pin chainset (centre), another view of bottom bracket showing cut-out nearly lined up with chainwheel bolt (right)
Inside the bottom bracket shell, strengtheners can be seen inside chain stay
The milled out section to allow bolt access is unique to the 'Harris' run of frames
See Classic Builders for further technical information on the Raleigh track frames built for Reg Harris and others.
Above: Two images of head lugs and the trademark Raleigh track forks with ultra close-clearance
© 2008 Classic Lightweights