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Classic Lightweights UK
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H R Morris 'Special Model' - 1963

Submitted by Alexander Von Tutschek
Profile of a Fine Cycle' No 18

 

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How it was acquired:- This machine was known to me for many years. I'd let it be known that if ever it was available I'd be keen. Twelve years later I got an surprise unexpected telephone call.

The Features that make it special:- What makes this H.R. Morris to be a 'Special Model' is the very elaborate lugwork in which his initials are cut into every lug, the whole frame is covered in 'M's and 'HRM's. These lugs are a labour of love; Dick told me that they took a two full weeks to file the lugs prior to making the frame! It should be clearly noted that these fancy lugs are all cut from the blank lug by hand and that nothing has been added, the object was to remove metal and not to add . This machine was ordered new by Ray Bennnis in October 1963 and still has its original finish & period equipment.

Anything else:- H.R. Morris, or Dick Morris as was known, built many frames whilst employed by others, long before he started making frames under his own name in late 1950's. From then onwards he made about 450 H.R Morris frames. All of these are well crafted, all were made by the master himself but very few were exceptional. I have now spent fifteen years looking out for outstanding examples of his workmanship but now doubt that he made more than twenty very fine frames ... and maybe as low as fifteen. What I am saying is that top quality H.R. Morris frames are unbelievably rare ... the Stradivarius of the classic British lightweight world. I was once told that Dick Morris made thirteen 'Special Models'. I do have difficulty believing this and have only ever seen two but understand that another one exists somewhere. In my quest to find such machines I also had the good fortune to find a 25" version too. This latter one is my optimum size and is ridden regularly.

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Three images showing H R Morris's intricate lugwork incorporating his initials

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Seat cluster with 'M' and bottom bracket with 'H R M' initials