1979 Rudge DL-1

This outstanding DL-1 came to me through a local gentleman who had listed it on eBay in December of 2004, to less success than he had hoped - the bike did not meet his reserve. I made it a point to remain in contact with him, and purchased the bike six months later for a very fair price.

During the time period that the bike was left in storage, someone had succesfully bent the front fork quite drastically, and the original saddlebag was missing. Though the fork had taken quite an impact, it was completely salvagable; a few hours of careful cold-setting with a Park Tool FFS-1 frame alignment arm remidied the damage.

Other than installing a rear fender clip, fixing a damaged crank cotter, flipping the position of the shifter, and polishing the brightwork, it needed very little elbow grease to bring back to a near-showroom state.

On a historical note:

I'm sure that more than a few Raleigh enthuthiasts are scratching their heads over this bike, given that the Rudge name was supposedly dropped in 1972. In the U.K. and American markets, yes. For exports to Latin America, no. This particular Rudge has a 3rd-party decal on the white tail (just below the Rudge logo) indicating that the bike was handled by the Curacao Trading Corporation.

Additionally, unlike some other Raleighs found in the Latin American and Caribbean areas, this is a genuine Nottingham-made frameset. The question as to how this particular example ended up in South Florida remains a mystery. I have not been able to trace or find any information of any other examples existing, or any information regarding the sale of these bikes, other than similar export variants of the Raleigh DL-1 made after 1977. A writeup of the 1970's DL-1 export variants can be found here on The Headbadge.