In the 1983 season, the Raleigh UK Team rode Reynolds 753 frames made by Ilkeston, but the Raleigh USA Team rode Reynolds 531 (actually Columbus tubing) made by Marinoni in the USA. The Raleigh USA Team Manager for 1983-85 (Mike Fatka) told me that they chose to have the frames constructed in the USA because frame repairs and exchanges were far easier to perform in the USA versus shipping back and forth to England. This is also why 531 were INITIALLY (more on this later) chosen over 753... 531 frames were considered by the USA team to be more durable that 753. However, Huffy (not the Team Manager) signed the Raleigh USA Team contract with Marinoni and did not specify 531... Marinoni prefers working with Columbus tubing and as a result Columbus SL was substituted for 531, even though all Raleigh high-quality lugs and brackets from Ilkeston were used on the Raleigh USA Team frames. It was easy for the Raleigh UK to pick up replacement frames from England, but not easy for the Raleigh USA Team to travel overseas to do so!
You are correct that Raleigh custom frames were made at Ilkeston and
Nottingham plants in England. However, 1983-85 was a crazy time for Raleigh
when they tried to franchise the Raleigh name to a large number products.
During this time, Raleigh franchised the Raleigh USA name to Huffy USA.
Please read my documented notes from research I performed concerning
Raleigh/Huffy posted on the updated "Raleigh UK in the last quarter of the
20th Century" at the following Tony Hadland URL:
Regards, Steve Neago "Gearing up for the Spring season in Cincinnati, OH"
> In a message dated 2/4/2002 11:24:26 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> email@example.com writes:
> > It is fair to say that my Marinoni is a "hybrid" which may explain the "R"
> > (for Raleigh?) on the BB. The frame was a custom construction in 1983 for
> > Huffy/Raleigh USA by Marinoni using the Raleigh custom lugs, BB, and Campy
> > dropouts, but using Columbus tubing, not Reynolds 531.
> > The strange thing was that Marianne Berglund raced the frame during the 1984
> > season marked as a "Raleigh 531" frame where she won the World Championship.
> > Huffy tried to advertise the Championship wins as "531 wins again!".
> > Actually, the frame was constructed with Columbus SL tubing according to
> > Marinoni records.
> Was this in addition to, or instead of, frames being sent from England?
> I thought I had seen a RaleighUSA frame that was made in England.
> Maybe I'm confusing this Raleigh Team frames from a couple years earlier.
> Pete Geurds
> Douglassville, PA