All's I know is that the US distributor for a time was Bill Kirchen who's
other line of work is as a professional musician--twangin' a Telecaster as
one of Commander Cody's Lost Planet Airmen. This was around 1986-89.
A quick look at the bikes appearing at next weekend's Velo Rendezvous reveals more than a passing interest by this group in Hetchins. Dale's website and Flash' "unofficial" website provide amazing support for this Marque. This year's larz Anderson show and even the Cupertino swap a couple years ago brought out mulitple examples.
There was an active thread on the CR list and some teeth gnashing last year when that group in the UK tried to appropriate the name. Indeed more than a little rain fell on a certain bike shop in Sausalito (sorry Steven) for displaying a "fake".
At the risk of antagonizing anyone at Bob Jackson's, (I dont want to cause I own one and love it), and realizing theres the potential for a little industry politics here, has anyone seen the history section on their newer website?
Heres the relevant excerpt and then the link:
"More overseas sales followed & by the early eighties more of the traditional framebuilders & painters were turning to JRJ cycles for their production needs & it was to one of these companies that Bob turned when he wanted to retire. The owners of the "Hetchins" brand had used JRJ Cycles exclusively to build their curly stayed frames since 1977 & so seemed a natural buyer for the company in 1987 as Bob felt he had been at the helm for long enough. Things did not go well during the following years but fortunately Bob was cajoled by Donald Thomas to help rescue the company that he had spent so long in running & in 1993 Bob Jackson Cycles started from the low point of the rented industrial unit that the old management had landed the company in." (italic and bolding is mine)
Anyone know who owned Hetchins in 1977? 1993? Since Hetchins moved to Southend in 1974 and Jack Denny is said to have continued to build (though in his 70's) till the early eighties, can Bob Jackson claim to be the "exclusive builder"? What about the Italian sourced Italias? Indeed we have the commonly stated story that Jackson made Hetchins beginning in 1985 and can be told from Hetchin's Hetchins by the font and placement of the serial number on the bottom bracket.
What does anyone know about this?