After purchasing a very nice late 1950s Carpenter road frame from England, and having it repainted by Argos in Bristol, I have had the frame here for awhile, while I deal with some other projects, and mull over just how to build it up.
What's interesting to me about the frame, beyond the very nice fancy lugs, and the great paint Argos put on it, is the braze-ons. It was clearly built from the start for bar-end shifters, and it has Campagnolo drop-outs front and rear.
I've had a few complete vintage british bikes with the usual charming--if oddball--mix of parts you see on such bikes. This tradition of mixing and matching different parts on brit bikes makes it much easier to build them up, I think..but with the Carpenter, I'm sorely tempted to go with the full Campagnolo group from the late 50s. I have a set of three piece LF hubs with the aluminum center, GS or Record derailleur, maybe some old Universals, or, more likely, some Mafac or old-style Weinmann 999 centerpulls..there was a pair of Scheeren rims on ebay recently I really meant to buy for this bike, but missed them... all because it looks to me like this frame was specifically built for these parts, esp. the Campagnolo bar-end shifters, which would have been fairly new at that time.
Anyway, at one point in all this I almost decided to build it up with Campagnolo Ergo. I know, sounds like blasphemy, but, aside from having a real fondness for that stuff, it is true that brit bikes were continuously updated by their owners as a matter of course--it seems--and, thus, ending up with Ergo on a 50s frame would not be at all out of the question. And those braze-ons for bar-end shifters would be well-used..<g>
I'd be very curious to hear from our UK members about this project...what would you guys do with it?