1940 Lance Claudel
Lance Claudel was a skilled frame maker and he built hundreds of stunning racing frames over his long career.
Claudel apprenticed with Willy Appelhans in the 1920′s before setting up shop and working for himself for over a decade. After years on his own, wanting a shorter workday, Claudel closed up his Bailey Avenue shop in the late thirties and was hired by Henry and Kay Damerell to build frames and wrench in their Bronx bike shop. Lance worked as a mechanic in their shop, “The Wheel”, until he retired.
Claudel built this particular bike for a guy named John Orth, and it was probably the last frame that he built before the war. It is a beautiful piece of work, but you can see that there are differences from his earlier bikes. Not quite as detail-oriented, this bike may have been made for a more modest price, or it may show that Claudel was just getting a bit tired. The lugs aren’t quite as crisp as his earlier bikes, and some of the finishing touches (like a head badge) were skipped.