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Pre War Seagull Frame Number and Dating help needed

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Pre War Seagull Frame Number and Dating help needed

Post  Dappermuis on Mon Dec 07, 2015 7:56 pm

Hi

I recently acquired a Seagull with frame number 33 859 and engine number BYPF 3029. There is a faint letter before the frame number which could possibly be a "G". The bike survived reasonably well but would need a complete restoration.

Would anybody be able to date this bike fairly accurately?. I need to know whether this bike was built before 31 December 1936 as this would make the bike eligible to participate in the Classic Motorcycle Rally held annually between Durban and Johannesburg here in South Africa.  

Much Appreciated

Dappermuis

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Dating

Post  kerabo on Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:01 pm

Still learning how to do this but think G makes it 1937. You will get an accurate answer from John when he sees it

Regards Ken
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identity

Post  piston 197 on Tue Dec 08, 2015 7:32 am

There should be 2 pre-fix letters before the number options are :-
EC 1935 Model 42 and 43
FC 1936 Model 43
GC 1937 Model 43
HC 1938Model 43
JC 1939 Model 43
KC 1940 Model 43
there were two models of Seagull, in 1935 only there was the model 42 which had Villiers direct lighting only, this was made 1935 only
The Model 43 that was made 1935 to 1940 and used a miller dynamo and rectified lighting, both models used the XIVA ( 14A) BYP engine.
I am guessing the faint letter in front of the number is a "C" and there is another letter in front of that ?
If not there should be and a stamped E or F would satisfy the pre 1937 rule ???
JH
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Re: Pre War Seagull Frame Number and Dating help needed

Post  Dappermuis on Tue Dec 08, 2015 7:50 pm

Many thanks for the information. I have again looked at the frame number a couple of times and have convinced myself that the letter before the numbers is a "C". Most of the letter before the C is however missing and seems to be under the welding but this could possibly be a "G" making this a 37 model. However not really sure if the number was stamped before welding by FB?

fulmar88 posted "Pre War Cruiser Production Numbers" on 16/1/2015 in this forum which made me wonder. Would it be correct to assume that FB numbered all frames in sequence but added a prefix say "FC" for the 1936 model 43 below, and or another prefix for say a Cruiser?

If so, fulmar88 mentioned certain known registrations e.g. 29817 (Feb 34) and 38934 (Jul 39) and surmised an output of approx. 1683 per annum (if production remained constant). Roughly this would equate to approx. 140 bikes per month (all types per the above).

Therefore 29817 (Feb 34) plus two years (1683 x2) brings the total to 33183 (Feb 36). If I use this as a baseline and add 140 per month the following figures arise:
Feb 36 - 33183
March 36 - 33323
April 36 - 33463
May 36 - 33603
June 36 - 33743
Jul 36 - 33883
Aug 36 - 34023

Now, my frame number is 33859 which could place this between June but closer to July 36. The problem I have is that if the missing number is a "G", then this will fall far outside the above.

So here is the question: when did the new 1937 year "G" start? Could this be same as BSA which started in September/October 36 and not January 37?

Does anybody out there have records of confirmed registrations close to 33859 to confirm my reasoning above?

Much appreciated

Dappermuis


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dates

Post  piston 197 on Tue Dec 08, 2015 8:18 pm

From FB register of machines
GC 31216
GC 33561
GC 34473

all Seagulls, all 1937
As your number falls between these I guess it is a "G" in front of the "C" and it will be a 1937 year model, FB year production began Sept of the previous year i.e. 1936, but as yours is far away from the lowest No i suggest it is a 1937 year model and 1937 build.
There are no surviving factory records!
The sequential numbers are used on all FB's and numbers of other models , such as cruiser 39 and 45's also back up these thoughts
JH
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Dates

Post  MoscowFlyer on Wed Dec 09, 2015 12:08 am

Hi, I've just spotted in the FBOC Owners Register, a 1936 Seagull with the frame number FC 32574. Mike
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Re: Pre War Seagull Frame Number and Dating help needed

Post  fulmar88 on Wed Dec 09, 2015 7:41 am

I've just checked the machines that I've collected from various record offices:

Earliest 'G' number is 32909 from 11-9-36.
Also from Sept '36 is: 32912, 32918, 32977, and 32989.
The numbers from Nov '36 are: 33046, 33097, 33109, and 33114.
Dec '36 includes: 33355 and 33478.

The earliest Jan '37 bikes are 33508, 33523.

By March '37 it was up to 33828 and 34012.

So, It would seem your bike is most likely from around March '37. Nearly all of the above records are from Coventry or Warwick so very close to where FBs were made so there is less likely to be delays in registration due to delivery times.

Steve.
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Frame numbers

Post  piston 197 on Wed Dec 09, 2015 7:54 am

Steve, yes exactly as I suggested, there are one or two spurious numbers in the register, but have dis-regarded these as may be anomalies or re-stamps.
I agree completely with your findings and concur spring 1937 is almost a certainty ?
JH
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Re: Pre War Seagull Frame Number and Dating help needed

Post  Dappermuis on Wed Dec 09, 2015 7:30 pm

Much appreciated.

Dappermuis

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Re: Pre War Seagull Frame Number and Dating help needed

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