Often people send me photos of their vintage Japanese bicycles. But rarely do I receive photos from the same person having more than one pre-1960's Japanese bicycle. But W-san in Wakayama is an exception. W-san is a Japanese vintage bicycle fan and collector. What makes him so special is three things. First he has more than one bicycle. Second, like myself, he is a foreigner. And thirdly, is his amazing luck at finding vintage Japanese bicycles!
Below are a few bicycles from W-san's collection:
(Click on the links to see more photos. Several of the links wil take you to articles in Japanese, bear with me as I only started posting in English this year and have over two years worth of articles in Japanese which I need to put into English one of these days.)
Well his finds are impressive. But this time takes the cake. You may recall I recently ran a five week feature on a Hikari bicycle based on photos sent in from S-san in Okayama and examined how many times the company name/logo appeared. Well, W-san sent in the following photos of a very similar Hikari high-end model, but with some key differences.
This is a photo prior to cleaning her up.
No parts missing.
Much of the frame retains original protective wrapping and has not seen the daylight in over 55 years.
W-san says, it was found in an old rice shed. Obviously very well protected from the elements.
Some very interesting things to note. Look at how the rod for the back brake is attached to the down tube. Typically, the back brake fulcrum is on the left side of the down tube; however, in this case it is appears on both sides of the down tube. This places the location of the bake brake rod directly in front and center of the head tube.
The head badge is a work of art. Beautifully enamelled in ruby red, white and gold. Here you get a closer look at that back brake assembly connected to the down tube. Again, note how the back brake rod is directly behind the front brake rod. (Comparative photo)
Handlebar badges like this one were typically found on the high-end models.
Look at this! Leather grips, and, reverse brake levers.
This model must have been the top of the line model and turned quite a few heads in her day.
A sure sign that this beauty was sleeping somewhere well protected is the condition of the leather saddle. The fact that it is not sagging at all indicates that it wasn't used much. Look at the frame still wrapped and the top tube frame cover attached.
After a nice clean up, oiling, tire change and removal of the old chaincase which happened to be celluloid and was unfortunately cracked, the Hikari sparkles!
The transfers (decals) are as bright as can be, indicating her days outside in the hot sun were definitely limited.
Note the internal drum brake, another telltale sign of a high-end models.
The bicycle still retains its original cotterpin covers, generator and lock with key.
Even the registration badge is still attached
This is about as nice a find as one could hope for.
I have been collecting parts for a year or two in hopes of accumulating enough parts to complete a Hikari NOS (new old stock) frame. Let's see what I can do and I will post in a week or two.
A geat big thank you goes out to W-san for sharing his photos with us!
If you would like to share your photos with other enthusiasts please send them to me at the following address: email@example.com