CMC Special Club 1882-1886

Coventry Machinists Company was one of the most innovative and leading firms in the 1870's and 1880's. This model 'Special Club' is probably the best penny farthing they built. I has got (nearly) all features to make a superb lightweight roadster. It just misses the tangent spokes, but even with radial spokes they could make very good wheels those days.
This model was intruduced in 1882.
Features are:
- hollow oval backbone
- hollow front and rear forks
- ball bearings front and rear
- hollow rim on driving wheel, which makes it sturdy and light
- rubber suspension in saddle spring
- CMC locknut spokes in front hub

The bike you see in the pictures was built in 1883, it carries the number 39651. It is very well preserved, only the saddle has been restored and of course it has once had a black paint job. It was taken apart for a small restoration - enjoy the magnificent 'exploded view'!
If one crosses your way one day (which is possible because they were very successful and quite a number have survived) it should be easy recognisable. The brake lever is typical for CMC and look at the short story written on the hub flange. But watch out: these marvellous bikes were built under license, for instance by Seidel & Naumann, Opel, Heinrich Kleyer (the later 'Adler' brand) and Peugeot, which gave it the name 'Le Français'. Thanks Maarten Waarlé for the pictures of this bicycle.

I have a separate page with pictures of a Special Club with its original pinstriping. Click here