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FRAME / SERIAL NUMBER INTERPRETATION

As with most other classic marques, the frames were identified with a sequence of numbers or a combination of letters and numbers, stamped on the frame when built. It is possible to identify the approximate age of any frame by this 'Frame Number'.

NUMBER LOCATION

'Scot' frame numbers may be found in the following positions, according to age ;


Prior to 1951, the frame number was stamped on the outside of the left-hand rear frame end (dropout) shown as 'A' above. From 1951 onwards, the position of this frame number was moved to the underside of the bottom bracket shell, shown as 'B'. Irrespective of the location of 'A' or 'B', the frame number should be repeated on the fork crown shown as 'C'.

Position 'D' relates to the fork steerer tube (normally hidden within the head tube) which has at various times also had the frame and other numbers on it. Where the frame number has been found it will generally be stamped on, written in permanent ink or hand-painted in white or gold.

From around 1947 to 1953 position 'D' was also used on some but not all frames, to mark the serial number taken from the customers specification sheet. This number will be different than that found at 'A' or 'B' and 'C'.

Where the shape or design prevented the fork crown being stamped on the rear, the number was may be stamped on the underside of the crown, or at position 'D'

NUMBER STRUCTURE

How the frame number is structured depends on the age of the frame as follows ;

pre-1936

It would appear that a different method of frame numbering existed. One 1936 Scot frame - No.2516 clearly does not fit the later pattern as shown below, however this is further confused by another 1936 frame - No.12936 that does !. More information is required on those surviving Scot's from before 1936 to establish what system of numbering was used, but it is likely that it is purely the next number of frame built since building began with frame number '1'.

Frame No's -(built from 1936 to 1948)

A serial number composed entirely of numbers (for example 25047)

The first part, identifies the sequential number of the frame as it was built in that year. The first frame built was given the number 1, the second frame number 2, the third 3 and so on until the end of the year.

The last two digits of the number, and the second part, represent the calendar year in which the frame was made i.e. 46 for 1946, 47 for 1947 and so on.

The example '25047' would therefore have been the 250th frame built in 1947.

No frames appear to have been built in the years 1940 to 1945 as a result of wartime restrictions on materials and other essential war work.


Frame No's - (built from 1949 to 1981)

Alphanumeric serial numbers were introduced in 1949 (for example 250Q), initially using a single letter code rather than a number for the calendar year. For the first two years (1949/1950) the letters 'Q' & 'R' were used, followed by the letter 'A' in 1951.

As before, the first part identifies the sequential number of the frame as it was built that year. The first frame built was given the number 1, the second frame number 2, the third 3 and so on until the end of the year.

The second part of the number was changed and instead of two digits representing the calendar year in which the frame was made, a letter code was introduced.

The example '250Q' would therefore be the 250th frame built in 1949 (the letter Q, being the year code for 1949). See the the list below for interpreting the letter codes.


Frame No's - (built from 1981 to 1983

Although perhaps only 200 frames at best were built during the last three years of the company. All of the frames that were produced under the new owner Evan Ritchie, were given a sequential number, prefixed by the letters 'ER'. Commencing with ER1, (The first frame being ER1, the second ER2, the third ER3 and so on....) the highest I have seen to date is ER11, the 11th frame, and sold to Jack Potter on 24 March 1982.

Frame No's - (built 1983 on......

Whilst these are not strictly "Flying Scot's" in that they were not produced by David Rattray & Co. Ltd. When the "Flying Scot" name was bought and the owner Jim Houston began production of new frames using Dave Yates at M.Steel Cycles, they were each given unique numbers. These were however numbered alongside their own machines, making it difficult to directly correlate numbers to a particular Scot's age without reference to the original frame record They should however have a number greater than 613 with the prefix "FS". however there are instances were the prefix has been omitted The numbers are stamped on the bracket shell and steerer tube.

LETTER CODES (1949-1981)

YEAR LETTER CODE

Left Hand Frame End

Position of serial no. on left-hand dropout 'A'

1949 = Q
1950 = R
1951 = A
1952 = B
1953 = C
1954 = D
1955 = E
1956 = F
1957 = G
1958 = H
1959 = I
1960 = J

Bracket Shell

Position of serial no. on bottom bracket shell 'B'

1961 = K
1962 = "
1963 = L
1964 = "
1965 = M
1966 = "
1967 = N
1968 = "
1969 = O
1970 = "
1971 = P
1972 = "
1973 = Q

Fork Crown

Position of serial no. on rear of the fork crown 'C'

1974 = "
1975 = R
1976 = "
1977 = S
1978 = "
1979 = T
1980 = "
1981 = U

GENERAL NOTES

Year letters Q & R were used initially in 1949 & 1950, and were used again from 1973 to 1976. It is not difficult however to tell the earlier frames from those made in the 1970's as the number on an earlier frame should be found on the dropout, whereas by the 1970's it had moved to the bottom bracket shell.

The letter code sequence was restarted with the letter 'A' in 1951, however the actual the reason for restarting is not known.

From 1961, the annual letter code change, appears to have become a biannual occurrence. From this time one letter appears to have represented frames made in two calendar years. This appears to start with the letter 'K'

For further notes on why discrepancies in frame numbering occur click here

FORK STEERER TUBE NUMBERING

If the frame is dismantled, it may be possible to find an additional number stamped on the fork steerer tube.

From the mid 1950's on, this may well be a repeat of the frame number either hand written, painted, or stamped on.

Prior to that, and from about 1947, it is also possible to find what appears to be a totally unrelated number stamped here. This is the serial number from the top right-hand side of the customer order / specification sheet (as shown below), a short lived method of additionally identifying the frame.

Note that the absence of any number here doesn't imply anything in respect of the frames originality.

Position of number on fork steerer tube 'D'


OTHER NUMBERS

Nervex Bracket ShellBottom bracket shells are often stamped or have cast in during manufacture, part or code numbers totally unrelated to the frame number.

Those supplied by Nervex (Francolam) as shown here are stamped with the original details (angles and chainstay diameter) of the shell as manufactured.


British Made Bracket Shell

In order to improve the accuracy of the information in these pages, the only thing that I would ask in return for using these pages, is that you provide me with the details of your own machine, along with the serial number, any other information you can provide and where possible a photograph.

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Copyright © 1999-2003 R.Reid Last Updated Thursday, 16-Oct-2003 17:33 hrs.