The Flying Scot


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The Flying Scot (David Rattray & Co. Ltd.) Glasgow

This superb David Rattray built Flying Scot was arguably the best Scotish bicycle model ever built. With Reynolds 531 tubing and the most beautiful set of Nervex pro lugs I have ever seen, it has to be one of the most beautiful vintage bikes ever made. Just take a look at the head tube and the fork crown!

This gorgeous example has been built with what would have been by far the most expensive groupset available in the early ’50s. Campagnolo Gran Sport, with the rare steel three arm chain wheel, bar end shifters and matchbox front derailleur. Well beyond the reach of all but the most well healed racer! The wheelset is a period correct sprint rim and tub combination with minty Campagnolo Gran Sport hubs.

Completely restored with an outstanding frame and fork refinish by the artisans at Bob Jacksons in Leeds, she is in minty and beautiful condition. The ride will shock you. Really fast, very smooth, with the bar end shifting a delight, light and accurate. Finished off with red cotton bar tape and straps to match trhe frame transfer lettering and a beautiful Brooks Professional chrome rail, copper rivet saddle… very comfortable, this bike draws a small crowd wherever she is parked.

There were other lightweight frame builders in Scotland but the most prolific and well known has to be David Rattray’s Flying Scot and The Scot which were built in Glasgow between 1928 and 1983.   The company manufactured approximately 15,000 frames which were a ‘must have’ amongst many serious club riders in Scotland.  Having said that, they did export some frames to England, Japan, British Guiana, Europe and the USA.Although most of the frames were built to a racing specification they did cater for the tourer as well. It is said that frames built for touring were often badged ‘The Scot’ whereas the racing ones were ‘Flying Scot’.

One of the giveaway identifications for Rattray-built bikes is the strengthening piece on the inside of the fork blades from the crown down for about 5cm.

Flying Scot Anne 1 Flying Scot Anne 2

Two images of a Flying Scot built in the 70s using the simpler ‘Italia’ style lugs which became popular at this time

Flying Scot 300

Nervex Professional lugs used to build this Flying Scot  (Rattray) 24″  –  Continental Supreme – Frame No. 538 C – 1953

Reynolds 531 tubing –  Nervex lugs – Top tube 23″ – Chainstays 17¼” – Simplex rear ends with mudguard eyes – curved brake bridge – cable eye rear chainstay.

Forks oval to round – 2″ rake – Rattray strengthener inside fork blade at crown – 538 C on column and blade.

Frame and forks Orange with white head and seat tube panel. Chrome front and rear ends.

Flying Scot 638

Flying Scot (1972) frame and fork number 75 P.  19” seat tube; 21” top tube;  17¼” chainstays. Head 72° x seat 72° . Forks oval to round with Rattray ‘long’ ends and 2¼” rake.  Prugnat smooth line Italian style lugs. 15” pump pegs brazed on down tube;  brake cable stops under top tube and gear cable stop on chainstay; Simplex rear ends; Allen key seat clip and wrap over stays;  Curved reinforced seat stay brake bridge.  Finished Dark Blue with white head tube and seat tube panel.  Chrome head lugs, fork crown front and rear ends.

The Flying Scot web site maintained by Bob Reid is a mine of valuable information on the marque with gallery of photographs, a guide to identification, and scanned catalogues.  After a period when it was unavailable it was restored by Bob in June 2008.

The Flying Scot