Early Viking Severn Valley – Part 1

by Guthrum on July 21, 2011

A short while ago I bought a frame with that rare rectangular brass head badge – that was, I am told, originally chrome plated and filled with black paint to highlight the design.  I was doubtful whether the frame was a Viking because the head badge was loosely attached by a rivet through the upper hole and none through the lower, and there did not appear to be a hole in the head tube to match the hole in the badge for the attachment of a second rivet.  Also the style and braze-ons were not what I was used to seeing on a Viking.  The paint was awful – I really think it was household white gloss paint applied thickly and badly, with a further coat of black on the head lugs.  Made me wonder if someone had been trying to emulate those victorious team Peugeots of the 1960s and early 70s, as ridden by Tommy Simpson and Eddy Merckx, before they went to silver for their team bikes in late 1974.  The finishing touch was some tacky generic stickers in orange, white and black.

I acquired this from a fellow V-CC member who was speaking about it to another V-CC member who kindly thought of me, as Marque Enthusiast for Viking in the V-CC.

This was the first time I had seen one of these badges in real life and I now have a photograph of it on the site.  I think some previous proud owner must have kept the brass polished because some of the detail has been lost.  The first thing I did on getting the frame home was remove the headbadge because it was flapping about on just the one rivet and I was concerned it might get damaged.  DO NOT try to remove a badge rivet by drilling (unless it is a pop-rivet which has a hole to centre the drill, but even then I don’t).  So often, even with centre-punching, the drill drifts sideways and defaces the badge irreparably.  What I do is take the fork out to give access from behind and the shear off the protruding portion of the rivet, using a bit of old frame tubing as a chisel, what is left usually comes out very easily and the badge is detached with no damage.

Having removed the head badge, I discovered that there was indeed a second rivet in the right place for fixing the badge, that had broken off flush with the head tube.  There was original paint underneath the badge, so I think it had never before been removed.  So that increased the likelihood that it was a Viking.

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