Major Nichols find - valuation help needed please

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Oldstswinger
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Major Nichols find - valuation help needed please

Postby Oldstswinger » 22 Sep 2014, 7:19pm

Sadly a few weeks ago my father in law passed away. Whilst going through his estate/contents we found in one of his sheds his old Major Nichols bike under some plastic sheeting and a pile of spider webs. I'd say its probably been sat there for around 20-25 years as we think he may have bought it on his 50th birthday in 1989 but not used it much once he acquired it.

One of the first things we need to do is value his contents for probate - the second thing is then work out what to do with the bike :?

I've done some research in the to marque on the various places on the net - frame number is MN 8214 - it's a black 531ST frame and whilst there is some rust on the components the frame itself is not too bad. I've emailed Alvin Smith with the frame number already for the register but have not yet received a reply but no worries about that.

Does anybody here have any reasonably approximate idea of the value we should put down on the forms for this please? I can email pictures if that helps or maybe try and host them somewhere so I can link them to this topic?

Many thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

Cheers :D

Oldstswinger
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Re: Major Nichols find - valuation help needed please

Postby Oldstswinger » 22 Sep 2014, 8:36pm

Pictures if that helps thanks :?
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Brucey
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Re: Major Nichols find - valuation help needed please

Postby Brucey » 22 Sep 2014, 8:49pm

conservatively as a starting point I would suggest £200-£300 for any touring bike with that frame material and those parts fitted in good used condition. However on the one hand some parts are corroded, and on the other, some brands are valued more than others. I don't know if that brand is one such or not; if it was a Mercian it would be worth about £600, but I'm not sure in this case.

BTW if you want to know the year of manufacture, several of the parts will have date marks on them. IIRC Weinmann only made that style of centre pull brake for a few years; the year should be marked on the back of the aluminium part that supports the caliper arms.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

pete75
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Re: Major Nichols find - valuation help needed please

Postby pete75 » 22 Sep 2014, 9:07pm

As far as high quality frame building is concerned Major Nichols was at the top of the tree. Read this http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/bu ... chols.html .
The last paragraph says " I remember Tom Crowther, one of the founders of Mercian Cycles in Derby, describing Major's frames as 'jewels'. He said that some people might build a frame as good as a 'Major', but nobody would build a better. Tom felt that Major's frames compare favourably with the Colnagos, De Rosas and Masis of this world, and he was no slouch of a builder himself!! "

You may find this of interest as well http://www.blackcountrysociety.co.uk/ar ... cholls.htm

From the frame number it would seem that, at least, dates from 1982 but Velobase says the Weinmann CP type brakes were first made in 1983.

From a valuation point of view it's difficult to put a price on. It depends on finding a buyer who knows the true worth of a Major Nichols frame, to one who doesn't it's just another 1980's 531 touring frame and would probably sell for less than the much better known Mercian.
Last edited by pete75 on 22 Sep 2014, 9:16pm, edited 1 time in total.

Oldstswinger
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Re: Major Nichols find - valuation help needed please

Postby Oldstswinger » 22 Sep 2014, 9:13pm

Thanks guys - the frame dates it to 1982 from what I understand with the 14 representing the 14th one produced in that year. My father in law was known for his timkering and I we also think he got it in 1989, so some 7 years after manufacturer and the likely person my wife thinks he got it from was equally know as a tinkerer of bikes so undoubtedly the brakes could have been added later.

Thanks for the links too - those have already devoured in my initial research and hence where I came across Alvin :wink:

Grandad
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Re: Major Nichols find - valuation help needed please

Postby Grandad » 22 Sep 2014, 9:34pm

Presumably the valuation for probate purposes will be Brucey's conservative figure as the chance of selling for a higher price is very speculative.

andrewk
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Re: Major Nichols find - valuation help needed please

Postby andrewk » 23 Sep 2014, 2:42am

For a probate valuation of a twenty plus year old bicycle I would suggest a figure of £20.

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531colin
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Re: Major Nichols find - valuation help needed please

Postby 531colin » 23 Sep 2014, 7:38am

andrewk wrote:For a probate valuation of a twenty plus year old bicycle I would suggest a figure of £20.


If you brought in a firm to "clear" the house, how much would they charge to remove the contents of the shed?

fastpedaller
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Re: Major Nichols find - valuation help needed please

Postby fastpedaller » 23 Sep 2014, 2:25pm

My guess would be about £500 FWIW

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RickH
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Re: Major Nichols find - valuation help needed please

Postby RickH » 23 Sep 2014, 2:56pm

Is the value of the estate going to be more than £325,000? If not, then the precise value is of little official consequence as it only matter for Inheritance Tax purposes &, unless things have changed since I sorted my parents' estates (a couple of years apart) a few years ago, you only have to state the estate is worth less than that.

If things are going to be above the threshold then a reasonable estimate (or guess) is all they can expect. I suspect most valuations in these circumstances will be on the "realistic but conservative" side. For items of relatively small value it isn't worth too much time (possibly paid for if you have to get a valuation & which will come out of the estate total).

Rick.

Pandaz
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Re: Major Nichols find - valuation help needed please

Postby Pandaz » 23 Sep 2014, 4:01pm

Its a nice frame let down by the rusty parts.

If you could get your lbs to replace the rusty bits i think you could probably get 250-300 for it, but no more.

Its not old enough to be a true 'classic' but a nice bike from a reputable builder.

Giod luck!

fastpedaller
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Re: Major Nichols find - valuation help needed please

Postby fastpedaller » 23 Sep 2014, 4:10pm

Correct me if I'm wrong - but the only rusty bits appear to be the toeclips and rear mech - hardly a deal breaker. If those are replaced, and the alloy bits polished, chain replaced (fwheel maybe too) and tyres tubes it will be a very nice bike indeed.

Ank@eel
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Re: Major Nichols find - valuation help needed please

Postby Ank@eel » 23 Sep 2014, 4:33pm

When was the seatpost last adjusted? Count removal of stuck item in valuation.

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kylecycler
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Re: Major Nichols find - valuation help needed please

Postby kylecycler » 23 Sep 2014, 4:44pm

Whatever it's worth financially, it will be worth an awful lot more to whoever rides it - I think it's a beauty. If possible, I would keep it in the family, but I suppose it depends on the circumstances - if there's anyone who would ride it, and if it would fit them, or if there's space to store it, etc. Put it this way: it's worth more than you'd ever sell it for, which is a shame, but that applies to most old bicycles, especially when they've barely been ridden.

Oldstswinger
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Re: Major Nichols find - valuation help needed please

Postby Oldstswinger » 23 Sep 2014, 5:07pm

Thanks for the helpful comments and advice chaps, much appreciated. Alvin was also kind enough to call me today and we had a great chat plus he also knows of someone in the 'circle' that may be interested in it too.

For reference he is suggesting as it's a 21" frame, without seeing it in the flesh, that it's about £250-£400 with the usual caveats applied (with number of folk really keen on wanting it being the biggest upwards driver of price).