Matt Spencer wrote:
The front one is a 2 beer frame , whereas the one behind is 4 beer , with differant gussets , mounts 7 shock angle .
The bike in the photo is the prototype Mk2, later on they did make them with a continuous tube bent around the swingarm gusset, and there are photos of those in Seeley's book.
I suspect that Seeley, using as he says a plumber's pipe bending apparatus did not have the capability to make a lot of bends. It was during Mk2 production that he got a first-rate Italian tube bending machine and a mill to miter tube ends. So later Mk2 frames and the ones made by Reynolds were probably much nicer than the earlier ones and the prototype for sure.
At the 1968 Earl's Court show, the big show were makers rolled out and showcased their goods, Seeley boasts all bikes at the show were produced entirely at their shop, and they have the later design Mk2 with better bends. His Earl's Court display has the usual braces of AMC powered bikes and also the fabulous Fath Four powered bike, and a wallboard covered with AMC and Manx single racing parts.
There were no blueprints for the Seeley Mk1 frame. For the Mk2 frame Ken Sprayson made drawings after some of them were there to measure so that Reynolds could make a batch and help out Seeley who had a lot of things going on that year, racing sidecars in the World Championship, buying out the AMC and Norton Manx singles stock, making bikes, running a dealership and getting the AMC and Manx spares business going again. Holy Cow.....
Since Sprayson and Reynolds had drawings and a lot more experience making frames, the Mk2 that they put out could have been the most consistent as far as build quality and consistency. Seeley did not sit still though and in a very short time his frames evolved to new Mks each year the first three years.
His book is not written for collectors, historians or anyone in particular, it is just a story told in a first-person way and there is no order to it or any way to look anything up. The only information in the index is the names of people. People seem to have been the most important thing in Seeley's life and most of the book is on their history, what they did in relation to the sport and racing. There is much written about friendships and the deaths in racing of people around him.
There is not any serial numbers or production numbers for any of his products. Any information on the bikes etc. has to be gleaned by careful reading of the text and storyline and photos. But it is a fabulous story, the kind where you can not put it down once you start reading.
One interesting detail I noticed was that there were no disk brakes on any of the bikes in the book which covers his story through 1969. They mostly all used his in-house Robinson-built brake.
The book is really the story of the racing and racers in the U.K. and Europe during the 1950's and early 1960's more than anything else, and it does as good a job of doing this from a personal perspective that I have ever seen.