Dusty Springfield, Mick Jagger and 70 years of Condor Cycles

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To celebrate Condor Cycles' 70th birthday, we take a look back through their awesome photo archive…

Condor Cycles – best known for their beautiful bicycles and awesome array of tropical caps – turns 70 this year, and to celebrate, we’ve been given privileged access to their incredible photography archives.

Established in 1948 by Monty Young, the Condor mantra still reflects his guiding principle today – that every Condor bike must be built to the rider’s fit, budget and needs to ensure that comfort and components are never compromised. 

Because of his flexibility of attitude and bespoke production, Condor Cycles have had commissions for all sorts of weird and wonderful, unique rides from people as diverse as Mick Jagger, Dusty Springfield, Princess Margaret and Bradley Wiggins. Here’s a handful of images from Condor’s colourful history...

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Dusty Springfield in 1960s
Music legend Dusty Springfield was a Condor customer back in the 60s, so naturally turned to the team when she needed to get to Top of the Pops one day on a tandem. Once dressed, coiffed and ready to head off to the BBC Studios, she naturally got Rolling Stones manager, Alan Dunn, to come pick her up dressed as a chauffeur.


Nova magazine page from 1970s
Nova magazine, published from March 1965 to October 1975, was revolutionary for both the way it looked and the way it tackled journalistically taboo subjects for the time, such as contraception, abortion, cancer, race, homosexuality, divorce and royal affairs. Both this image and the lead story image are from a Nova magazine shoot that Condor helped to bring to life.

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Faith Murray being awesome in the Seventies
Faith Murray juggled full-time work with a career, yet still managed to be crowned four-time National Track Champion from 1972-1977. The Stoke-on-Trent sprinter also represented GB at the 1976 World Road Race Championships – all on bikes and equipment she received as a result of sponsorship for Condor.


David Weller at the 1980 Moscow Olympics
Jamican athlete, David Weller, was the first (and remains, the only) Jamaican rider to win an Olympic medal outside track and field. He did it with the help of a Welsh track coach and former rider named Ted Gray. Ted went on holiday to Jamaica in the late 1960s, checked out the velodrome built for the 1966 Commonwealth games, and was subsequently approached by the Jamaican sports federation to train their talented – but unguided – national cycling team. Ted approached Condor for support and Condor supplied the national team with bicycles. Here's Ted helping David before the start of the final in the 1980 Moscow Olympics


Condor and the bicycle-shaped vinyl in the Eighties
Singer, Michel Austin, released an EP entitled ‘Out Tonight’ in 1984 (his only one). For some reason his PR people decided that it would make the vinyl the shape of a bicycle, so shot Michael and his fantastic hair on the drops of a Condor. Bafflingly, the song lyrics make no mention of cycling.


Anne Mustoe - the original bike backer
Anne Mustoe is a bike packing cycling legend who took up cycling aged 54 after she retired from work as a teacher. This treasured touring bike, nicknamed The Cadet, was specially built for her and took her around the world on many occasions. 

The adventures she experienced and the people she encountered inspired her to write numerous lively books, including A Bike Ride (1992), where she recorded that “she had cycled 11,552 miles in 14 countries over 439 days, in which £4,898 had been spent on food, accommodation and sundries and £1,127 on fares. She had lost 23lb in weight.” There’s a brilliant account of her life in this Telegraph article.

When she first came to Condor, she couldn't mend a puncture, so Condor’s founder, Monty, showed her how, and would help her out by sending her parts to far flung corners of the globe so that she could resume her travels.

A celebration cycle ride
To celebrate this incredible history and the adventures Condor have helped to realise over its 70 years in the business, they are putting on a 70th anniversary sportive ride on Sunday 8th July in Staffordshire that's designed to suit all abilities – with either a 70-mile or 70-kilometre loop to choose from.

Fairtrade advocates, Karma Cola, will rehydrate riders at their post-ride #DrinkNoEvil bar, while Yorkshire butcher, Allums, will serve up their award-winning pies. There will also be post ride celebration beers and bowl food to refuel on. 

Tickets for the festival are £50 for adults and includes entry to either ride, limited edition 70th anniversary gifts, post ride food, as much ice cream as you can eat and drinks.

Get your ticket here

tan doan