Crank it: Phillips Excelsis Mens Bicycle, ca. 1940s

If living in New York presented no restrictions when it came to space and if money were no object, I’d collect classic cars. I’d spend my days driving them, cleaning them and perhaps even thinning out the stable in order to make room for another mid-year Corvette. The fact is there are space restrictions and you can pretty much surmise the rest.

Until this little issue is rectified, classic bikes are an appealing option. They’re great transportation and their design and fabrication really speak to a specific time that’s long gone.

Phillips Cycles originated in Smethwick, England in the early 20th Century and was absorbed by Raleigh, its long-time competitor, in the 1980s.

This 1940s Excelsis model is breathtaking in no small part because of the almost flawless paint which remains bright and sharp. There are several original decals located all over this bike and every component, from the pedals, to the crank, to the leather sprung saddle is original and branded with the Phillips name. With a new saddle, this fine British bulldog of a bicycle would be ready to tear up the bitumen once again.

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