1911 Centaur ‘Lightweight’ Roadster
(Specification No 5)
American Export Model
New Departure Coaster brake
Frame No 156048
This 1911 Centaur was purchased in the 1950s or 1960s by the Californian cycle shop West Coast Cycle. The company was owned by Leo Cohen, whose policy was to buy secondhand old bicycles in case parts were needed for repairing other machines. This particular machine was obviously not needed for parts donation, as it remained inside a storage container until 2012, when it was removed from there by my friend Howie Cohen. Howie had started working for his dad’s business in 1957, aged eighteen, and continued in the cycle trade until he retired.
A New Departure coaster brake is listed in the British Centaur catalogue as an optional extra, costing 6/- on top of the sale price of £8 15/- though I assume it would have been a standard fitting for a Centaur sold in America. A pull-up front brake is also fitted.
I bought the Centaur from Howie in 2012 and rode it for a while before storing it. I recently took it out of storage and had it serviced. It’s ready to ride.