Friday, 26 August 2016

Vintage Cyclops pram restoration project

Recently, as my husband were clearing out some old furniture and taking it to our local waste management centre, I spotted this Vintage Pram frame at the  tip shop. It was marked at $30, and needs a clean up, new tyres as well as a new bassinet part for the top. I didn't buy it when I saw it, but I thought about it overnight, plus I did a little bit of research, and decided I really really wanted to have it to restore and use for my future babies. So I went back the next day and luckily it was still there. The lady who worked there said she was surprised it hadn't been sold sooner.

Before I paid money for it, my hubby and I had a good long look at it, to determine whether it would be a feasible project. Luckily the rust spots on the chrome are quite superficial and should come off. Other parts of the frame that are more covered in rust were not originally chromed, so we can scrub them back a bit harder, then paint them (I think they were originally a cream colour) One wheel has a pinched spot on the rim, however as these are solid rubber tyres, not inflatables, it should be OK, but hubby says he should be able to reshape it anyway.

This photo shows how much rust came off by just rubbing
with a dry cloth

After some research, and advice from my husband, I purchased Autosol Metal Polish to help remove the rust and polish up the chrome.

I decided to start on the hubcaps, as they were reasonably easy to remove from the pram. As I had heard steel wool can be too abrasive to use on chrome, I had a go at the back side of the hubcap first.

Here you can see the difference. The left one I had just started
polishing, the right one I hadn't begun yet.

The backs of the hubcaps are not quite as shiny and polished as the fronts, and the rust there was much worse, so I wasn't able to get them perfect, but still a lot better than they were. As the hubcaps were already pretty scratched up, and they aren't really something people look at, at close range, I though I would have a go at polishing the front sides with the steel wool as well.

Front of the hubcaps before polishing

1 quick go made a huge difference, as you can see, so I decided to go ahead and polish them all up, starting with these 2, then the other 2 a bit later.

There is still some rust left, particularly along the edges of the hubcaps and the lettering, but hubby think he can get that off when he finds the right attachment for his dremel. If not, I don't mind, as this was never going to be a Rick's restoration level of perfectness.

Next up were the wheels. I wasn't sure these would come up nice at all, but after a quick scrub with the polish, I was pleasantly surprised.

Starting to clean the wheel

This is going to be a bit of a long term project, as I only work on the polishing for short time periods, as the metal polish has a strong smell, and tends to get everywhere, so I have to regularly take breaks from it. But I am very optimistic that it will be finished before I have a baby to put in it.

I initially struggled to find much on this particular model of Cyclops pram, but I have since found a few more photos of similar prams. The wheel arch design seems to be fairly rare, with most dipping down in between the 2 tyres, having separate wheel arches for each tyre, or not having them at all. Here is what I have been able to find so far:

Brochure circa 1969
Found here on The Pram Man site

Found here on Pinterest from an expired Gumtree listing

Found here on Pinterest from an expired Ebay listing

Doll size Cyclops pram
Found here on Pinterest from an expired ebay listing

As you can see, ours is clearly missing the bassinet part, as well as the part of the frame that goes around the bassinet. The tyres need replacing, so I purchased replacement rubber from Dave from The Pedal Car Guy, who was a wealth of knowledge of all things Cyclops! He told me the bassinet part of the pram was most likely manufactured by another Australian Company, Pedigree, which is information I have not yet found on the internet.

I managed to pick up a wicker bassinet for $5 from one of my local op-shops to use as a base for the pram, which is from another Australian Company, Siesta. I may end up getting a nicer one at a later date or a pedigree one if I can find it, but this one seems like a good start if I want to build the hood and upholster the bassinet myself.

Has anyone else undertaken a restoration project lately?


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