French constructeur bicycles are often imitated, but seldom replicated. Builders such as René Herse, Alex Singer and Jacques Ausécache contributed to a golden era of traveling by bike that we’re still attempting to interpret for our own generation.
Details such as those found on this frame by Jacques Ausécache, are still referenced by modern builders, albeit with modern technological improvements. Ausécache is not as well known as his contemporaries, perhaps because he was actually participating in randonées or brevets. He was instrumental in founding the Cyclotouristes Saint-Mauriens club in 1934, which still exists today with 56 members, and the club’s decal can be seen on the rear fender. This bike was built for a club member around 1947-49 and has obviously seen more than it’s fair share of touring miles. The components were top shelf in their day, the most notable being the Le Chat front derailleur, a rare item as they required permanent installation into the frame.
It would make a fine restoration project, without requiring too much to have it ready for the 2015 Paris-Brest-Paris… If it tickles your fancy, you’re in luck: it’s up for auction on eBay at the moment. Special thanks to Sasha from Pony Bikes for the tip.