I'm now the proud owner of a 1962 Hercules. It was manufactured by a division of The British Cycling Corporation that merged with Raleigh in 1960. Hercules was a major competitor of Raleigh, with a strong sporting image. Mine was distributed in the US by AMF, the bowling folks who dominated the American sports market in the 60s and 70s.
Hercules produced its own 3speed hubs, which were nearly the same as the older Sturmey-Archers. The cool thing is that the Hercules hubs continued to use threaded drivers long after Sturmey-Archer abandoned them for cheaper options.
I got it from UffdaDave over the weekend. He had invited me out to Ohio for Thanksgiving. He's my college buddy who now lives outside Aurora on his family's old farm.
I was as happy as a pig in shit. We spent most of our time talking bikes, tooling bikes, and cruising around some of the area's bike shops.
Unfortunately, I was only able to bring the rims and tires back. I got a ride from his aunt so there wasn't enough room in her car for the whole bike. I'm hoping the sight of the wheel-less Hercules will inspire UffdaDave to come on out to Chicago soon. Then he can bring the frame.
In the meantime, I'll start overhauling the hub and truing the wheels. My hope is to have it all in running order early in the new year.