You will not have failed to have noticed that the designer of the Raleigh Chopper died recently, and was buried this last week. The Chopper was one of the things that I coveted as a child back in the 70s. I did not get one despite trying my hardest to explain to my parents that I ‘needed’ one.
A number of my friends had one and it was without doubt the height of cool – as was the small kid’s version the Chipper. I do recall however that there was a major issue in the press about how it was dangerous – mainly due to the ape hanger handle bars as far as I can remember. But none of that mattered to a child back in the 70s.
What I do find facinating is how much a Chopper was – £30 at the time which I gather equates to around £300 in current money – quite a lot by today’s values, but a small fortune for a kid in the 70′s. I do remember that my expectations were significantly less than todays kid’s, £300 would not be viewed as an unachievable purchase now for a kid’s present, but its equivalent was definately unachievable in the 70s!
there was a modern version a few years ago – but it just wasn’t the same as it had a stupid modern take on the seat (and looked stupid in my opinion).
The Chopper started an era of greater expectations for kid’s – so perhaps even more of a cult product than we thought at the time!