My name is Richard. And i am anal...
Regarding the subject of restoration-I've been away,
so have missed some of the thoughts. As many know, I
restored a 1971 Italian Masi. It was a bicycle I received
on trade from a client who was purchasing a frame from me.
He knew I loved his 'old bike'. Upon consumating our business,
he gave me the bicycle, and owed me that much less for the
balance due. I was drawn to this particular bicycle because
it was unlike others I had remembered seeing. This all occured
in the early '90s before the current fascination with vintage
this, NOS that, eBAY, etc. The frame represented all the features
that could puncuate that era in the bicycle industry and sport.
It was a famous marque. It was a racing bicycle. It had all
period Neuvo Record components. And the frame was completely
hand-wrought; it predated the investment cast era, and, thus,
all the nuances of hand-labor were evident. To say it in other
words, no two could be alike. I was completely charmed by this
bicycle. My client had no more 'use' for it. And, if I were to
become the next steward of it, perhaps I could bring it back to
its former glory...
At the time, one did not hear terms such as 'restoration', etc.
relative to bicycles. Except, perhaps, on antique bikes, or old
Phantoms. These were not the circles I traveled in. But, I did
see the overhaul of the Masi as a challenge. I didn't have a time
frame to bind me. And it seemed like a cool project to obsess over.
It was something I had never done, either. The time period spanned
nearly 4 years. The 'finished 'product was done in the summer of '98.
I thoroghly enjoyed it. And swore I'd never do it again. To be concise,
I took the original parts, noted iterations, and the sold them. I
had new decal art generated off of the frame, as none existed from
this 'unique' graphics package. This, alone, took a year of waiting.
And, I spent several years purchasing new Campagnolo parts, because
my stated goal was to reassemble the frame with all NEW OLD parts,
the period correct ones, so that the completed bicycle would look
like it was built in 1971 and stored for 25+ years. All parts WERE
new, each was the CORRECT iteration, the frame was repainted 'perfectly'
by Joe Bell, and the assembled bicycle sits in my studio as a conversation
piece. It has never been ridden. Nor dusted. I'm trying to encourage
a patina...!!
In the end, I guess I 'restored' this bicycle. I can now use this term,
though I wouldn't have back when began. The whole thing was just a
cool thing to do. I restored the bicycle. I made it exactly as it once
was. To me, the term 'over-restore' is an oxymoron. In my case, to put on
a 6 cog freewheel, to use BIKE RIBBON, to use DT spokes, to add any
SR parts; these wouldn't 'over-restore' my Masi. To add such items
would simply speak to a 'poor restoration', that is, the bike wouldn't be
what it 'was'. I, ONLY I, set the guidelines for my project. None exist
for similar ones; there are no community standards for taking an old
bike and 'shining it over'. It's supposed to be fun. However, my personal
tastes dictate that taking a cue from the car buffs would be a good
thing, a FUN thing. From JFC's note, I'm glad to hear of the Japanese
collectors' efforts regarding their restored bikes. This sounds like a
group I'd like to party with...
I gotta' go now. FYI, my Masi project was exposed in Gabe's wonderful
OTW. ( I forget which issue) When I close this note I'll try to attach
that story. No promises. Not very good with the computer.
By the way, after swearing off further 'restoring', I found ANOTHER '71
Masi, same as mine, same month, same year...Here I go again.