Hey Cameron, It has been a while since I shared some two wheeled Pana-porn with you so here goes… This one is a bit of an oddball. It is a 1989 Panasonic PICS Custom frame and fork built for Philippe Lauraire. In early December of 2012 I spotted a rather obscure text-only ad on a southern California Craigslist offering a Panasonic Team bike for sale. I had suspected it was another 1985 Panasonic Team since I see a fair number of them offered for sale around the country. I asked the seller for photos in order to see what he had on his hands and was more than a little shocked at what I got in response. The bike was a Team Custom PICS frame with full Dura Ace. Most unexpected! As for the name on the top tube, it is possible that this bike may have been owned by the semi-famous French rider, Phillepe Lauraire who rode professionally from 1983 until the early 90′s. I had remembered his name from my childhood and for some reason associated him with a more famous rider by the name of Stephen Roche who happened to win the 1987 Tour de France. Lauraire was a domestique for Roche on Team Fagor and rode in the Tour three times. Certainly a more impressive cycling career than my own! Anyhow, this is all merely speculation at this point as I have no confirmation that the Phileppe Lauraire that ordered this PICS frame is the same one that rode with Stephen Roche on Team Fagor. Even if it does happen to be the same person, it isn’t the bike he used while racing in the Tour de France. Lots of questions remain. If this WAS his bike, how did it wind up in southern California? How and why did he choose Panasonic in the first place? Questions questions… if anyone knows how to reach the real Philippe Lauraire please get in touch with me via the Panasonic Bike Museum web site or social media profiles. Additional photos of this bike can be seen here: http://panasonicbikemuseum.info/phileppe-lauraires-1989-custom-pics-team/ I’ve got more for you if you want ’em. Still loving your site and hope you’re doing well!
Founder, Panasonic Bicycles Virtual Museum