Recently, we’ve experienced a spike in the quality and originality of the submissions to the OTSG. Not to say that all our submissions are anything less than perfect, but in the past couple of weeks I have gotten a number of very well maintained vintage and original road bikes sent in by their rightfully proud owners. With this, I would like to remind everyone that just because you’ve been seeing really nice old ten speeds around here, don’t think that I don’t have room for or no longer want your old Huffy, your crappy Murray or your infamous Ross! I love the pristine vintage set but the old, cheap and crappy set is my bread and butter. Now that I have that out of the way — on to today’s feature.
Tom in Maryland has sent in his thrift store jewel a 1978 Raleigh Grand Prix. In it’s spectacularly original condition, it is a perfect example of why I am thankful people rarely follow through with their New Years resolutions. Finding a bike like this in this condition is like the token old women on the Antiques Road Show who bought her $100k original Picasso at a yard sale for $5 — it rarely happens and never to me. I look forward to seeing the progress of Tom’s little project.
My brother found this all original ’78 Grand Prix in a MD thrift store last Dec 07. Paid $4.14! I actually have the receipt! It is/was 100% original including Pletscher rack which I already removed. I’ve since stripped it down to the frame and had the bottom bracket and headset overhauled, then cleaned and polished the frame to an amazingly new condition. The chrome wheels have been trued and polished as well, they are Sturmey Archer wheels, thought they only made hubs. These have polished Mallard hubs which I had the shop clean and repack as well. Currently I’m rebuilding the bike with better comfort in mind adding a taller Nitto polished stem and wider Noodle bars plus a Brooks Honey B17 and Michelin World Tour tires, the others are original with Raleigh Supalite on the sidewall, hardly ever ridden! I intend to ride this beauty and even keep the polished steel wheelset as long as they stay true. So far I’ve invested $2.49 in new parts & labor for a total of $6.63 for what appears to be a new ride!
I’ll soon have many photos of the finished job and I’m keeping the original parts of course.