Re: [CR]Freddy Maertens Bicycle Restoration

(Example: Racing:Wayne Stetina)

From: "Brett Horton" <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Freddy Maertens Bicycle Restoration
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2002 08:55:22 -0800

Thank you to all of you who have responded to my begging plea for help on restoring the Freddy Maertens bike. It appears that I will be able to land the parts I need.

The majority of the emails I have been receiving are from people asking who I am, what is in my collection, how I knew about the list, why a Freddy Maertens bike, etc. It might be easiest for me to attempt to answer the first round of questions here. If anyone has further questions, please email or call me and I will be happy to bore you further.

First, I am a classic “lurker” to the newsgroup. I read the majority of posts every day. For the most part however, I am content to leave it at that. I try to leave such dynamic issues as frame decal trademark infringement to more knowledgeable people.

My collection started about 25 years ago but has really hit the growth phase in the past 8-10 years. The focus of the collection is purely racing. Included in the collection are about 17,000 items ranging from posters, trophies, race worn jerseys, and bicycles spanning the late 1800’s through the present. There are also more than 130,000 original racing photos, negatives and glass plates.

The pride of the collection from my perspective has always been the jerseys. Included are original race worn jerseys from many of the greats including Merckx, Coppi, Anquetil, and others. All told, there are jerseys spanning from the Belgian National Champion Rene Vermandel in the early 1910’s to the jersey worn by Bruno Risi at the six days at Gent a few weeks ago. I try very hard to acquire the jerseys directly from the rider, their immediate family, or someone who is very close to the rider. (It really pisses me off when I later figure out a jersey I bought is really a replica.)

I have some interesting trophies and medals including the only known medal from the first running of Paris-Roubaix in 1896, Hugo Koblet’s trophy collection (TdF, Giro, etc), Faber’s 1911 Bordeaux-Paris trophy, the podium sash worn by Coppi at the 1951 TdF and a few other unusual things.

The bikes have been the slowest to grow in terms of volume. Because I am really only interested in a bike if it has solid provenance to a specific rider, the pickings get thin in a hurry. The most recent acquisitions this year have been bikes raced/used by Rik Van Looy, Peter Post, and of recent vintage: Bruno Risi. (It just dawned on me that all three of these are track bikes. The Van Looy bike is a classic six-day, the Post machine is a stayer bike, and Bruno’s bike was the one he won the worlds on in 1999 along with 10 six day races.)

I also have a love for vintage race posters. Over the years my wife and I have been able to assemble a collection of more than 800 posters spanning the late 1800’s through present. The focus on the posters has generally been pre-WWII as the beauty of the lithography is truly stunning. My ultimate goal is to have an original poster from each of the pro men’s road world championships. Right now I have a bit more than 50% of them from 1927-forward.

Presently I am in the process of compiling images for a book about the collection that is being written by Pascal Sergent. (Pascal is the author of the wonderful Paris-Roubaix coffee table book.) I consider Pascal, along with Serge Laget, to be the pre-eminent authorities in the world on bicycle racing history. I am truly honored that Pascal wants to create a book about the collection.

If anyone out there has thought about collecting racing memorabilia, but has got frustrated by what I call the “eBay six-day blues” drop me a line or call me. I am always more than happy to tell people where I have found things, what search methods works for me, how to contact riders, stores in Europe to shop at, etc. (BTW, the “eBay six-day blues” is a phenomenon where I see a new bidder that enters the market, goes bananas bidding on six-day tickets, brochures and flyers. After they have found these relatively common items: poof, they vanish! When I have contacted some of these people, the normal complaint is that they want more things but have no idea where to find better stuff.)

I have burned enough bandwidth. It’s a good thing I can type fast. As I said before, if anyone has any other questions, post them to the list or email me privately.

Brett Horton
San Francisco, CA