[CR]RE: "correct bike"

(Example: Framebuilders:Cecil Behringer)

Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2003 21:30:53 -0500
From: "Paul Williams" <castell5@sympatico.ca>
To: Classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR]RE: "correct bike"

Now here's the next question in this little discussion and one which has troubled people in the "heritage" bizz for some time - how does one treat "historic" upgrades. Do you try to return a building, for example, to its original condition at the time of building or do you pick a point in time when it was most important to the community, or do you restore it to the last period of use. How do we judge what is correct and why?

Now if we extend this to a discussion of classic or "vintage" bikes - especially those of an earlier date, what would one do about parts that had been added to improve performance or appearance of a bike at some point during its history, and that are in fact part of its historical development? They are after all part of the historical record or the archive which 'is' that bike. I was thinking about this the other day when there was the discussion of the Merckx "hour" bike - what if the later changes were actually sanctioned or even done by Eddy himself? Would we want to strip it back to its original state (if indeed we could) and preserve it as frozen at one moment in time? Or would we see it as something important in the 'life' of that particular machine?

I guess a little late for such food for thought, but something I wrestle with daily in my research. Man I have to get this thesis finished :-(

Paul Williams,
Ottawa, ON, Canada