Sounds like a snazzy ride. I haven't seen many of those; since I was in San Marcos by the time they started making them. We didn't see each other much in those days. San Diego and Los Angeles are like two different planets, only about 100 miles apart.
Nice it has a simple teardrop cutout. I believe done by hand with some initial machine assistance. Simo would sort of cobb out a hole on the milling machine and finish the shape by hand. There seems to be a vague memory of that, but I don't know when I would have seen such an operation. Are the cutouts uniform in size and shape, or are they all a little different?
I wonder how many surviving original El Dorados there are out there? Probably not many. Just think, it could be more rare than a CONFENTE!! What do you think, Joe?
La Mesa, CA
You are right about the lugs, they are Eisho I think. Sort of a teardrop cutout. Probably a Haden crown on the chrome fork. My bike is original, has the decals, original paint etc. Black paint, yellow decals, El Dorado on the downtube, liberty bell logo on the seat tube, "Camino Real" on both chainstays. A well built, relatively simple bike. I rather like it.
I picked it up in Philly through Ebay. $175 with a mix of Campagnolo Victory and Nuevo Record. A really nice TTT Medici engraved stem too.
Great Notch, NJ
Thanks for that info. That sounds like a reasonable time frame (no pun intended). The name "El Dorado" comes from the name of the park in Long Beach, El Dorado Park obviously, where the twice weekly training races were held. Mike Howard and Gian Simonetti were part of the early gang that rode there in the early days. I rode there with them on many occassions when I was working with Medici. The Whiteheads (father Pete and son Mark), the Hattons (Father Gilbert and son "Gibby"), Phil Granuatia(sp?), Simo and Howard and much of the old "Como Street" gang were regulars at El Dorado Park. I rode in breakaways with the likes of a young Mark Whitehead and the amazing oldster Phil Granuatia on this criterium course. The rarest of the rare at El Dorado would that a breakaway would win the race. The finish was almost always a blazingly fast and full contact sprint with these guys. I stayed out of them. There was no way for me to sprint with those guys. Mike was pretty fast at the finish at time s also. I'd either have to sucker punch them with a kilo finish or forget about it altogether. But I digress.
The El Dorado line may have actually been created for Ralph Carnevale to sell through his shop. I think there is such a thing as an El Dorado decal, which is not on Marks' frame. (Repaint, I think) The bikes were built using some Japanese pressed steel lugs of medium short length, no cutouts, if I'm not mistaken. I have a big box full of them in my storage that Simo sent my way. I can't tell on that frame on account of how small it is, but it looks like those are the lugs. That may not be the original fork for that bike. It appears as if maybe that's a painted aluminium fork. Joe, is your bike pretty original; does it have an El Dorado decal? Any idea where the frame came from. Maybe Recht in New Jersey?
Maybe the look of the lugs are throwing me and Marks' bike is a regular Medici with a replacement fork.
La Mesa, CA
I have a Medici El Dorado and could take pictures. Probably about 1983 but I think they only made them for a short while.
Great Notch, NJ
> I can't tell 100% from the photo, but that looks like an "El Dorado" model, probably repainted. Don't know if that's the original fork. The El Dorado was a second tier model. The serial numbers on those bikes I'm unfamilier with. Can't really guess the age off hand.
> Brian Baylis
> La Mesa, CA