Wow! I read all the postings on this after I submitted my meager response. Obviously a passionate discussion ensued and like others I have my take on it.
Brian seems most passionate and I can understand and respect that. I know if I hand built something and witnessed someone tearing it down, even if they owned it, I would be less than happy.
On the other hand, one of the things that brought me into this hobby is the whole componentry thing. It is great to keep a bike original but what does that really mean? Since these bikes are made up of parts designed to fit more than one bike how can you claim anything to be original.
Some of you come from a manufacturing background. Even if you make bikes one off by hand. Do you believe the maker made sure that every part they put on a bike was dated correctly. If a bike frame was built in 74 would the builder throw out all the 73 components and make sure the whole bike is properly equipped by date. Of course not, original is not a black and white term especially with these types of bikes
Many of you know I come from the dark side of the hobby and collected other types of bikes. It is a lot more reasonable to assure originality on a balloon bike because the parts were designed for that bike and that bike only. Yet one could argue that if you put an NOS wheel on your original balloon bike, it is no longer original.
If you think about it, there is no such thing as original in this hobby unless one person built the bike and every component by hand and assembled it, serialized all the parts and documented it in the library of congress for future research and validation. If you believe your bike to be totally original, that is great and if it makes you feel better that is fantastic. On the other hand, if you part bikes out, mix and match parts and dare I say update components you are no more a criminal then the many amateur racers who do this on a regular basis to keep up with the times.
It is all good and I enjoyed this discussion immensely.
Ray (wish I had all my original parts) Homiski Elizabeth, NJ