Norris- Your understanding rings true with what I know about Paganini with the excpetion that you know one helluva lot more than I do. I am 100% certain that they were indeed made by CIOCC or whomever was the CIOCC builder.
You are also correct that the CONCORDE (Native Belgium) were made by this same CIOCC Builder. And the chrome/painting details were/are truly to drool for. Down-right gorgeous and easily comparable to the best detail work that Colnago or Tommasini has ever put out. As far as being sprayed by Van Yperzeele, I can not confirm.
I always thought they were sprayed in Italy, but I could be wrong. Then again, the CIOCC paint and details were down right pedstrian (pardon the pun) when compared to the Paganini or Concorde marques. However, I am not saying that CIOCC are average or below average in any regard. Its just that the detail and paint that you found on the Paganini and Concordes were totally top-tier all the way, and second to None.
To find that kind of detail and paint in a bike today, we are easily taking $800+, not including the cost of the bare frame. To make matters even more amazing these frames sold for less than half of a comparable Colnago or Tommasini. Paganini/Concordes show up on the web from time to time. Dennis, I would say that you can't go wrong with these high-end quality bikes and they are an excellent value given their relatively low prices. Cheers- Dave Anderson Cut Bank MT
In a message dated 2/2/2004 5:48:13 AM PST, Norris.Lockley@btopenworld.com writes:
Sounds very Italian but is in fact Belgian,,.Like several other top Belgian lightweight shops and some French ones too ,eg Van Yperzeele at Geraardsbergen near Ghent calls his bikes Giacomelli, so the proprietor of that small chain of excellent shops at Ghent and Ostend, La Plume Vainquer - "the Winning Feather", christened his frames after the musician Paganini.
in the 80s and 90s Plumes' best shop along the Nederkooter, in Ghent was a Mecca for English hard riders and Belgians alike. Many are the hours I have spent along the very long glass corridor leading from the street to the shop door. Hell, the stuff that they had in there. The shop itself was quite large at the back where the staff worked but the counter area was relatively small with a little "boutique" area.
Anyhow to the bikes.. and more drooling. The frames were built in Italy by, according to all accounts CIOCC/Cicli JOHN/CONTI, but whether they were sprayed there I'm not certain, because later frames made for La Plume Vainquer during his liaison with a Dutch wholesaler under the joint name of Concorde, were sprayed by Van Yperzeele or so the latter guy told me.
However.. the most noticeable feature of the Paganinis was their superb flambouyantreds and blues over chrome with the stays lugs and forks all left chromed. The other striking item was the amount of engraving on the lugs and fork-crown. The "window" part of the lug in the corner had a very styllised "P" in what I can only call Neon-style typeface. The down tube lug had a variation on the Pinarello "P". The decals were also written in the same style of lettering. The overall effect was stunning.
Whether or not the track frame available is of the same high quality is debatable but I would think it very likely. However there was a trend in Belgium and in France at the time to build track frames and cyclo-cross frames in stiffer and often cheaper tubing such as FALK.. probably so that it is cheaper to write them off in a crash.
The lus were invariably, on the road frames at least, short point "Serie Corsa Special" made by Rizzato Alessandro in Padua. Oh.. and the top eyes were havily engraved also, with the "Paganini" running from the top of the eye to the bottom, and not sideways on. Hope that's been of some use.
Norris Lockley.. wishing he was in Ghent..