Surprisingly, there aren't all that many bikes that fall into this category for me. The few that do would be -
- my original Puch Royal X, purchased new at Bikeways of Atlanta from George Crook in March '78, and foolishly sold in early '87 to buy a vintage Fender amplifier
- the green '73 or so Gitane Tour de France I bought, sans decals, for $75 back in 1997 or so, then sold in a moment of weakness
- the green Falcon San Remo I bought as a frameset at the '01 Cirque, then sold in the fall of '02 to finance a new Mercian
- but the one I miss the most, crazily enough, was the early '70s Raleigh Gran Sport I fished out of a trash heap a few years back. It was full 531 with forged Huret dropouts, not too many braze-ons, and best of all, it looked like hell. It had so many coats of bad spray paint on it, it actually looked dramatically better when I touched it up and resprayed it with flat black barbecue spray paint. It was a great daily rider, and turned out to be a wonderful fixed-gear. Alas, I sold it about two years ago during a "thin the herd" moment. That was a mistake. It was the ultimate mad scientist bike, always there and ready to be re-fitted and re-rigged in whatever mode I felt like putting it in. I have yet to find a suitable replacement, and I still miss that bike.