This might be a little long, since I have to wax poetic about my newest acquisition. Just uncrated my latest ebay find, a custom Braxton road bike built around '82, a couple of years before I started working for Sam. It brings my Braxton total to four, the other three being an '81 heavy-duty touring bike with 650B wheels that originally belonged to my father, an ATB that Sam built for me shortly before his death in '88, and his personal fixed gear "errands bike," given to me after his death. This newest bike is all Campy SR, except for the Modolo Professional brakes, although not all from the same era. The crank is date stamped as '82, while the hubs are high flange with straight QRs, which I think makes them around '77. At any rate, the bike was barely ridden, no wear on the pedal cages, nor on the freewheel, unmarked front derailleur, pristine jockey wheels. No rust anywhere, paint and decals basically flawless. I will enjoy giving it wear marks for the next umpteen years. I was delighted to pay $590 shipped, which is much less than what a base frame cost back in the day.
Anyway, on to the questions -- three serious, one more along the lines of "cocktail party chat."
First, when did Campagnolo switch from the raised lettering shift levers with "Vicenza Italy" like the straight lever QRs to the later recessed lettering levers? Was it around the same time ('77-'78) that the curved QRs were introduced?
Next question -- if the derailleurs are date stamped, where would one find these notations?
Third question -- did Trek ever sell lugs? This bike has what is clearly an early '80s Trek BB shell, with Trek engraved on the top of the non-drive side, allen screws holding the cables in place under the shell, and the Tim Isaac "TSI58" notation. My first thought was that this was an early 900 series Trek that had been repainted, or maybe a later repair job, but this isn't the case -- beyond obvious things like the Braxton engraved seatstay caps, it's definitely factory paint in one of the stock silver blue Imron colors, and it's the deep red primer we used to use, too. Decals under the clearcoat. I didn't paint this one, but I probably did 50 or 60 just like it. If it was done up as a scam, somebody invested a lot of time and money... There are no other markings on the BB shell, like a Trek serial #, and the # on the bike fits the time frame when this one would have been built. I've contacted Shirl (Sam's widow) to see if she kept the framebuilding logs with the hopes of deciphering this, but I can't for the life of me figure out how Sam got ahold of this BB shell, unless perhaps he knew Tim? Anybody who can shed light on this one?
Last question, of the cocktail party variety, which will probably start an interesting thread. What was your best deal ever? Using this bike as an example, the guy I bought it from picked it up at a garage sale, didn't really know anything about road bikes but recognized the Super Record rear derailleur and figured out that this probably wasn't junk. He decided to spring for it, and paid the $20 asking price. That wasn't a typo -- custom frame, full Campy in practically NOS condition, twenty bucks. How come that never happens to me?
Sorry for the length. I look forward to hearing from those wiser than I.