> Argos could restore the frame to better-than-new...but then,
> of course, it wouldn't be original anymore. And the cost,
> while reasonable compared to prices here, will still be
Hey, Charles, even the seller notes that it's had some repainting already - - it's already departed from the "original." In particular, I'm looking at th e photo of the top of the seatstays, where you're seeing that hand painted lining. The orange panel and lining look original; the surrounding gold or mustard color looks to be a repaint to my untrained eye. With that in mind, look at the panels on the seattube between the orange bands -- perhaps a little bit darker than that gold/mustard presumed paint-over? I'm guessing that's the real body color that was original.
So I say strip it and glorify it. The lugwork is the thing that had me drooling right along with you, albiet without the bank account to challenge you and the other bidders. Ya got a nice bike there.