I watched that same auction from start to finish. The inherent beauty of the bike attracted me, because I knew nothing about the brand or its history in the Tour. I assumed it was a machine consistent with its name---a real pearl.
When I saw on the auction page a posted question from a Japanese bidder I too thought it would bid up. But there it sat for days and days and I finally figured it wasn't going anywhere. And sure enough it didn't. Generally, I've found that the Japanese are usually quite up front and bid early if they bid at all.
Had I known you wanted it and were out I would have bid for you.
In the future, if you have any doubt about not being present for the end of an auction, you might stoop to using one of the ebay "sniping" site (such as esnpie.com) that bids for you. The fees they charge are ridiculously low.
I can't tell you how many tremendous $100--$300 bikes I would have bought on French and UK ebay if shipping were not an issue. Man, I'd have a great stable of racers and randonneurs!
Sorry you missed it, Norris, but next time do like the rest of us....snipe it!
Peter Jourdain Whitewater, Wisconsin USA
--- Norris Lockley <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Item 120035997791 a 1940/early 50s La Perle road
> bike has just finished
> on French Ebay.
> These bikes are very rare. and they are usually very
> elegant..the Ebay
> one being very attractive. although battle scarred.
> I saw it come on Ebay..popped into "My Ebay" and sat
> back to watch the
> Japanese swarm round it. I had assumed that there
> would be a last
> half-hour mad rush of bids..but they never
> materialised. I had to be out
> tonight but expected to be back to watch the last
> few bids and get a
> couple in for myself, without much hope of actually
> Turned out that I got back home just after it
> finished..and no one had
> bid for two days..so the whole thing went for 100
> euros..and although
> the equipement wasn't all original, it had a Prior
> front hub,
> Nervar/simplex chainset, Lam brakes, an interesting
> Simplex front mech,
> decent bars and stem..and of course a n interesting
> The headbadge was missing but a NOS one was for sale
> on another French
> ebay site earlier this week and was sold for about 3
> I'm really mad at myself about this, as La Perle is
> one of the very few
> classic (in T-d-F terms) frames that I still do not
> have in the
> collection. And..to make matters worse, it was very
> close to my route
> through France and I could have collected it.
> later this week..but I shall be in France without a
> computer...there is
> an interesting DELANGLE coming up ...
> Norris Lockley...definitely losing the plot..Settle