I guess nobody ever passes up the opportunity to talk about his bikes, but it seems relevant to this thread, so here goes!
What I have been able to find out is that while Merckx opened shop in 1980, he first introduces his line to the USA at the 1981 NY Bike Show. The distributor of Merckx bikes here was Ochsner Imports of Chicago at that time.
The Eddy Merckx bike that I have was built specifically for that 1981
NY Bike Show, and I have some photos of it here:
Gene Balk Seattle, WA
Hey Chuck, from which direction might we "approach" Eddy? I'd be glad to send an email if I knew where to send it to reach him, or to call if I knew there would be an English speaking someone there willing to talk for a moment. Do you really think Eddy will take MY call?? Goody ... I'm so excited!!
A few notes and developments about the bike. First is that I was trying to come up with the model name of Corsa Extra when I wrote out my inquiry email, but couldn't quite remember it and erroneously came up with Corsa Strada instead. This is a "made up" name in my mistake, and should not be taken to be a real model unless someone knows otherwise. Lou helped me out, showing that the early bikes for the road were called "Road" ... hmmm, very clever. Second is that near the end of the GREAT video Tam linked us to, Eddy mentions that he opened the factory in March of 1980. Clearly then, the bike can't be older than 1980. Third is that my friend Todd absolutely had the bike by the time he graduated high school in June of 1981, and he had to make a couple of payments over a few weeks before he could take it home. All tricky features and serial numbers aside, it doesn't seem likely to me that one of the first frames off the jig would make the long transitional journey to the wall of a shop in Detroit (Jake's Bikes, btw) by summer of the same year, just a few months after opening the factory. Points posted in response to the CR List and to me privately seem to shy away from this possibility too, especially with the mention that the VERY first frames had Eddy Merckx signatures on the seat stays. So, there is extreme likelihood that the bike is an early 1981 build, delivered and purchased during the warm spring of 1981 (or even built VERY late in 1980, but with the features of bikes beginning in about 1981. We are hereby calling this one an early 1981 Road model, until I talk to Eddy or one of his reps, and hear different. Thanks a lot to EVERYONE with their input and points ... it is VERY much appreciated.
Now, the bike is in fact a bit too large for Todd, and although he says he would NEVER sell it, he WOULD consider a trade for same model in say a 52-55cm, c-c. I'm just sayin' is all.
Thanks again everyone for the help, on and off list!
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