[CR]re: restoration etc.

From: "Charles Andrews" <chasds@mindspring.com>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Sun, 3 Jun 2007 20:47:07 -0700
Subject: [CR]re: restoration etc.

George H. MD wrote:

Dear Mr. Andrews: Your point that "something that's original is* different*" isn't necessarily so. Many original finishes exist tod ay as do the men that applied them. Not too long ago I showed on this forum a bike restoration carried out by Mr. Alberto Masi himself whic h was original in every way-according to the Master himself! George Hollenberg MD Westport, CT, USA


I replied privately to George, and did not realize he had posted the entire list.

My perception is that George has a completely different understanding of the meaning of the word *original,* than I do.

I understand original to mean exactly that: the original finish. The one the bike/frame came out of the factory with when it was *first* made. That seems to me to be the usual definition of *original.*

Anything else is a copy. If you like copies, or even prefer copies, then the distinction is unimportant.

So, that frame Alberto Masi repainted is most definitely NOT original George. It's a copy. Or restoration, if you like. But it's not original.

I generally don't like copies. I like originals. So, while I have had many restorations/repaints done in my 13-year-odyssey as a student of old bikes (before that they weren't old bikes, to me, they were just something I rode every day) these days I consider every one of them an aesthetic failure, with a couple of notable exceptions. Hope seems to spring eternal though. I have a couple of repaints pending that should be interesting. But they won't be original. They wouldn't be original even if the same people who did the job the first time, did the job again, pace George. And, that being the case, they are, in some sense, less entertaining than an original.

To me.

As I've proposed before, frames with simple paint-jobs and graphics tend to be more convincing in restoration. Cinellis, Masis, Colnagos, Pinarellos come to mind. I'm sure you can find your own examples. Even those italian marques I just mentioned can be all screwed up in restoration if the details are not properly attended to. And in my experience, very often, the people who first made the frame do a lousy job of reproducing the original. Masi and Colnago in particular. Over the years they haven't seemed to care much for the details. They'll repaint/restore something for you any way you want, and won't trouble about the little things.

You ever seen a repaint of a Bianchi, done by Bianchi? They tended to be the most slovenly, hack pieces of work you can imagine. Maybe not in all case, but in the cases of every one I've seen of that sort. And never anywhere near "original."

But, even when every last detail is right, and you have very thin paint, perfect graphics, all in the right places, and thinner clear, and from 5 feet away it's very tough to tell if the frame is original-finish, or repainted....it's STILL not an original. And the older I get, the more important that seems to be.

To me.

Charles Andrews Los Angeles--where we had 20+ folks for the vintage ride at the Rose Bowl...and we had a lovely ride, in perfect, mild California sunshine. This place is bicycle-heaven, is all I can say.