To answer the question regarding the production of Gitanes...it would be 1930, when the founder first used the name on bicycles. The company didn't go into full-scale bicycle production until 1940 - although I am sure that the German invasion of France and subsequent occupation probably didn't help things (Machecoul, where Gitane are produced, is near the port city of Nantes, and was not under Vichy control because of its port and access to the North Atlantic - the u-boat pens of St Nazaire are in the same estuary/inlet). Fun history aside....
Looking at that bike, I don't think it is a Gitane at all. I have not seen any that incorporate the details on that bike, including the rear dropout shape, the "diamond" braze on to hold the shift levers on the down tube, or the "M" cut out. While I don't have any information regarding the ready availability of Gitane decals, it wouldn't surprise me to find them around. The Gitane decals placed on that bike date from the mid-1960's and were used through (approx.) 1974. A strange bike indeed.....
Stephan Andranian Costa Mesa, CA USA http://www.GitaneUSA.com
nick Bordo <email@example.com> wrote: Well, were I a woman I guess I'd be in a perpetual state of pregnancy, because it turns out I just can't say no. I was stopping buying bikes or parts, and I just bought in three machines more nevertheless.
I welcome any opinions you may have.
Nick Bordo, Agen, 47000 France