I have posted on Wooljersey a large selection of photos of a recently acquired 1958 Louis Pitard randonneur which I brought back to the UK from France yesterday.
head tube transfer:
L Pitard on down tube:
under bottom bracket rust:
top tube rust:
I'm delighted to have found the bike - the only fly in the ointment being some fairly serious rust on the frame.
I bought the bike from the nephew of the original owner. He told me his uncle lived in Paris and had the bike built by Pitard in 1958. He then kept the bike in his family home near Avignon where he used it heavily - I was told - during every holiday. He was the only person to use the bike.
The components have survived very well. The lights work (I love the French yellow 'headlight'). But the frame has some nasty rust towards the front of the top tube, where sweat dropped, and under the bottom bracket.
I would prefer not to restore the bike, as I believe Pitards are relatively rare. But... on the other hand, with the rust as it is I wouldn't be confident putting the bike to the hard use that it was intended for.
I'd appreciate any advice about the best way to deal with the rust.
Should I just leave the frame as it is, to preserve what remains of the original finish?
Is there anything that can be done which would avoid the need for fully repainting the frame?
Who is the best person in the UK for doing a sympathetic restoration?
Girton, Cambs., UK.