Nice bike, and in the more sought after blue-with-white rather than white-w ith-blue. Odd thing about the Gran Sport, for about 20 years you couldn't give one away, but in the last couple of years they have been "discoverd". The $700 BIN seems a little ambitious, but he might get $400, maybe even m ore.
What is the consensus on this bike's originality? Specifically the Raleigh -badged SunTour VGT-Luxe (or similar model) derailleurs and SunTour rachete d DT shifters? Also the Raleigh badged swaged Japanese cranks? None of the 70's catalogs on Retro Raleighs show Japanese shifters or derailleurs on t he Gran Sport. The derailleurs in the 1962 catalog are Campy Gran Sport, t hus apparently the model name, but by 1970 the Huret Luxe is specified. Th en the short cage, stamped cage plasic Simplex Prestige for a couple of yea rs, then in the mid-70's what the catalogs call the Simplex "Maxi" which wa s a long cage Simplex Criterium with proper forged cage. But all the Simpl ex derailleurs are shown paired with the truly horrid plastic Simplex Prest ige DT shifters.
As to the cranks, the 1970 catalog shows a 5-pin Zeus Competition. The 197 2 catalog specs say it is Stronglight Alloy, but the photo shows a 5-pin cr ank that looks a lot more like Zeus Competition than mod 49 to me. My circa 1970 (could be early 1971) Gran Sports (spelt with a final s that year) ha s a Nervar crank which I believe to be original. All the catalogs after 19 72 show a Stronglight 93 with chainguard, which is in essence a triple with a toothless large ring. So the Japanese crank on the eBay bike, most like ly a Raleigh-badged SR (Sakae Ringyo), is of dubious originality. Pretty s ure this was the crank used on the Grand Prix in the mid to late 80's.
Despite their absence from the catalog, one sees the Sun Tour derailleurs a nd shifters on an amazing number of 70's Gran Sports, including one of mine . Granted they were far superior to Simplex Prestige and affordably priced , but it is amazing that I've never seen a Grand Sport upgraded to Shimano Titlist, always Sun Tour VGT-Luxe or similar and the ratcheted DT shifters. Anyone sell Raleighs in the 70's? If this SunTour stuff wasn't actually OE, was there perhaps some recommendation by Raleigh USA that dealers offer to upgrade to the Suntour derailleurs and shifters, which they may well ha ve had on hand as replacement parts for the Grand Prix?
The seller states that the SunTour stuff (and presumably the cranks) are or iginal, and he probably believes that. He might even be correct, especiall y if one deems upgrades done by the dealer at time of purchase as "original ".
One final question is raised by searching the catalogs for the Gran Sport. The Gran Sport is the only one of the high end models of the 70's which ap pears in the 1962 catalog, two years after Raleigh bought Carlton, and ther e is no mention of Carlton there. Was the Grand Sport then not a Carlton m odel, but a pre-Carlton Raleigh design which was only later moved to Workso p production where it acquired Carlton decals? That might help account for the fact that some late 60's/ early 70's Gran Sports have a Serial Number scheme completely different from the other Worksop models.
Big Spring, Texas, USA
> From: Tom Jue <firstname.lastname@example.org>
\r?\n> Subject: [CR] eBay outing nostalgic Raleigh Gran Sports
\r?\n> To: email@example.com
\r?\n> Date: Saturday, February 28, 2009, 11:42 PM
\r?\n> Since there has been so much talk about Raleighs... Not
\r?\n> mine, but very n
\r?\n> icely done (my opinion):
\r?\n> Tom M. Jue
\r?\n> San Francisco, CA USA