Well, it was worth asking. It turns out I had never actually seen a Spence Wolfe conversion before. But seeing the photos posted by several members, it is obvious that one cannot confuse a Spence Wolfe conversion with a factory-produced Rally, as the Spence cage plates look obviously homemade, or at least small shop-made. The only Rallys I had previously seen, including the one I own, have essentially the same cage as a factory Campy Rally, although the face plate is somtimes marked Nuovo Record.
Now, it is still posible the ones with Rally cage plate were homebrews, using Rally plates to modify an NR. After all, one of the big advantages of Campy stuff In The Day was that small parts were readily available, so it would not have been difficult to obtain Rally cage plate to modify an NR RD. But the motivation for such Rally-era conversions would have been different from Spence Wolfe's. Spence or his customers obviously needed a wide range touring RD, and were not satisfied with the Huret Allvit or other wide range RD's then available, or were simply fans of Campy. So Spence improvised a product to meet a need the commercial products were not meeting. But the NR long cage conversions done after the Campy Rally was available would probably have been to save money by buying only the cage plates to modify an NR one already owned, rather than buying a whole new Campy Rally. After all, In The Day, Campy NR and Rally RD's were considered quite expensive, more than double the price of most competitors.
I agree with Mike's assessment of the shifting of the "Japanese looking" Rally as being excellent, and I suspect it was far superior to the Rally that was basically a long cage NR, whether factory-produced of homemade.
However, I do not believe the "Japanese looking" Rally was actually a Slant Parallelogram, but what I have usually called a Horizonal Parallelogram. It does look somewhat like a SunTour, in that rather than the long dimension of the parallelogram plates pointing down, as in the classic Drop Parallelogram, like Campy NR, the plates instead point forward, roughly parallel to the chainstays. But the SunTour RD's added an important additional feature the Rally lacked. Although pointed forward, the Rally parallelogram plates still lie in a vertical plane. But the plates of a SunTour "slant" inward. That is, their top edges are closer to the FW than their botton edges. As a result, as the parallelogram plates of a SunTour, and the jockey cage attached to their forward end, move inward, they also move downward at the same time. This maintains a more nearly constant distance between the upper jockey wheel and the FW cogs than with a Drop Parallelogram or even a Horizonal Parallelogram. This is the genius of the SunTour Slant Parallelogram, and I think the basis of the SunTour patent. I don't know if SunTour actually invented the Horizonal Parallelogram, but they certainly invented the Slant Parallelogram, or at least the Patent Office was satisfied of that. Now even the Horizonal Parallelogram like Rally shifts significantly better than a Drop Parallelogram, and it seems pretty clear Campy designed the Rally to capture this advantage, while still avoiding the SunTour patent. At about the same time Shimano introduced the Crane and Titlist, again Horizonal Parallelograms like Rally, but not true Slant Paralllelograms, which would have violated the Sun Tour patent. Considerably later, Simplex introduced Horizonal Parallelogram RD's including the SLJ 6600. I don't know if SunTour ever tried to assert that even the Horizonal Parallelograms violated their patents, or if they ever sued Campy or Shimano over this issue. I think there is at least one attorney on the list with some knowledge of patent law, so maybe he can comment on the history of such litigation, if any.
Although they lacked the "Slant" of the Slant Parallelogram, the Rally/Crane/SLJ 6600 may have shifted as well because they all had a feature SunTour lacked - the Simplex-type spring-loaded upper pivot. It is interesting to note that since the SunTour patent expired, I think in the mid or late 80's, virtually all newly introduced road bike RD's have combined both the SunTour Slant Parallelogram and the Simplex sprung upper pivot.
One thing that still puzzles me is why, after making a major improvement with the original Rally, Campy would retrogress with the NR-type Rally that Mike refers to as the Rally Sport. While I haven't actually used this NR type Rally Sport, it seems near impossible it could shift as well a the original Rally. So why the Rally Sport? Was it cheaper? Did Campy continue to sell the Horizonal parallelogram Rally after the Rally Sport was introduced? Did Suntour in fact sue Campy over the original Rally? If so, did they sue Shimano over the Crane, which was basically the same design?
Finally, anyone have detailed photos showing the difference between what were evidently the first and second generation Rallys, the difference reportedly being mostly beefing up the upper body between the upper pivot bolt and the parallelogram, where first generation Rallys sometimes broke. I personally had a Rally break in half at this point, but this was sort of a freak event when the chain dropped while shifting to the inner ring of a triple, and jammed between the inner ring and the BB shell. The violent impact on the RD snapped it in half, but I can't really balme this on poor RD design. I would like to confirm, however, whether this was a first or second gemeration Rally. If it was a first generation I broke, perhaps the second generation might have survived the incident.
Big Spring, Texas, USA
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
\r?\n> Subject: Re: [CR] Campy Rally Variations?? - Where did they get the cage plates?
\r?\n> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
\r?\n> Cc: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
\r?\n> Date: Tuesday, May 5, 2009, 11:46 PM
\r?\n> If I recall, Spence Wolfe did make some proprietary long
\r?\n> cage bits. They kinda look like something that escaped from
\r?\n> my kid's erector set. But they worked.
\r?\n> Now the "good" Campy Rally is a slant
\r?\n> parrelelogram (heaven help me spell!) design like the good
\r?\n> Japanese units, and that one worked quite well. Came out
\r?\n> in 1973, but was quickly tweaked (geometry and shape and
\r?\n> look were unchanged) with more material on the upper body as
\r?\n> it was fragile. There was a later Campy Rally Sport that
\r?\n> is more like a Campy Nuovo Record with long cage plates, and
\r?\n> no funky spring loaded parrelelollooolloograme like the
\r?\n> early versions.
\r?\n> Note that a Campy NR (or SR) or the later Campy Rally Sport
\r?\n> do not shift as well as the units that look Japanese
\r?\n> (don't make me mispell the word again, I think I even
\r?\n> mispelled mispell, ouch!). But, if you can find the Rally
\r?\n> cage plates, you can convert any NR or SR derailleur to a
\r?\n> quassi Rally. We've seen this trick done on late Herse
\r?\n> bikes, and we even did it on a bike we brought to NAHBS a
\r?\n> couple of years ago (also was at Cirque). It won't
\r?\n> shift super great, but at least you can sorta fake it with
\r?\n> some low gearing that an NR or SR can't shift no matter
\r?\n> what. If you don't have chain wrap capacity, things
\r?\n> can literally explode (i.e not enough chain and big to
\r?\n> big). With long cage modification, you may not shift fast
\r?\n> or precisely, but at least you won't break things.
\r?\n> Mike (you'd never believe my son one the spelling bee
\r?\n> for his grade) Kone in Bolder CO, USA
\r?\n> ----- Original Message -----
\r?\n> From: "Jerome & Elizabeth Moos"
\r?\n> To: email@example.com
\r?\n> Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org
\r?\n> Sent: Monday, May 4, 2009 2:37:18 PM GMT -07:00 US/Canada
\r?\n> Subject: [CR] Campy Rally Variations?? - Where did they get
\r?\n> the cage plates?
\r?\n> Well this is my final permitted post for the day, but this
\r?\n> discussion brings up a question I don't think I've
\r?\n> heard addressed in any of the past threads.
\r?\n> Did Spense Wolfe and others begin their homebrew long cage
\r?\n> conversions of Nuovo Records before Campy ever introduced
\r?\n> the factory-produced Rally, as I've always assumed? If
\r?\n> so, where the heck did they get the cage plates? I mean,
\r?\n> the previous Campy long cage RD was the Gran Tourismo, which
\r?\n> appeared at least on the Schwinn touring Paramount up
\r?\n> through about 1971 or 1972. But the jockey cage plates on
\r?\n> the Gran Tourismo bore absolutely no resemblence (thank God)
\r?\n> to the later homebrewed or factory produced Rallys. So where
\r?\n> did Spence et al get the long cage plates to convert the
\r?\n> NR's? And if the factory-produced Rally was already
\r?\n> available at the time, then why did these guys go to the
\r?\n> trouble of converting NR's?
\r?\n> Jerry Moos
\r?\n> Big Spring, Texas, USA
\r?\n> --- On Mon, 5/4/09, Kurt Sperry <email@example.com>
\r?\n> > From: Kurt Sperry <firstname.lastname@example.org>
\r?\n> > Subject: Re: [CR] Campy Rally Variations??
\r?\n> > To: email@example.com
\r?\n> > Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org
\r?\n> > Date: Monday, May 4, 2009, 1:32 PM
\r?\n> > Not in chronological (or any other sort of) order, but
\r?\n> > here's a
\r?\n> > collection of Rally pics showing all the variants
\r?\n> > familiar with.
\r?\n> > I would assume that those "Rally"s with the
\r?\n> > Record front pieces
\r?\n> > aren't factory as it's a dead simple mod to
\r?\n> > to a Nuovo or
\r?\n> > Super Record unit. But still only, an assumption.
\r?\n> > Kurt Sperry
\r?\n> > Bellingham, Washington
\r?\n> > USA
\r?\n> > 2009/5/4 Jerome & Elizabeth Moos
\r?\n> > <email@example.com>:
\r?\n> > >
\r?\n> > > I was taking inventory a bit this weekend and
\r?\n> > confirmed that in addition to several of the most
\r?\n> > horizonal parallelogram Rallys, mostly installed on
\r?\n> bikes, I
\r?\n> > do have one drop parallelogram Rally, which is
\r?\n> essentially a
\r?\n> > Nuovo Record with a long cage. In fact mine is
\r?\n> > Nuovo Record, not Rally.
\r?\n> > >
\r?\n> > > At one time I thought these NR-type Rallys were
\r?\n> > homebrews, Spense Wolfe being the most famous
\r?\n> > brewer". But there seem too many of them for
\r?\n> > and I think it has been confirmed that in fact Rallys
\r?\n> > this type were produced by the Campy factory. Can
\r?\n> > confirm that some of the factory-produced Rallys were
\r?\n> > actually marked Nuovo Record like mine, or does this
\r?\n> > indeed indicate a homebrew? Also, I had initially
\r?\n> > the NR-type Rallys would have been earlier than the
\r?\n> > horizonal parallelogram type, sort of a transition
\r?\n> from the
\r?\n> > homebrews to proper Rallys. But some past posters
\r?\n> seem to
\r?\n> > indicate that in fact the NR-type was later, perhaps
\r?\n> > address problems with some of the horizonal
\r?\n> > ones breaking just below the upper pivot.
\r?\n> > >
\r?\n> > > Does anyone have a link to a complete timeline of
\r?\n> > Rallys, ideally with photos? Finally can anyone
\r?\n> > the performance of the more familiar horizonal
\r?\n> > Rally with the NR-type drop parallelogram Rally?
\r?\n> > not yet used my NR type, but I would assume it would
\r?\n> > shift as well as the more familiar version, both
\r?\n> because the
\r?\n> > more familiar one had a sprung upper pivot and because
\r?\n> > horizonal parallelogram should have less variation in
\r?\n> > distance between FW and jockey wheels, though not as
\r?\n> good as
\r?\n> > the true slant parallelogram, on which SunTour still
\r?\n> had a
\r?\n> > patent at the time the Rally and the similar design
\r?\n> > Crane were introduced.
\r?\n> > >
\r?\n> > > Despite the issues with some breaking, I consider
\r?\n> > horizonal parallelogram Rally by far the best shifting
\r?\n> > RD in the classic era, and probably the greatest
\r?\n> advance in
\r?\n> > Campy RD history, aside from the replacement of the
\r?\n> > rod-type rear gears with cable operated parallelogram
\r?\n> > RD's in the 50's. This Rally was
\r?\n> > impressive when contrasted with it predecessor, the
\r?\n> > Gran Tourismo.
\r?\n> > >
\r?\n> > > Regards,
\r?\n> > >
\r?\n> > > Jerry Moos
\r?\n> > > Big Spring, Texas, USA