John, interesting post - and very nice pics! I agree with the concept of patina lending a level of charm to a frame, unless you are aiming for a showpiece, as you said. In my racing days, non-racers would comment on the chipped, scraped, abused look of my bike - and we had a ready response for those observations: "It's just a hammer" Sure, you wanted the best hammer you could afford, and paid close attention to function, effectiveness, etc. - but a few chips in the handle or paint splashes on a device made for whacking stuff did not effect its usefulness.
So, and probably it has been discussed before, but where do others draw the line at "to patina, or to paint".. personally, i'd say spots of rust that when cleaned leave too much bare metal to hide with dabs of touch-up paint is about the time a repaint is needed.
damien roohr canton, ct busy re-furbishing a factory-made clunker Comp GS, and enjoying every minute!
Link below to photos of my circa 1974 Masi GC (another Masi story, egads...). I feel this frame is a grand example of well earned patina on a no-frills racing tool.
What I like in the close-ups is the fine brazing, nicely thinned lugs, quality materials, hallmarks of excellent construction. But images also reveal lots of file marks, a sure-handed rawness to the metal work that speaks to care in creating a tool for racing, but not extra effort to produce a show bike. The grey-silver paint adds to the effect, a somewhat dull and utilitarian finish, and very thin, just enough to cover the metal.
Also like how this frame shows it's use, nicks and scratches from use, not from being banged around the garage. Even the dirt embedded in the lug shorelines and other crevasses seems collected at speed. Somewhat reluctant to clean it.
Will clean it, however, but the re-build must be without adornment of colorful bar tape or other accessories. Black cloth will do, as will components that are fully functional, but show they've been used. No NOS for this GC.
Current fashion seems to be for un-restored originals, yet see the 71 Masi frame beautifully refinished, how gorgeous is that? Which would you choose?