Gitane bought Heylett around 1962 or 63. Anquetil won the 1963 TdF on a Gitane. For the next 3-4 years Gitane used his picture on the seat tubes of a lot of their bikes.
I've read that Gitane started using Anquetil's picture before the 1963 TdF and at one point they listed his Heylett TdF victories as their own since they bought Heylett???
In 1968 Gitane switched to the infamous Mylar foil decals. They started using a few Mylar foil decals earlier than that. This would place your bike somewhere between a 1963 and a 1965 model.
This page from a 1964 US Gitane catalog lists 2 bikes similar to yours: the Professional with Stronglight 49 cranks and the Superbe with Campy cranks. They were both listed as having Mafac Tiger brakes.
Check out the catalog section of the GitaneUSA.com website. Join the Forum and post pictures of your Gitane. Someone may have more info for you there.
Here's a link to a 1962 Gitane Competition:
As far as being a "European" model, in those days there probably weren't enough European derailleur bikes being exported to the US to have special models for this market so they were all "European models".
Chas. Colerich - Home for wayward Gitanes - 12 and counting ;-) Oakland, CA USA
Troy Warnick wrote:
> Here is a recent barn bike that is quite the time capsule. Early to mid 1960's Gitane with TA cranks, Mafac Top 63 brakes, Campy hubs and gears. Interesting Anquetil photo on seat tube. I would love to hear from the Gitane experts on this one. Was this a "Europeen" model? A decal on the seat tube hints at this. All original and should clean up to be presentable.
> Have a nice ride,Troy WarnickOlympia, WAoldschoolbicycles.com