What would you all think of a ~1979 Le Tour III (made in Japan, I'm assuming Panasonic?)? I saw one today at the local Salvation Army Donation Center, a nice change of pace from the Free-spirts and 1980's Huffy mountain bikes that tend to dominate there.
Orange in Color with some sort of rainbow victory stripes on the seat tube. All the components were pretty shoddy looking, but I didn't exactly get to inspect the bearing races. There were some blemishes in the paint and the chrome fork-tips were marked, but I think I could bring them back up to speed. The biggest deal that I noticed was the seatpin, which tells me that the bottom bracket is probably in pathetic shape too, depending on how it was stored all these years. That and the headset. The rest of the stuff I have spares available.
It was the 23" model, which should be ideal for either myself or someone else who I have in mind and to whom I owe several favors. I was thinking of building a fixed gear from the frame and whatever else was in good shape.
I didn't get it, and now I'm kicking myself, but nobody else around here will know that the frame is actually well built. What do you all think? Should I pick it up for the (probably) modest price when it opens tomorrow morning? How does the "Le Tour III" stack up against other bikes from this period? The plethora of Le Tour models perplexes me a bit. Is it worth the trouble?