Originally Posted by Bikedued
That really is a great looking bike! I haven't even seen a photo of one for years. I really love the chainguard ring... on a Dura-Ace crankset!
And, Dura-Ace center-pulls, too! I have a pair of those calipers too. Interesting how the engineers at Shimano simply could not just leave the venerable Universal and Weinmann center-pulls alone; they just had to tweak them a wee little bit more. To be perfectly honest, I can see some clear logic behind their minute modifications, but...
As for the "VC" logos...
That was pretty ironic. I wonder how many people said "I ain't never gonna buy no damned imported VC bike!" Oops! BAD marketing decision!
Actually, the Viet Cong bikes used in Nam were often converted French touring bikes - relics from the disastrous French occupation of Indochine during the late 40s through 50s... which they then brilliantly reinforced to carry hundreds of pounds of supplies through narrow jungle trails. Alas, the humble touring bicycle ultimately won out over all the B-52 saturation bombings, napalm, agent orange and the most modern technology of the day.
Here is a wonderful quote from Harrison Salisbury, addressing Senator William Fulbright and the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in October, 1967:
Salisbury: "I literally believe that without bikes they'd have to get out of the war"
Fulbright: "Does the Pentagon know about this?"
Apparently not. We under-estimated the potential of simple 19th century two-wheeled technology... (well, that among other factors)
I've seen recent internet photos showing some of those bikes, now "demilitarized"... still in use as cargo bikes in Hanoi markets and in tiny villages all over the region.