I bought this frame on eBay at the beginning of this year (2008). It cost me £250 (approx.$500US), plus an arm and a leg to get it sent to me in Japan (shipping from the UK is ridiculously expensive - it cost £98 and took over 3 months to arrive. The Peugeot cost half that from the Netherlands and arrived in 6 days... what!?)
It has original paint but the Reynolds stickers on the down tube and fork blades are a later addition.
Overall, the paint is in very good condition. It has a few nicks here and there but no dings and no rust anywhere. I had the frame looked over by Mercian and they found the chain stays about 1mm out (which they fixed) and the headset and bb not in best condition.
When I bought the frame I hadn't a clue about my ideal frame size and which I now know to be around 61cm c to c and 59cm top tube. This frame is 56cm and 55cm respectively and thus is too small. However, I am going to build it up with a long seatpost and 130mm stem and see if that works. If not, it will be sold. Here's hoping....
actually the blue is a bit darker than Holdsworth Team blue, but pretty amusing to see the orange/blue on a Mercian. Stunning and unique lugs, I hope you treat it to some nice components and can fit it well enough to enjoy the ride.
sced and Unworthy1 - that's interesting about the Holdsworth colours. I notice that this Holdsworth: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=360050647094
has the same, later type of Reynolds sticker that a previous owner has put on this Mercian. Maybe they wanted it to look like a Holdsworth?
For components, I have almost everything I need with the various Campa parts I have but I'm thinking of fitting it with a SunTour Cyclone rear derailleur. I've read very good things about the Cyclone in this forum. Still thinking. I have some very nice black anodised Ambrosio Aero rims that I think would look really good against the orange and blue. Those laced to a pair of high-flange Campa hubs.
I think rather that only the later (531C) style decals were *commonly* available when owners realized that the originals were wasting away, and placing them on the down tube makes it more visible (not hidden by a pump for example). There's nothing "Holdsworth" about either that decal or the placement, many French bikes place the decal on the DT, too.
FWIW, I doubt that that Holdsworth is in fact full 531 given the stamped dropouts: it could be 3-main-tubes DB or all straight-gauge, but I'd caution "buyer beware" (until somebody corrects me).
Edit: just looked it up on Norman Kilgariff's site: "The Equipe was launched 1969-71. It has plain gauge Reynolds tubing" also came with Valentino gears, not a Team replica despite the colors, just a wannabe.
And besides, NObody would mistake that ornate lugwork for a typical Holdsworth, I think they just liked the color combo, and so do I.
Unworthy1, I was very interested in the Holdsworth when I saw it, did a bit of research and found that indeed, that particular bike was straight-gauge and not DB. This from: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/nkilgariff/
"The Equipe was launched 1969-71. It has plain gauge Reynolds tubing, Prugnat lugs and 105cm wheelbase. It was available in orange with blue panels, blue with orange panels or silver with white panels in 1972, although the brochures imply team colours only."
Mind you, I'd rather have that Holdsworth than what the present price (around $200) would buy you from Taiwan.
On the Reynolds stickers, I wonder if there are people who do fix later stickers to bikes in order to make them seem like newer models, like people do with Porsches - I've seen all manner of 911s made out to look like later models. Or, like Windsors decked out to look like Cinellis etc, although maybe that's completely different.