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Old 06-21-09, 12:49 PM   #1
-holiday76
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A gift - WWII Foot Locker and a Fuji

My fiancee and I had our baby shower yesterday. One of my dad's good friends whom I've done some touring with but havent seen in a few years approached me during the party mentioning that he had his father's foot locker from WWII and he wanted to give it to me. He know's that I like WWII stuff. I said I'd be happy to take it. We got to talking eventually he also mentioned he had an "old 70's Fuji" that he'd love if I'd take as well. Of course I said yes.

So today I went over to his house and picked them both up.



It's a Fuji Finest.




it's been sitting in my dad's friends basement since at least the 80's, maybe sooner. There is a bunch of gunk and some surface rust, but I think it will clean up nicely. I've done nothing to it yet but bring it home.

It does have sew on clement tires which I have no experience with. It's very light too.

That an old taller Nitto stem along with some other cool vintage Japanese parts. And Campy brake line clamps.

I have many other projects to work on, but I think I'm going to go back out and work on this one some more. I've already taken many more details pics in it's grimy state which I'll be posting later today.

I love the chrome lugs. It's even my size. This one is going to have to be a keeper. I can't wait to get it immaculate and then show it to my Dad's friend who told me he didnt even think I could get parts for it any more...

To be continued...
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Old 06-21-09, 01:25 PM   #2
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It looks like a Fuji Finest from the early 1970s. The Fuji name only came to the U.S. in 1971, so your is an interesting one to have, and should be a super nice riding road bike.

You might want to get your dad's friend a thank you gift for this little treasure!

http://classicfuji.com/1973_03_Finest_Page.htm
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Old 06-21-09, 02:15 PM   #3
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And Campy brake line clamps.
Score!

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I can't wait to get it immaculate and then show it to my Dad's friend who told me he didnt even think I could get parts for it any more...
Now that's a worthy mission.


Oh, and Campy Biodinamica aero bottles have nothing on "The Flask!"
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Old 06-21-09, 02:36 PM   #4
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Don't you just love free bikes? Especially ones of this caliber. Can't wait to see it restored in all its glory.
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Old 06-21-09, 03:20 PM   #5
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More pics as it came home:






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Old 06-21-09, 03:22 PM   #6
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Old 06-21-09, 03:25 PM   #7
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I probably wouldnt eat off of it, even if I did have my tetanus shots.
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Old 06-21-09, 03:37 PM   #8
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And here it is after a can of red bull and an hour:











So why is the crank still on? Because it just about broke my crank extractor (crappy spin doctor) and my face trying to get it off, so I gave it. I'm going to have my LBS do it and I'm ordering a better extractor.
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Old 06-21-09, 04:42 PM   #9
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Would another set of wheels with clincher rims be a possible option for you? Keeping the other set for posterity of course.

While looking at these pictures, the idea of having an auto body shop hit it with clear coat...maybe while they are clear coating a car...came to mind. They are spraying already, so maybe it wouldn't be that expensive. Better than "rattle can" clear coat? Clear coat can do wonders to old paint...and touch up paint, too.
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Old 06-21-09, 05:02 PM   #10
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Some of the rust remaining on the chrome would benefit from oxalic acid treatment IMHO.

Here's what it did for my Lotus. Search the forum for more details, be sure to sort by relevance.

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Old 06-21-09, 05:14 PM   #11
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That is a cool story!

Not to hijack this,
but it looks like it has the exact same components and lugs as my (i thought) early 80's campania professional.
I had heard that FUJI had made them and someone imported to LA,
this kinda confirms that.



suntour cyclone derailleur, diacompe center pull brakes, sugino mighty cranks, nitto bars, sunshine hubs, chrome lugs...

Yeah it is ugly but it is a work-horse,
(my grandfather had it in his shed, so it has some sentimental value)

Thanks !

TP
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Old 06-21-09, 05:20 PM   #12
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Mmmmmmm, chrome stays and lugs are good, even better when they are FREE! You are a lucky guy, congratulations!
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Old 06-21-09, 05:43 PM   #13
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And here it is after a can of red bull and an hour:

What did you use to clean the bike and get all the rust off?
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Old 06-21-09, 06:19 PM   #14
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A Fuji Finest is a wonderful thing!

Scott
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Old 06-21-09, 06:36 PM   #15
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OK, I'll bite.
As a fellow WW II buff, what was in the footlocker?
Top
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Old 06-21-09, 06:42 PM   #16
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Would another set of wheels with clincher rims be a possible option for you? Keeping the other set for posterity of course.

While looking at these pictures, the idea of having an auto body shop hit it with clear coat...maybe while they are clear coating a car...came to mind. They are spraying already, so maybe it wouldn't be that expensive. Better than "rattle can" clear coat? Clear coat can do wonders to old paint...and touch up paint, too.
I might be throwing another set of 27" clinchers I have for now. I don't race and I do tend to gets flats now and again, so the tubulars don't seem very good for my uses. I like the clear coat idea, but I still have a lot of rust removal and cleanup to do, so we'll see.

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Some of the rust remaining on the chrome would benefit from oxalic acid treatment IMHO.
I agree and I'll probably be giving that a try soon. I've done some searching on the subject and I can't seem to figure out if it willl damage the paint though....

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What did you use to clean the bike and get all the rust off?
So far just soapy water and a little but of 000 steel wool.
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Old 06-21-09, 06:45 PM   #17
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OK, I'll bite.
As a fellow WW II buff, what was in the footlocker?
Top
just a duffle bag and a mesh net of some sort. He was in the South Pacific.



it was nice it had the original shelf as many of these I've seen do not.
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Old 06-21-09, 07:38 PM   #18
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It's a nice bike for sure. I know it will look great when you're finished with it. So far, the clean up is looking good. Please keep us posted with updated pictures. I'm looking forward to seeing it finished.
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Old 06-21-09, 08:23 PM   #19
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I am sure it is going to look great! It is cleaning up nice so far, looking forward to seeing it finished. Cool story!

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Old 06-21-09, 09:11 PM   #20
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Nice!! Old Fujis are great machines. I love the chrome on the Finest!

Karl
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Old 06-21-09, 09:49 PM   #21
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Cool bike, thats a great score. I missed a finest by a slim margin last year....
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Old 06-22-09, 04:52 AM   #22
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Be really careful with the steel wool, it removes rust AND chrome. The chrome plating on bicycles is a very thin layer. Any abrasive removes at least part of the layer. I ruined a chrome fork this way before I discovered oxalic. Never again.
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Old 06-22-09, 06:15 AM   #23
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I have a '72 Finest. The ride is amazingly smooth - the bike feels like it is alive. I've run it with both 27" and 700c wheels. The frame and the brakes can handle either. It took riding a few other "better" bikes for me to appreciate just how special a bike it is. The main thing that put me off was it having a 144 BCD crankset. With our hills, that didn't work so well for me. I have swapped the crankset out with a Sugino Mighty Touring (130 BCD), and I like that so well that mine is making a comeback as my randonneuring rig.
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Old 06-22-09, 07:03 AM   #24
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What did you use to clean the bike and get all the rust off?
So far just soapy water and a little but of 000 steel wool.
Awww, I thought he said he'd used Red Bull for that, which really got my attention.
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Old 06-22-09, 07:38 AM   #25
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Awww, I thought he said he'd used Red Bull for that, which really got my attention.
that would be a cool experiment. i've heard rumors coke might actually work and I've been thinking of giving it a try.

That said I was completely joking about drinking Red Bull. I tried it once and it was really disgusting.. I don't know how people drink that stuff.
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