About a couple of years ago I bought a '77 Raleigh Grand Prix from a guy for $25 bucks. It was a bit shagged but still rode real nice and got me back in the saddle after I had been laid up after getting nailed by a garbage truck on my 22 mile daily commute one morning.
As much as I tried to keep the Raliegh up it isn't getting any younger and seems to be quietly falling apart so I decided to reward its good service to me with a total overhaul keeping as much of the original parts as possible with maybe a couple of upgrades like alloy rims and such. One thing badly needing attention though is a small ding in the seat tube below the front derailuer and some paint. Two questions I have:
1) I'm on a really tight budget so I was thinking of just putting some bondo on the ding. It's really small and I haven't noticed any other problems or dammage from the ding. Is this the best way to go?
2) I'm going to go all out on the paint with a nice mulilayer costom job and while some of the decals are chewed up and a lot of them are real 70's horror shows graphics wise, there are some I would like to preserve or duplicate like the little gold Tour de France Team Raliegh 1976 Championship commemorative decal (think it adds history). Is there any way to save decals or get replacements?
I'm thinking that I won't be able to save the decals or find replacements but I had to at least try to see if they were available somewhere.
In truth only you can decide how much to spend on this old
faithful friend. If it were me ,and I really liked the ride
of THIS bike, I'd bondo the dent, paint the frame & not worry
about any stinking decals, replace all the parts that are
worn out with newer up to date iron and ride this bike off
into the sunset pleased with my "new" bike.
Pretty much the idea, and yeah I really like the ride of this bike (It was my first non-store brand bike and it is such a sweet riding bike) Evry bit of eqipment on it is original or replaced with Raliegh parts so I'll follow that tradition.
On painting the bike I will be stripping and knocking off the minor rusting then fixing the ding. Giving it some primer, a nice dignified color (British racing green? Maybe metalic charcoal grey). Replacing the Raliegh name decals (seat post and down tube) by hand with shiney silver leafing stuff in craft stores, replace the Grand Prix decals with the same stuff only have it read "77 Grand Prix. Then multi layer with clear coat.
Yeah this will be a labor of love pretty much and will make it my "nice day for a ride" or "showing off ridin' with the guys" road bike as opposed to my daily commuter bike (that will be my Fuji which I'll do next with fenders and other stuff, paint it florecent yellow or something, lol).
Bronze Green and Coffee are good colors, but they're Super Course colors. In 1983, I painted my green '72 SC a dark blue metallic. It was pretty, but it just didn't look "right." This winter, I'm having Cyclart go back to the original color (the 1972 version, which was changed somewhat for the 1974 model). So, if you've decided to spring for a full paint job, I would recommend going with the original color (was it blue with black sections on the seat and down tubes?). Good luck finding the decals; I'm not having the best of luck in that endeavor.
Really the only decal I'm worried about is the little commemorative decal on it. I can get that copied at one of thos reprographic places. I'm really not trying to make it look "mint" The original color was a medium metalic blue. I'm really shooting for something that looks custom, kind of a statement of my taste and skill. I promise when I'm done I'll be sharing pictures of it here.
In the mean time I appreciate all you inputs. The coffee idea sounds interesting though I'm leaning toward BRG with copper accents (make, model decals and pinstipping maybe even do the lugs in copper). I haven't quite decided yet and I might change my mind before I actually get to the paint store. Maybe when I'm there I'll see something I really like better. Cobalt blue anyone?