I picked up this Jeunet Franche-Compte frame & fork at the SF Bike Expo this weekend, which I've identified as an early-1970s 630 model. The paint is in BAD shape, lots of deep chips and significant fading. The decals have some blemishes, but are in better shape than the paint. On the bright side, the chrome on the stays, forks, and fork crown is almost flawless - . Reynolds 531 double-butted tubes per specs, despite missing Reynolds sticker. Simplex forged dropouts. I haven't taken any measurements of the seatpost & stem. It's safe to assume the BB threading is French. I paid $25 for the frame, fork, headset, stem and one (front) Mafac Racer caliper, so I'm not in very deep (yet).
Here is a catalog page from Classic Rendezvous:
I would use this as an errand bike, grocery-getter, and maybe rainy-day commuter, but I'm of a few minds how far I take the restoration. One side of me always wants to restore a bike as close to stock as possible--replace decals, respray to match original, build up with original parts--but in this case it's not necessarily a good use of my time & money, especially considering the use I have in mind and the near-total absence of original parts. Another side of me would like to find replacement decals, if possible, respray/repaint (there are some hand-painted details such as pinstriping on the original, which might be fun to reproduce) and then build up with "appropriate" but not necessarily stock parts. Certainly a lot easier than hunting for (difficult to find?) parts and I then have more flexibility with the parts I choose. This is how I am currently leaning. Maybe a candidate for an IGH, something I've been interested in trying.
If decals cannot be sourced, would it even be an option to tape off the existing decals and chrome, and then do a "poor man's" respray around the decals. Has anyone attempted such a thing with good results, or is that just a dumb idea?
Another option is just leave frame as is, and build up as beater. I'll never be thrilled with the bike/paint in it's current condition, but at least it would discourage potential thieves.
I've seen what Southpawboston did with his Jeunet -- which is simply gorgeous (), but more than I have in mind.
I do very much like the pre-faded green color, lugs, and chrome parts; and my collection is in need of a frame with eyelets. It *might* be fun to work on a relatively obscure vintage French bike. That said, I am not emotionally vested. I could always simply post the frame on CL or here on BF (Pay It Forward perhaps), and move on to another project.
Last option: Start thinking about the 2011 Velo-Cheapo!
Finally, for what it's worth, I have completed another challenging frame re-spray. So, while I'm far from an expert, I realize what I'm getting into, and think I am up to the challenge.
What say you?
P.S. Kurt, I saw your comment in an old thread about Jeunet's that you had never seen one with a half-painted fork, just full chrome. Well, here is the half-painted fork version as shown in the catalog.