UPDATE: Finally finished! Check the end of this post for the final result!
I picked up a Lotus Eclair recently. The bike was in pretty bad condition but I could see the diamond through the rough. And I've been wanting to build a touring bike for some time.
(It had a saddle and bar tape, but I removed them before I took the picture)
Tange 2001 Manalloy double-butted frame, Shimano Deore touring group, and a wicked Sakae crankset (its a triple missing the granny ring). The only thing I'm not a fan of are the weak looking rack mounts.
A few more shots:
Imprint on fork crown
Deore downtube shifters
Headtube and badge
I'm calling this a refurbish and not a restore because I plan on using a more modern drivetrain and mostly just keeping the original frame and fork. I'd like to keep the Sakae crankset, but the length is 170mm and I usually spin 175. And the left crankarm doesn't match.
So far I've got the frame broken down. Another shot with the stickers removed and cleaned up a bit. Despite the rust and grime it broke down fairly easily. It was a pleasant surprise.
The plan now is to strip the paint. I haven't decided whether to have it soda blasted or strip it with Tal Strip (done it in the past, its a pain in the rear). Most blasters are quoting me around $150, which is out of my budget for the frame. Sugarcoat lists $75 for blasting but that's still pushing it. I got quoted $50 by a blaster in Rhode Island but its hour drive.
For paint I'm planning on doing it myself with a HVLP spray ***. Current plan is English Racing Green body with a cream headtube and seatpost panel. Also considering English Racing Green body with metalic silver lugs and seatpost panel since the fork looks chromed.
All update the thread when the next step is completed. Let me know what you think! (And if you know a cheap media blaster in the Boston area).
Update 1 (7/14/11):
After several hours of sanding, polishing, and a little very careful painting I'm fairly pleased with the headbadge!
Update 2 (7/29/11):
Frame is back from the sandblaster! Time for some dents to repair some minor dents in the frame!
Update 3 (12/12/11):
Big update, finished body work, primed, painted, applied decals, and finished clear.
Painted the white:
Painted with decal:
With clear and headbadge:
Update 4 (12/23/11):
Finally all assembled and riding. Ran into some drama getting the down tube shifter bosses retapped, but everything turned out okay. Its not classic touring, haters are going to hate, but I like the setup for now.
Let me know what you think! I haven't gotten a comment in this thread since July!