I recently bought a beautiful-looking 1973 Raleigh International in an eBay auction that a few of you may also have been watching. My winning bid was just over $1K.
I got the bike and was immediately wowed by 1) How beautiful the paint and decals looked for an almost 40-year old bike, and 2) Some of the sloppiest, laziest Raleigh lugwork that I have ever seen; particularly the head tube lugs where they attached to the top and down tubes:
Top tube lug at head tube; drive side by Major Minnow, on Flickr
[More pics with notes in the Flickr album] http://www.flickr.com/photos/6671614...th/6176443041/
Despite the gawdawful head tube-area lugwork (and the seatpost area lugs weren't so hot either) the overall bike looked very good due to the pristine condition of its paint and decals. The Campy NR components were in fine condition, and it appeared that this bike had not been ridden much. ...And as soon as I rode the bike it wasn't more than a block or two that I decided I wouldn't ride this bike much either. Unlike my other International (also a '73), which is a wonderful rider, this International had kind of a "wooden" feel to me. To make matters worse, this International didn't track properly. When riding no handed it pulled slightly, but decidedly, to the right.
LONG STORY SHORT: My LBS (one of the few that I trust with my vintage bikes) examined and measured the green International and confirmed my suspicion that the frame was out of alignment (though fixable). They also warned me about potential problems that could possibly await the frame (or my face) if the head tubes and/or down tubes were not properly brazed to the headtube. [e.g. http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-Raleigh-recap ]
The bike also has a cracked bottom bracket!
Cracked bottom bracket by Major Minnow, on Flickr
I returned the bike to the seller, who, to his credit, refunded my full payment, though the seller disagrees (or at least would not concede to) my "interpretation" that the lug problems or misalignment indicate any structural problem with this "beautiful" bike. Fair enough, I suppose, but what shocked me was that the seller did not question me or express any surprise at all when I told him about the cracked bottom bracket. (Making it seem fairly clear that he already knew that.)
The reason for my post is to warn other C&Vers in the market for an International to ask the right questions, and as a heads-up that the green 1973 International with Capella lugs described above has been relisted by this seller who is using the same auction language as before. The auction is live now (with not much time left) and the bike is still described as a "great rider" with "no dents or dings that I can see." There is certainly no mention of the cracked bottom bracket.
I'd really hate to see anyone let alone someone here get the disappointment of paying real money on what they expect to be their dream International, but instead end up with the little sibling of THIS http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...tional-content)
Ask the right questions. Look at the bottom bracket. Don'e be afraid to ask seller for close up pics of areas not shown.