Is this a Chicao-built Le Tour? The number on the left rear dropout is SJ085178, which according to Schwinn Bulletin 23, indicates the frame is from September 1980:
"Le Tour (and Super Le Tour) numbers (1978-80 and 1982 on) include the letter "S" with a production month letter followed by a series of numbers, the first one telling the year of production (8=1978, 0=1980). Example: SC94653 = March, 1979."
It was reported on this list the letter “I” was not used, so J = September.
Earlier posts on the topic indicate Le Tours were built in Chicago in 1979 and 1980.
So far, so good, but the number on the head tube badge is 0892, which indicates assembly was on the 89th day of 1982. This doesn’t match up well with the October 1980 date on the frame, so what happened? Could it be the frame was built in 1980, but the final assembly wasn’t until 1982? As I understand it, the Chicago factory closed in 1982 (1983?), so could the final assembly have taken place in Chicago?
There’s no country of origin decal on the frame, but the finish is worn.
I realize there’s no collector market for these bikes, but as a Chicago native, I’d be interested in restoring this bike or passing it on to someone who’s interested if I can be reasonably sure the frame was built and/or the final assembly done in Chicago.
Lots of photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/4936361...7627786278967/
Thanks for your help!