Saved from the dump, I grabbed this Grand Prix due to it having a decent fork of the correct size that I needed for one of my bikes, and a nice SunTour group I used to upgrade my wife's Raleigh Sprite. I'm hoping the collective experience here can give me some answers to some questions I have about this frame.
I'm not sure exactly what to do with this frame, the inside of the tubing actually seems in good shape but the outside looks fairly hopeless to recover with very much of the paint left. Not to mention the original Raleigh decals are IMHO just hideous on this model, and the seatstays are kind of weird looking at the top, coming to a loop instead of capped ends like I'm used to... Not sure if that's an indication of quality, or just a different design style?
It's 20-30 High Tensile Steel and the serial number puts it to 1979. Some of the mystery bits of SunTour I had spare match the exact grouping pictured in the catalog, so I guess this is where I got them from. I stripped the bike for the fork a year ago, and hadn't paid close attention to the rest of the parts, which was silly, but I was really excited about finding another 58cm (center of BB to top of TT) frame with a decent fork.
It says Nottingham England on the headbadge, but there is a sticker on the seat tube near the BB that says "Made In Canada" so I guess it was probably made in one of the Canadian plants.
A bunch of close up photos follow to give an idea of the frame's condition.
What can I do with this frame?
Is getting a large plastic container and switching from vinegar to stronger OA going to make this thing look any better with less scraping at the paint?
Should I just strip it and rattle can it and use it for a beater?
Is this frame of a quality worth paying to get powder coated?
Should I just walk/run away now?
The paint looks to be pretty much ruined on this bike... Some of the nastier bits I've not touched yet, the top of the bottom bracket and the chainstay:
I've been trying some rust-removal experiments on this frame. I don't have a plastic bin that can fit it for an acid bath so I tried some paper towels soaked in white vinegar, wrapped in plastic that was taped on and let it sit for a while.
Just wiping it off after that yields sub-part results, btw:
A little more attention with just a brass brush yielded slightly better results at the cost of some paint. On the right of the photo there was an after-market sticker that I removed, the frame was slightly nicer under it's protection, naturally. On the left you can see that the Grand Prix logo was a big sticker set on a clear background, so I can assume the paint is in slightly better shape underneath all of the decals/stickers on the bike.
Using a brass brush and some steel wool (it's a pretty rough frame I don't know what to do with, I know I should have used brass wool... I wiped it clean frequently to remove as much steel dust as possible)
Thanks for any help, suggestions or info you can provide.