From 1982 to about 2008, my (1972?) Lambert Grand Prix was the only bike I owned. I got it from a guy who raced it for ten years then sold it to me as a frameset; "Death Fork" on the side. It was my campus bike during the school year and recreational rider in the summer. It was built up mostly with a bunch of leftover parts from a badly bent Schwinn Le Tour, plus a few pieces from the LBS. I remember the guy at the LBS practically begging me to buy a pair of alloy rims when he put it together for me. "No way dude, $60? Are you nuts?"
Fast forward to 2010, being a woodworker kinda guy, I built a wooden trunk for the back rack and a wooden fender for the front. Neato! I started commuting on this thing on nice days and could haul some groceries without wearing them on my back. Bent rims and worn out brake pads prompted me to finally upgrade to alloy wheels (about $80, now. Inflation, I guess) Forty bucks for new tires? You gotta be kidding me!
Not long after that, I logged onto Bike Forums for the first time, clicked on the Classic & Vintage thread, and the floodgates sorta opened up. I picked up a lot of bikes over the next couple years, mostly mid-level stuff at garage-sale prices. Since the Lambert wasn't getting ridden any more, I decided it would be fun to repaint it; the original paint was really beat up. Since Lambert is one of the few marques for which there are no good repro decals available, I decided a custom job, rather than a restoration would be the ticket. Chemical strip, high-build primer, wet sand, wash, then prep with mineral spirits before spraying it with a couple coats of appliance epoxy in can. Black and white, pretty straightforward. Parts from other bikes updating and upgrading a nice, light (but somewhat whippy) frame back down to a reasonably light 24 lbs; neato!