Found this site the other night when I googled "Raleigh modification". I have a 72 Gran Prix which I bought new; the rear axle was bent and front axle threads stripped and I was looking for alternatives. Since then the bike has been in the shop for new wheels (700's, cassette to replace freewheel on rear for better bearing support to the axle).
I rode the Raleigh a lot when I was in college in WV in the early '70s, and again when stationed at RAF Mildenhall/UK in the mid-'80s, but not since. I did not take it to Germany (Bamberg) with me in the late '70s, but I did go through a couple of department-store Puegeots from the PX while there. I won't claim to have been fast, but I got to the big ring, and wherever I was going, as quick as I could. In Germany, I regularly blew off mofas (25kph mopeds) and ran with the 40kph mopeds - there was a moped gang (think "Hell's Elves") in the next village that did not like me. As I recall, there's only one fellow I never beat on a bicycle, but that only shows my limited contact with other riders.
I bought a Specialized Rockhopper 23 to use on the local farm roads - it's a good bike, perfect for my real needs, but it's no road burner. I got the Raleigh down from the rafters cuz I don't want to leave it behind, and I plan to keep it at the bus barn and ride it every day, but I am saving for something newer/stiffer/faster.
Goals: commute on the rockhopper (11 miles, one-way) this year; ride the RAGBRAI with my brother (a regular) on the Raleigh next year; lose weight, cut blood pressure, get fit; find that dude I never beat, or any available substitute, and drop him. HOO-aah.