Hi guys -
Bought a very nice 3Rensho the other day. 3Ren frame.JPG
As you can see, it's barren of decals with the exception of the head tube and the chr-mo decal on the seat tube. The frame is mostly very clean with a few small chips and a couple of minute dings. Talked to Andrew at Yellow Jersey and he informed me that the frame I have is a TR-Keirin Japan-only model, not for export and probably for the Keirin circuit, and that these generally were NOT clear coated (and he thought that also might be why most of the decals were missing). I ordered a set of factory decals from him because, well, once they're gone they're gone for good and I don't want to regret NOT getting them when I had the chance.
Here's my dilemma: I LOVE the 3Ren logo - I think it's a spot on amalgam of Cologno-esque Italian and Japanese style. But I want the bike to be as honest a build/restoration as possible. And, from what I understand, the best method for applying the decals now (since it's already been painted) is buffing the finish and clear coating them. Since they weren't clear coated to begin with, I'm kinda loathe to do that because I want the bike to look like it's supposed to look. Will clear coating change the look of the bike significantly? And, since I understand the stock/best way to apply decals is within a few hours of painting, is there any way to apply decals (years) post painting that will result in a sweet, quality (factory fresh looking) result? Would a good painting shop be able to rub out the (very few) chips and (VERY few) SUPER tiny rust ticks? I.E. would taking this to a professional bike paint person result in this bike looking like Mr Yoshi Konno thought it should? And if it's possible to do this, got some recommendations in the NYC area?
To add to my confusion, as much as I love the 3Ren logo, I also kinda dig riding a mostly brand-less, nice bike.
Comments, suggestions very much welcomed.
Thanks in advance!