B.C. to D.C.
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: between the Popeye's, the liquor store, the funeral home, and the strip club
Bikes: 1992 Miyata Nine 14; 1971 Raleigh Super Course fixie conversion; 2006 Jamis Nova (853 version); 2001 Diamondback Topanga (SS conversion); 1956 Rudge Sports; 1971 Raleigh Competition (processing); 199? Schwinn World Sport (processing)
I would post this over in Classic & Vintage for a positive ID.
I think you're right about the Columbus. The fork looks like steel Columbus forks I've seen. Stick a magnet on it to see if it's aluminium.
From the looks of it to me, it looks fillet-brazed, so it very well could be (probably is) an older, probably higher-end Merckx frame.
Since it's a pure track bike, no brake would get hung there anyways. The rear "brake" bridge is just structural, if anything--same reason the Bianchi pistas all have undrilled bridges.
In any case, it's a beautiful bike. I really like the paint and the track ends.