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1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration

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1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration

Old 06-09-18, 08:07 PM
  #1  
djordan
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1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration

Progress notes and photos on restoring a '73 Raleigh Grand Prix.
I bought TWO 1973 Grand Prix's on the cheap last year - a 21" and 23" one. I figured I'd I'd get one good commuter and I built the 21" one nicely (but left it looking like hell).
Now I'm trying to restore the 23" one in a "creative" way.


Here are photos of the two bikes (Second photo shows the 21" already road-worthy)

The 21" (front) and 23" (back) Raleigh Grand Prix's



The 21" on the road and riding nicely - but looks like hell!

Last edited by djordan; 06-09-18 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 06-09-18, 08:16 PM
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Restoring the 23" Grand Prix...

Now here, I'm trying to restore the 23" one.
Finish went from original white to primer, to base metallic, to red metallic to clear top coat:

Primer


Metallic Base Coat


Red Metallic Top Coat Going On


Red Metallic Top Coat


Finish with Clear


Products Used


Products Used

Last edited by djordan; 06-09-18 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 06-09-18, 08:21 PM
  #3  
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"What's the concept here?"
I think I'm going for something that stays true to the original mechanics and specs, but with a somewhat novel (more modern) look.
And still debating whether to put he original cottored cranks back in or sort out how to get a cottorless axle in there.

I'm not trying not to be too ambitious with this... we all know it's a fairly proletariat bike to begin with.
Not practical to transform back to original condition (especially the frame finishing and graphics)
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Old 06-09-18, 08:27 PM
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I think itís cool that you bought two of the same bike! What a great way to get more of what you want out of the same frame. The rattle can paint looks good! Do you know yet what else youíll do to bike #2 yet?
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Old 06-09-18, 08:28 PM
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Now the Graphics and Emblems

Speaking of graphics and emblems... here's what I've got so far:

I found some inexpensive "Raleigh" decals on eBay...


They go on nicely and the color contrasts well


Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out what to do for the seat tube... I first tried vertical letters but then took them off


Here's where it's up to now...
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Old 06-09-18, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Pcampeau View Post
I think it’s cool that you bought two of the same bike! What a great way to get more of what you want out of the same frame. The rattle can paint looks good! Do you know yet what else you’ll do to bike #2 yet?
Thanks for the encouragement... I'm hoping it comes out nice enough to sell to someone... then I can justify the time spend on this fun project!

You've got to love and hate that rattle can... the online advise on DIY bike painting (and rattle can paint jobs) is all over the map...
At one extreme, you've got folks saying "just don't do it! - or just do it but it will come out like crap!"
On the other extreme you've got the "Pro" bike painters advising that you need $400 worth of prep materials, a $2,700 spray gun... you can only spray when humidity is between 43.618% and 43.743%... and make sure the moon is aligned with venus, etc...
Very intimidating.
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Old 06-09-18, 09:07 PM
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Itís certainly coming out nice enough to sell to someone. In my neighborhood of south Minneapolis people tend to pay $200-$250 for reasonably restored Grand Prix bikes. Iím a flipper and Iíve never tried repainting one, but Iíve sold a few and my standard asking price is $225. I think when it comes to Grand Prix, and other bikes of this grade, people want something that looks nice and is mechanically sound with new or newish tires, a clean bottom bracket with fresh grease, and new cables. Your paint job will set you apart from other sellers if you ask a reasonable price.
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Old 06-10-18, 11:46 AM
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Wow! That's great market intelligence Pcampeau
I have the all the parts and tools to restore to nice mechanical shape (cables, housings, ferrules, etc.) and I even have a fresh set of Kenda (vintage look) gumwall tires.
Debating on that bottom bracket though.. Here's the analysis:

PROS to leaving original BB (and crankset):
Less expensive
Original look
No need to fuss with chain line or wheel dish

CONS to leaving original BB (and crankset)
Very heavy
(Future) maintenance more of a hassle
changing crank lengths or conversions more of a hassle
possibly worn

I'm think maybe put it back with new ball bearings and see it how it feels.
If it's smooth, just keep it

PS
I used to live in the Twin Cities!

Last edited by djordan; 06-10-18 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 06-10-18, 01:55 PM
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One hurdle in going with a modern bb/crank on those older Raleigh's with cottered cranks is they tended to use Proprietary threading on the bb shell and cups....ask me how I know A solution to that is to go with a threadless bb like Velo Orange sells but that is $$$ and will blow any resale budget, more of a I am keeping this for myself kind of a purchase.

Nice job on the paint and decals - thought the down tube decals looked fine btw. . I rattle canned an old Azuki that I had stripped down to turn into a single speed, it didn't come out half bad and certainly improved the look of the bike. These days I am a clean it up as good as you can and love the patina kind of guy but for a Grand Prix level bike I think a rattle can is perfectly acceptable.
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Old 06-10-18, 02:36 PM
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I think that using the old bottom bracket is just fine if you use new bearings. Itís what I do if I can.
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Old 06-10-18, 05:34 PM
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Nice job so far. I like the Grand Prix and how they ride. Stick with the original crank set. The seat seat stay loop and the brake bridge are neat features of these bikes. Pretty cool how you hang the frame for painting. Iíve used a lot of ideas reading repaint threads.
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Old 06-11-18, 08:39 PM
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Hi again djordan! Just thought Iíd share some pics of a Grand Prix that my brothers and I restored together. Itís not a flip bike as we would never get our money back on this one but we had a lot of fun putting it together. This ones a 78. Canít wait to see how yours turns out.



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Old 06-16-18, 08:05 PM
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Sweet looking ride there - really clean! Looks like a solid ride.
I like what you've done with handlebar colors too.
And the Brooks? saddle takes it to the next level (don't know if that's original or not)
Now I'm thinking I could borrow some graphics ideas from late 70's

PS
I'm on pause... I think my paint isn't fully cured yet.
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Old 06-16-18, 11:19 PM
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I wonder how long it takes for that paint and clear coat to cure? Are you going to clear coat again over the decals? Iím curious because I would love to attempt a restoration like this one day. Oh and the brooks is not original, itís from another bike I own.
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