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Whats so special about Italian bikes?

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Whats so special about Italian bikes?

Old 01-09-19, 12:06 PM
  #176  
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They just feel different. I don't really know which bike is 'better'. I know it's OT but I do prefer Campy over Shimano. Campy has... more mechanical feel to it. It's more engaging, while Shimano is easier to use and just... works. Frame-wise I think the Italian offers more planted feel while Japanese feels softer. I think it's just matter of preference imho.
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Old 01-10-19, 05:26 AM
  #177  
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aand thread participants/lurkers just discovered what "laterally stiff but vertically compliant" really means after the sophia and gina pics...
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Old 01-10-19, 07:35 AM
  #178  
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
Nope. Just different.
Apparently you have spent your time riding junk if you think for one second that any of the Japanese bikes could hold a candle to Pinarello, Basso or Colnago.

I should expand on this: I'm sure that if you had a custom bike made in Japan from a good frame-maker that you could get as good a bike as anywhere. But all of the Japanese bikes I owned and ridden were very middle of the road and the handling was more laid back than just about any Italian bike I've ridden. I've been riding for 40 years and have always been interested in trying every bike I could. Presently I have 7 bikes and two frames in my garage. In general I use Campy Record stuff but I will admit that the Ultegra and DuraAce are probably better groups. I just can't get used to using them after all this time on Campy.

But the Centurions, Bridgestones and the like that ended up here were all far below the high quality steel Italians bikes that are all over the place. Though carbon fiber bikes are altogether different and for my money Taiwan has a pretty clear lead.

Last edited by RiceAWay; 01-11-19 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 01-11-19, 10:57 AM
  #179  
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Originally Posted by RiceAWay View Post
Apparently you have spent your time riding junk if you think for one second that any of the Japanese bikes could hold a candle to Pinarello, Basso or Colnago.


I should expand on this: I'm sure that if you had a custom bike made in Japan from a good frame-maker that you could get as good a bike as anywhere. But all of the Japanese bikes I owned and ridden were very middle of the road and the handling was more laid back than just about any Italian bike I've ridden. I've been riding for 40 years and have always been interested in trying every bike I could. Presently I have 7 bikes and two frames in my garage. In general I use Campy Record stuff but I will admit that the Ultegra and DuraAce are probably better groups. I just can't get used to using them after all this time on Campy.


But the Centurions, Bridgestones and the like that ended up here were all far below the high quality steel Italians bikes that are all over the place. Though carbon fiber bikes are altogether different and for my money Taiwan has a pretty clear lead.

I am pretty new here, but 'junk'? well, that's not nice...

I'd respectably disagree with you. I had chance to ride some of the great frames(steel) from both countries(and some others too like .. French, Spanish, and America). I still would say that they are 'different'. I suggest you to give a chance to likes of 3Rensho and such. I had chance to ride one a while back and really liked it. On the other hand, I was a bit disappointed with Colnago Master(but I love my De Rosa). It rides good but I find it a bit twitch. Sure, may be it is my set up or may be it just need precisa fork on it(came with raked fork). What ever it is... I wouldn't call it a 'junk' nor I would call other people's ride a with that word.


MAy Happy and Safe Miles to you.
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Old 01-11-19, 11:12 AM
  #180  
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I just like bikes. I wouldn't malign a good road bike by putting my heavy hindquarters on it and bending the rims but that's why there is another Schwinn middleweight cruiser coming soon. But you show me a Colnago, Peugeot or a Colson even and I'm down.

Still want another Plymouth Duster or to build a hybrid Savoy businessman's coupe before I check out but I have 7 cruisers and hopefully no. 8 this spring, you get the picture.
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Old 01-11-19, 11:52 AM
  #181  
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Originally Posted by RiceAWay View Post
Apparently you have spent your time riding junk if you think for one second that any of the Japanese bikes could hold a candle to Pinarello, Basso or Colnago.

I've been riding for 40 years and have always been interested in trying every bike I could.

But the Centurions, Bridgestones and the like that ended up here were all far below the high quality steel Italians bikes that are all over the place.
Time to reboot.

The year is 1988.

You are given $1,000 USD to spend for a NEW lightweight racer.

What do you buy?
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Old 01-11-19, 12:10 PM
  #182  
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Harsh, but then I spotted the newbie tag. I would use caution in making general statements like these without knowing the bicycle experience of members on the board. Not a wise decision. Just some early advice. Carry on.

Originally Posted by RiceAWay View Post
Apparently you have spent your time riding junk if you think for one second that any of the Japanese bikes could hold a candle to Pinarello, Basso or Colnago.

I should expand on this: I'm sure that if you had a custom bike made in Japan from a good frame-maker that you could get as good a bike as anywhere. But all of the Japanese bikes I owned and ridden were very middle of the road and the handling was more laid back than just about any Italian bike I've ridden. I've been riding for 40 years and have always been interested in trying every bike I could. Presently I have 7 bikes and two frames in my garage. In general I use Campy Record stuff but I will admit that the Ultegra and DuraAce are probably better groups. I just can't get used to using them after all this time on Campy.

But the Centurions, Bridgestones and the like that ended up here were all far below the high quality steel Italians bikes that are all over the place. Though carbon fiber bikes are altogether different and for my money Taiwan has a pretty clear lead.
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Old 01-11-19, 12:27 PM
  #183  
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Originally Posted by RiceAWay View Post
Apparently you have spent your time riding junk if you think for one second that any of the Japanese bikes could hold a candle to Pinarello, Basso or Colnago.

Hmm, I have owned a Pinarello Montello (SLX), a Basso (SLX, by D'Arienzo), a Cinelli-made Centurion (SL), a Cinelli Super Corsa (SLX), a Mondonico (SLX), a Simoncini (SLX), a Merckx Corsa Extra (SLX), a DeRosa Professional (SLX), a Tommaso (SLX), a carbon Merckx, and a carbon Cinelli.

Hmm, I have owned "junk" such as a Bridgestone Radac, Centurion Semi Pro, Lotus Classique, enough Centurion Ironman models to fill a garage, and such US "junk" as 2 Paramounts, 531 Treks, three Cannondales.

Just so you don't think I'm out of touch, I currently own a Pinarello Record, a Merckx Professional, a Cinelli Super Corsa, a Colnago Super, 2 Centurion Ironman models, a Centurion Comp TA, a (gasp! Taiwan) Raleigh Competiton, a modern US Wraith, 80's custom Fiorini, a Teledyne Titan, Raleigh International, and a couple of carbons.

I should expand on this: I'm sure that if you had a custom bike made in Japan from a good frame-maker that you could get as good a bike as anywhere. But all of the Japanese bikes I owned and ridden were very middle of the road and the handling was more laid back than just about any Italian bike I've ridden. I've been riding for 40 years and have always been interested in trying every bike I could.

Got me there, I've only been riding for about 55 years, but hey, I took a break for about 12 years to serve and defend for the big money.

Presently I have 7 bikes and two frames in my garage. In general I use Campy Record stuff but I will admit that the Ultegra and DuraAce are probably better groups. I just can't get used to using them after all this time on Campy.

Presently I have 12 bikes and two frames in my bike room. In general, I use Dura Ace, but the Ultegra is pretty close, especially R8000. I've had Campy Record Carbon, which was slow, and currently run 10sp Centaur, 7sp Synchro Chorus, and 7sp friction Super Record on 3 bikes. The Centaur is as nice as the Ultegra, but nothing touches 9sp Dura Ace (the 11sp is very close). Oh, yeah, and the Colnago is fairly ponderous, so I'm putting 9sp Dura Ace on it in lieu of the 10-sp Campy I'd gathered.

But the Centurions, Bridgestones and the like that ended up here were all far below the high quality steel Italians bikes that are all over the place.

When you talk about high "quality," do you mean the paint? Not. Do you mean the decals? Not. Do you mean the quality of the brazing and lugs? Not. Tsunoda's precision may be "cold," but it's precise, and I'll put a '79 Semi Pro or '84 Lotus Classique up against any Italian marque costing 4x as much.

Though carbon fiber bikes are altogether different and for my money Taiwan has a pretty clear lead.

You forgot modern steel, where US bespoke builders are easily creating as good, if not better, models than anyone, much less Italians or Klingons. For less than the price of a new Super Corsa, you can get a custom frame, built to your specs, with equal or better brazing, paint, and graphics. From at least a dozen folks.
I can only say, in response to my riding junk, that apparently, you have spent your time in a narrow world, confident in your own limited experience.
Perhaps. It may behoove you to cease using the Road Forum etiquette here. We don't (generally) operate like that.

Think outside your Italian box. Ride my junk bikes any time.

I disagree with you, and feel qualified to say so. I did the Ironman, on an Ironman. It was a decision not made lightly. The LBS offered me "better," but I danced with the babe I'd brung, and she was fine.

I'll show up and ride on many nice bikes, but given a 'druther (and I do have a 'druther or two), I'm riding my '88 Ironman. It's as good, period. And of course, it was 1/5 the price then, and is generally 1/5 the price now, unless my alleged hype has boosted it to 1/4 or 1/3.

My Colnago is nice, but not an Ironman. The Pinarello is slightly nicer, but not 5x, 4x, 3x, 2x. Maybe 2% better.

Furthermore, I once had idle curiosity, and couldn't leave well enough alone, so I outfitted my DeRosa, Merckx Corsa Extra, and an '88 Ironman with the same DA 2x9 downtube shifters, DA hubs laced to Velocity A23's, same 700x25 Conti GP4000SII's. Indistinguishable. All rode like silk.

Doesn't mean Italian bikes are not cool. They have an intrinsic character, through which you can feel and read the mind and hands of a craftsman. They sell for more because of people like you, which is fine.

As I've said before, the approach was different.

Different, not better.


That'll be 3.50
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Old 01-11-19, 12:43 PM
  #184  
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Originally Posted by Erzulis Boat View Post
What is so special about vintage Italian bikes?

The fact that they could get away with murder. My newest Eroica bike is a 1979 SOMEC, and in in lockstep fashion, the fine finishing and painting are atrocious. Head scratchingly (word?) bad. Rides great, but how much of that perception is mystique driven, and not objective? I will never know, and hope that remains so.
Quoting myself. I will say it again.
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Old 01-11-19, 12:47 PM
  #185  
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Originally Posted by Erzulis Boat View Post
Quoting myself. I will say it again.
Yeah, you were right the first time, too.
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Old 01-11-19, 12:48 PM
  #186  
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Originally Posted by RiceAWay View Post
I've been riding for 40 years and have always been interested in trying every bike I could. Presently I have 7 bikes and two frames in my garage.
Please consider a couple of things. First, your cycling experience and expertise is typically average here. Second and more important is recognizing the tenor of the C&V forum. Don't be strident and say things that indirectly insult the integrity of members because you have no idea who you are talking to. Express your opinions politely. (pot calling kettle...)

edit. I see Robbie responded 1st. There it is.
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Old 01-12-19, 12:06 PM
  #187  
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Another beautiful Italian, and she could sing beyond the others, just like their bikes Don
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Old 01-12-19, 04:00 PM
  #188  
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Italians can be beautiful ... or just super cute.

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Old 01-13-19, 01:00 AM
  #189  
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We have a plant in Italy and one in Japan. Lots of people have gone to both to help train. The Japanese are perfectionists the Italians not so much. We got wings from them that required about as much rework as it would have taken us to build them. We aren't perfect either but we do manage to build the most complicated fighter ever built.
Disclaimer I have never ridden a Italian bike but I have worked on a Italian wing and stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.
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Old 01-13-19, 07:52 AM
  #190  
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Originally Posted by RiceAWay View Post
Apparently you have spent your time riding junk if you think for one second that any of the Japanese bikes could hold a candle to Pinarello, Basso or Colnago.


Oh .... it's a Newbie. I'll hold my tongue.

I will say this. I will sell my Basso, my De Rosa and several of my other Italian bikes under certain circumstances.

I will not sell this Fuji!





Some people are just blinded by their "superior" knowledge.
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Old 01-13-19, 08:54 AM
  #191  
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It is a big and diverse cycling universe.
With many size asses (arms, legs and torsos) to be fit.
Various types of roads and off roads to be ridden.
There is no 'best'.
The Emperor has no clothes, not even an Italian one.

I like Swiss bikes.
after a few dozen classic bikes owned, the best one is the one you are riding today = with lightweight tubular wheels and expensive tires!
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Old 01-13-19, 12:47 PM
  #192  
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I was fine on the 2 Japanese bikes I rode - until I got my first Italian, a Basso Gap. Wow, the Basso just felt alive, fast and agile. I was in love and never looked back. I sold my Japanese bikes. I will say that they were decent bikes, and did everything ok, but they didn't do anything great. Very utilitarian I guess you could say. And I know that 2 bikes might not be enough to judge, and I'm sure there is a high end Japanese frame that is great, but every Italian I have is great and I think that is the difference. I now have 5 Italians and each one has that same lively, quick feel to it. Just MHO guys.

I guess its kind of like my daughter's Fiat Abarth 500. Quirky and not the easiest car to live with everyday, but I don't think I've ever had more fun on 4 wheels in my life. Its just got that Italian thing, passion? A Toyota might be a better "value", and surely less quirky, but more fun? Doubtful.
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Old 01-13-19, 01:13 PM
  #193  
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post


Oh .... it's a Newbie. I'll hold my tongue.

I will say this. I will sell my Basso, my De Rosa and several of my other Italian bikes under certain circumstances.

I will not sell this Fuji!





Some people are just blinded by their "superior" knowledge.
Holy Canoli! THAT IS BEAUTIFUL "JUNK"!! Have no idea how it rides, but I'll jump on that bike first before most in my stable, anytime, based on what I see! Plus my experience with similar components.
And you can be sure that the paint, decals and the chrome on that is not of the "quick release" variety like some "junky" bikes we knew in the 80's, made by famous bike companies....
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Old 01-13-19, 01:45 PM
  #194  
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Originally Posted by TXsailor View Post
We have a plant in Italy and one in Japan. Lots of people have gone to both to help train. The Japanese are perfectionists the Italians not so much. We got wings from them that required about as much rework as it would have taken us to build them. We aren't perfect either but we do manage to build the most complicated fighter ever built.
Disclaimer I have never ridden a Italian bike but I have worked on a Italian wing and stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.
Long ago, Art Stump made this comment about Campagnolo, "they are accurate where they Need to be, elsewhere, it is just visual" He was in the shop to buy chainrings to mill and drill, he was looking for big rings where the stamped "kidney" shaped cutouts were uniformly placed in relationship to the machining.
Currently, I have some eyeglasses on order, made in Italy, well they might still need to be made as they are way overdue, the optometrist offered to send out another pair to have the lenses ready when the frames arrived. I advised that would be risky, "they are Italian".
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Old 01-13-19, 02:45 PM
  #195  
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Originally Posted by RiceAWay View Post
Apparently you have spent your time riding junk if you think for one second that any of the Japanese bikes could hold a candle to Pinarello, Basso or Colnago.
Yet another example of the Dunning-Kruger effect in action w/ a bit of 41-ism thrown in, rude and ignorant as well as a Trollish screen name.

edit: There's that button: Ignore "RiceAWay"

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Old 01-13-19, 02:45 PM
  #196  
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I remember in the early 90's when my boss was showing off his just bought Ferrari Mondial to me in his garage and he lifted the front cowl. I was kind of shocked to see parts on the cowl that looked like they came from an aluminum window manufacturer. Things like the aluminum intake slats looked like they were sourced from plain stock angle extrusions that you would see on cheaply made aluminum framed window assemblies. Same with the way they were screwed and riveted to the bodywork, almost like they were just put together by a high school shop class. The effect was like seeing the backs of beautiful Hollywood sets and seeing just bare scaffolding instead of real buildings.
Is it bad that Ferrari did this with their cars? I don't think so, as ultimately it did not affect the performance of their cars, and they do look beautiful.
Different companies from different countries will never have the same method for product delivery, but the goal is usually the same anyway. Get the buying public what they want and they will come back and buy from you again. It's the company that does not make horrible "junk" that will survive in the end, regardless of country of origin.
My boss might have thought that the Honda Accord hatchback I was driving back then was just boring Japanese "junk" back then, but dang, I sure was happy enough with it, as much as he was with his Ferrari, I'm sure.
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Old 01-13-19, 02:52 PM
  #197  
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
Yet another example of the Dunning-Kruger effect in action w/ a bit of 41-ism thrown in, rude and ignorant.

-Bandera
I think we can stop beating on this guy, lest we become what we are complaining about. He's taken his lumps and then some and Robbie Tunes, whom the post was directed towards, has aptly defended himself.
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Old 01-13-19, 03:33 PM
  #198  
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Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
I remember in the early 90's when my boss was showing off his just bought Ferrari Mondial to me in his garage and he lifted the front cowl. I was kind of shocked to see parts on the cowl that looked like they came from an aluminum window manufacturer. Things like the aluminum intake slats looked like they were sourced from plain stock angle extrusions that you would see on cheaply made aluminum framed window assemblies. Same with the way they were screwed and riveted to the bodywork, almost like they were just put together by a high school shop class. The effect was like seeing the backs of beautiful Hollywood sets and seeing just bare scaffolding instead of real buildings.
Is it bad that Ferrari did this with their cars? I don't think so, as ultimately it did not affect the performance of their cars, and they do look beautiful.
Different companies from different countries will never have the same method for product delivery, but the goal is usually the same anyway. Get the buying public what they want and they will come back and buy from you again. It's the company that does not make horrible "junk" that will survive in the end, regardless of country of origin.
My boss might have thought that the Honda Accord hatchback I was driving back then was just boring Japanese "junk" back then, but dang, I sure was happy enough with it, as much as he was with his Ferrari, I'm sure.
The Mondial, in frank speaking, was a poseurs car. 'Steer' clear.

Moving past that subject, Ferrari firstly was a racer and race car specialist. At my earliest recollection seeing a late 50s Ferrari in a shop, this around 1970. The metal fabrication sub-floor had traces of a salvaged Italian advert road sign. I was a youngster but the mechanic told me metal was scarce and expensive for small manufacturing companies, even a good decade post WW2.
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Old 01-13-19, 03:59 PM
  #199  
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Originally Posted by crank_addict View Post
The Mondial, in frank speaking, was a poseurs car. 'Steer' clear.

Moving past that subject, Ferrari firstly was a racer and race car specialist. At my earliest recollection seeing a late 50s Ferrari in a shop, this around 1970. The metal fabrication sub-floor had traces of a salvaged Italian advert road sign. I was a youngster but the mechanic told me metal was scarce and expensive for small manufacturing companies, even a good decade post WW2.
Correct.

Ferrari never wanted to produce cars for the general public. He did it very grudgingly in order to finance his racing endeavors. That's different than any other car company in the world, where racing was secondary to selling cars. Its one of the things that make Ferrari's so special. And many Italian bike builders thought the same, which makes them special as well. Its an Italian thing...
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Old 01-13-19, 04:33 PM
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Chombi1 
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Originally Posted by crank_addict View Post
The Mondial, in frank speaking, was a poseurs car. 'Steer' clear.

Moving past that subject, Ferrari firstly was a racer and race car specialist. At my earliest recollection seeing a late 50s Ferrari in a shop, this around 1970. The metal fabrication sub-floor had traces of a salvaged Italian advert road sign. I was a youngster but the mechanic told me metal was scarce and expensive for small manufacturing companies, even a good decade post WW2.
I suspected that people would have that opinion about theMondial,to be a "beginner" Ferrari. But Ferrari did sell quite a lot of them and no reason to expect that much different build quality on them.
My uncle who's a serious classic car collector has a Ferrari 365 Boxer (Rarer pre-cursor of the 512BB) and a Lamborghini Muira, I've been in and out of those cars, much older cars but they pretty much have the same build philosophy. So such had been happening with Italian exotic car companies for a long time.
I actually prefer the "Honesty" that his 65 427 SC Cobra. it's all out there to see and it delivers exactly what is expected. I've been trying to tell him for many years now that it could actually be the best car in his collection.

Hmmmmm... maybe that's why I fell so in love with my Davidson Signature.......
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