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Eddy Merckx signature 1980-1981

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Eddy Merckx signature 1980-1981

Old 03-29-20, 04:00 AM
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CyclesMakaron
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Eddy Merckx signature 1980-1981

Yesterday I celebrated the 40th anniversary of the opening of the coolest bicycle factory in history - Eddy Merckx Cycling in Meise. On March 28th, 1980 the story began admittedly it was Friday, so I couldn't talk about some hard work, but... Since Monday for sure everyone was already building super bikes. The team consisted of extraordinary people:Eddy Merckx (born 1945) - himself; Robert Lelangue (born 1940) - formerly Faema, Molteni, Fiat; Joseph Huysmans (born 1941, died 2012) - formerly Faema, Molteni, Fiat, C&A; Edward Janssens (born 1946) - formerly Molteni, Fiat, C&A; Herman Vanderslagmolen (born 1948) - profi from 1970 to 1979; Johan Vranckx - then 16 years old, after 2 months of accelerated course in the company of Ugo De Rosa and, unofficially, Claudine Merckx (nee Acou) - the best wife of the best cyclist, and as it was to turn out soon, the best employee of the best bicycle factory. If I missed someone, I'm very sorry, but at the moment I don't have access to better sources (the few mention 6-7 employees).
We call early EMC products in several ways: Professional 1 ed., 1 ver., "very early", "prototypes" but the best, correctly associated and recognizable is "Professional signature". - This is the name I will use (short: signature). The second abbreviation that must appear in the description is "De Rosa like". (DRl for short) - for obvious reasons: most elements of the signature frames were identical to those used by the De Rosa factory (No, this does not mean that all signature frames were built by the Master - this means only the same sources of supply).
t.b.c.

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Old 03-29-20, 10:44 AM
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Now try not to get bored by looking at the pictures and reading my descriptions.
1) Why "signature"?
Because there's a beautiful Eddy Merckx signature on seatstay caps - a very nice feature. So that it's not too easy to have copies of the signature... without a signature:


These can only be found among the early copies, they could be (approximately) 5-10% of all frames considered to be signature.
2) The above set of photos allows to easily refer to the second important element of the frame - BB cover; there were 2 designs, produced by MicrofusioneItaliana (i.e. by Cinelli of Columbus based on Marastoni's patent) with Eddy Merckx inscription:

and DRl, which I usually describe as "=":


And again, so it's not too easy:


You see the difference?
Both patterns were used in similar quantities, but while the career of the inscription pattern ended almost simultaneously with the end of the signature, "=" was suddenly reborn with the 3-Athlete and Corsa ver.1 models.
3) The most important elements of the signature frame also include lugs. Here the situation is a bit unstable: for a long time I was convinced that the only "classic" set is "3 long lugs" (and there is indeed a vast majority ~90% of such frames), but there are also sets of "mixed length" and "3 short lugs"...it turned out that the most important recognition element is the rear lug with "lowered" clamp:






Interestingly, an almost identical rear lug (the others, too) was used in models... 3-Athlete, Corsa ver.1 and Strada ver.1 (but it had cut-outs).
t.b.c.
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Old 03-29-20, 11:30 AM
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Cool, thanks for the info.
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Old 03-29-20, 12:06 PM
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Design "necessary but not sufficient conditions" for the signature to framework:
4) DRl dropouts with Porta Catena holes fixed to stays by "hand made" method (as opposed to the "mechanical" one made with Marchetti&Lange devices available since 1981):


5) cable guides above BB cover (used until 1986):


6) Gipiemme "cube" brake bridge (model used until 1989):


7) FD clamp-on:


8) flat fork crown with reinforcements (model used until 1988):



9) 3 cable guides on top tube (model used even after 1995!):


Decorative motifs:
10) Painting all signature frames is one color - the official colors are: white, black (matt!), silver, gold, red and 3 kinds of blue (they should probably be called light, medium and dark); the unofficial ones are yellow and orange, maybe gray and brown.
11. stickers: early design 'logo' placed on the head tube and in the middle of the seat tube (replaced by 'with white background' in 1982):



"stripes with MEXICO Km 49,431". (applicable until 1985):


If you don't have enough - in the next episode: The manufacturer's markings on the signature frame.
t.b.c.
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Old 03-29-20, 12:54 PM
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At least 5(!) designation schemes were used for signature. In the beginning, the "Italian style" of the frames marking was adopted (let's call it "minimalist"... - "we know that we make great bikes and our customers know that they buy great bikes - the markings take us away from artistic creativity"), which has evolved over time (perhaps accelerated by friendly suggestions from Belgian tax officials) to full, complete (one of the best in the world) and legible... (already in the E series).
1) lack of any markings, any kind of - frames suspected that Ugo De Rosa might have approached them - that he had in his hands at that time any kind of tool... no evidence.



2) there are 'technical' markings (left side) that is a number (frame height), a dot (...) that is "no one has yet discovered what it means" and sometimes a letter (A confirmed); no serial number.


3) next to 'technical' (the alphabet is enriched to A,B,G - I remind you that these are EMC workers' markings), there appears a serial number or 'statistical' markings (right side). Certain markings in the range 170-1012 are confirmed.


4) unusual series: the letter V appears next to the serial number, the 'technical' markings disappear on some frames. Some markings in the range V51-V515 are confirmed.


5. The first 'official' series of letters - designation E (produced in 1981-1984, the alphabet is supplemented by the letter F - employee - and the letter R: Reynolds 531, Columbus SL had no 'own' designation). The signature group includes frames with E001-~E500 markings.


All signatures were built at least 1500.
For now this has to be enough - I'm counting on your photos and descriptions of signature frames (if by some miracle I'll take decent photos of my signature - I'll definitely add them).
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Old 03-30-20, 06:53 AM
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CM, have you seen this one before? Serial V515 but under the BB cable routing. Repainted at some point obviously, also has second set of bottle cage mounts.
I'd love to have a signature in my size, but this one needs (another) repaint and the investment in the end would be a bit much, I think.
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Old 03-30-20, 10:51 AM
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Yes, I wrote to the seller - it turned out that V515 is the only markings on BB cover (by the way: this frame has been seriously rebuilt and repainted in colors completely incompatible with the signature - a little pity). But the most serious surprise is:


This frame has a "double" number, the second one is 879 (invisible on this photo), also placed on the steering tube... Until now I was convinced that the V-series is part of the "no letter" series. (together with the previous ones - those without a serial number) and produced together ~1000... But this "double" 515 opens the possibility that the V-Series was "separate" and this adds at least 500 signature frames to those 1500 of the other series (you have to remember ~500 frames of the E-Series). This does not fit in with the information from the "German article", but it talks about EMC "driving on the streets", i.e. sold, not "produced" (it is hard to believe that 1/4 of the first year's production was not sold until spring 1981). For the time being, I have only 56 signature frames in my records, if I double that maybe I would hit another "double" set - then there would be much less doubt. For now I can only write: at least 1500 frames of signature were produced...

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Old 03-30-20, 07:50 PM
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Thanks for your comments, CM. I could be interested in this, but clearly the respray is inappropriate.
Am also wondering about thr under-the-BB cable routing. Perhaps redone at the time of the respray?

And also that BB picture above cannot possibly be the same as the bike for sale as the BB is red (not green as current pics show) and there are no cables across the bottom of the BB nor guides for them. Perhaps a picture before the respray?
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Old 03-30-20, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by rocket-sauce View Post
cool, thanks for the info.
👌🏻
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Old 03-31-20, 12:16 AM
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It's two different frames. 7-Eleven has cable guides above BB cover dismantled and an FD mount added - a lot of (unnecessary) modifications... The Red is kept in its original state, it is marked 3 (7-Eleven looks like a 57cm seat tube, certainly not the 53rd).
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Old 01-02-21, 01:39 PM
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Bonjour je possède un eddy merckx 1981 je pense A9 E3031
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Old 01-03-21, 12:09 AM
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Bonjour, c'est plutôt comme en 1982
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Old 01-03-21, 03:52 PM
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Je posterais des photos dès que possible
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Old 01-04-21, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Hproduguidon View Post
I will post pictures as soon as possible
Picture Assistance



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Old 01-05-21, 03:07 AM
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CyclesMakaron
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Beautiful
Painting and stickers original
1982 Professional (Columbus SL/SP)
Congratulations
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Old 01-05-21, 03:54 AM
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[QUOTE=cb400bill;21861432]Picture Assistance



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