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Need Help Identifying Mystery Frame with Nice Chrome and Beautiful Chrome Fork Crown

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Need Help Identifying Mystery Frame with Nice Chrome and Beautiful Chrome Fork Crown

Old 09-03-23, 05:10 PM
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Need Help Identifying Mystery Frame with Nice Chrome and Beautiful Chrome Fork Crown

I am really stumped with identifying this one. No remnants of any decals and it looks like it was crudely repainted, including the wide red band on the seat tube.

Seems to be late 60s to 70s frame given that it has no cable guides (not even a rear derailleur stop) or bottle bosses, but it does have a threaded derailleur hanger. Chromed, ornate lugs on head tube and chromed rear triangle. Fork is completely chrome with a very slight slant to the crown. Has openings in the side of the crown that give it a bit of a bi-plane vibe. All of the chrome cleaned up really nicely with very little effort which is why I’m interested in figuring this one out and properly badging it after a repaint.

Forged dropouts on fork are stamped “Y.C.F” and the steerer tube has “F6F” stamped on it. I thought the fork may have been aftermarket, but on closer examination, the finish work on the dropouts on the fork and rear triangle have a very similar sweep to their transition to the frame that suggests it was the original fork.

Bottom bracket is threaded ISO/English. Shimano BB I suspect was a later add.

Had remnants of a Tange Falcon headset with English threading and the steerer tube inner diameter is 22.2.

Seatpost opening measured 25.4 to 25.8 so not a particularly high end tubing, but the frame feels fairly light, so it is not gas pipe either.

Rear hub diameter measured 127 mm so I suspect it was cold set from its original 120.

Feels like a nice Japanese production bike but the lack of any serial numbers gives me pause.

Any insights would be most welcome. Below are some photos and here is a Google album link with the photos I took today.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/rkr5PXTqdKvK4fLV7










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Old 09-03-23, 05:14 PM
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Overall shot of bike.

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Old 09-03-23, 05:16 PM
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That’s not stove pipe, that’s beautiful. Thinking of a repaint to set off those lugs, drops and forks?

Definitely a 60s-70s vibe like the early Centurions. Maybe a connection?

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Old 09-03-23, 05:29 PM
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I too thought Centurion, maybe from the 70's but they seemed to prefer long points

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Old 09-03-23, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman
I too thought Centurion, maybe from the 70's but they seemed to prefer long points

I don’t think it is a Centurion per se, but I wonder if there is a loose connection...?

I am no expert...
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Old 09-03-23, 06:04 PM
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Lesser model?
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Old 09-03-23, 06:53 PM
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It looks like an early 1970s Fuji 'The Finest'. Surprising that there is no serial number on it - can you check the lower part of the seat tube on the non-drive side for any sign of indentation? That's where the numbers usually were around this time.





Here's that tiny bit of overhang on the seat stay caps:






Lugs and fork crown. I think they changed out the crown by mid-70s:



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Old 09-03-23, 07:15 PM
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It resembles my late 70's Rex Criterium, almost def higher end Japanese to my eye, My Rex was almost all chrome but only polished at select areas. The lugs were very much like the OP is showing. Nervex lugs maybe?

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Old 09-03-23, 07:24 PM
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YCF dropouts and what looks like Nervex lugs ?
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Old 09-03-23, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by MauriceMoss
"Give it some rest and some antivirals and that should clear up in about two weeks."
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Old 09-03-23, 09:23 PM
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If You Squint...

Originally Posted by MauriceMoss
It looks like an early 1970s Fuji 'The Finest'. Surprising that there is no serial number on it - can you check the lower part of the seat tube on the non-drive side for any sign of indentation? That's where the numbers usually were around this time.


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Old 09-03-23, 10:22 PM
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the headlugs are "Nervex Inspired" but definitely of JP origin. Fuji was a prime user of these lugs but there were a few others, I don't know if the maker was ever ID'd.
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Old 09-03-23, 11:51 PM
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Pretty Sure it is a Fuji the Finest

Thank you for all the replies. Having pulled up a number of early 70s Fuji “The Finest” photos, it appears that is what this is. The lugs are an exact match and the head tube rivet holes line up with the very wide Fuji head badge in use back then. I have a first generation Shimano Dura Ace group set I have been looking to match with the right frame. Looks like this will be an interesting project.

With VeloCals being gone, going to be a bit of a challenge finding the right decals for it. Any suggestions are welcome. Also, if anyone has an early 70s Fuji head badge separate from a frame, drop me a line.


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Old 09-04-23, 12:04 AM
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Centurion did use those lugs but the combo of the fork and the position of the head badge stud really points out to the Fuji.
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Old 09-04-23, 02:29 AM
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Originally Posted by MauriceMoss
Dab hand with the drill - and an internally relevant aesthetic.
Whoever, well done.
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Old 09-04-23, 06:56 AM
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Lots of love around for The Finest. You should be pleased with the project.
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Old 09-04-23, 10:46 AM
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There's a couple head badges on ebay that sadly don't appear to be in a condition worthy of a full resto. Hopefully someone here has one as some jerk just bought the nicest one off of ebay this week for their '81 America...

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Old 09-04-23, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Sactown_Albert
Thank you for all the replies. Having pulled up a number of early 70s Fuji “The Finest” photos, it appears that is what this is. The lugs are an exact match and the head tube rivet holes line up with the very wide Fuji head badge in use back then. I have a first generation Shimano Dura Ace group set I have been looking to match with the right frame. Looks like this will be an interesting project.

With VeloCals being gone, going to be a bit of a challenge finding the right decals for it. Any suggestions are welcome. Also, if anyone has an early 70s Fuji head badge separate from a frame, drop me a line.
Well, good news... Looks like the America takes a narrower head badge than I expected. So the badge in my previous post is available. It measures 45mm at the rivet holes. I paid $30 and it's already here in Sac.
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Old 09-04-23, 07:19 PM
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Now I have More Questions than Answers

I uncovered the serial number on the non drive side of the lower down tube. It appears to be “6F06068” which doesn’t seem to match the Fuji serial number protocols since the first digit is a number and the second is a letter. Having now looked at a number of vintage Fujis, it is possible the Frame is a Fuji newest. Seems like they were the exact frame, but the color scheme matches a Newest and I found no evidence of blue when l used paint stripper to uncover the serial number. If the first 6 is the Showa calendar number, then the frame is a 1971. Thoughts?
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Old 09-04-23, 07:43 PM
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"F" Is For Faint?

Originally Posted by Sactown_Albert
I uncovered the serial number on the non drive side of the lower down tube. It appears to be “6F06068” which doesn’t seem to match the Fuji serial number protocols since the first digit is a number and the second is a letter. Having now looked at a number of vintage Fujis, it is possible the Frame is a Fuji newest. Seems like they were the exact frame, but the color scheme matches a Newest and I found no evidence of blue when l used paint stripper to uncover the serial number. If the first 6 is the Showa calendar number, then the frame is a 1971. Thoughts?
Isn't that the seat tube?

Could that be a very lightly struck "F" indicating the production facility in front of that first "6"?

(A side light might highlight it.)

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Old 09-04-23, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Sactown_Albert
I uncovered the serial number on the non drive side of the lower down tube. It appears to be “6F06068” which doesn’t seem to match the Fuji serial number protocols since the first digit is a number and the second is a letter. Having now looked at a number of vintage Fujis, it is possible the Frame is a Fuji newest. Seems like they were the exact frame, but the color scheme matches a Newest and I found no evidence of blue when l used paint stripper to uncover the serial number. If the first 6 is the Showa calendar number, then the frame is a 1971. Thoughts?
Yes to Showa year 46 for 1971 as the year of frame manufacture. From the picture I would suggest that there is a faint "F" preceding the "6". The fork also has F6F which matches the serial number.

Edit: machinist42 just beat me.
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Old 09-04-23, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Sactown_Albert
I uncovered the serial number on the non drive side of the lower down tube. It appears to be “6F06068” which doesn’t seem to match the Fuji serial number protocols since the first digit is a number and the second is a letter. Having now looked at a number of vintage Fujis, it is possible the Frame is a Fuji newest. Seems like they were the exact frame, but the color scheme matches a Newest and I found no evidence of blue when l used paint stripper to uncover the serial number. If the first 6 is the Showa calendar number, then the frame is a 1971. Thoughts?
The seven visible letters and numbers make me suspect that there might be a lightly struck "F" on the left side. If so, then it would follow the conventional '71-'74 8 digit serial numbers.

Update: Glad to see others seeing the F.

Last edited by MrGastrognome; 09-04-23 at 07:55 PM. Reason: update
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Old 09-04-23, 08:23 PM
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Not a Newest. The frames actually were quite a bit different. I have a 72 Newest. Serial number is on the bottom bracket also. Different lugs and seat stay treatment. Suntour dropouts and different fork crown too.






Last edited by sd5782; 09-04-23 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 09-05-23, 01:59 AM
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Check the integrity of the braze where the seat stay meets the seat tube. Some these would crack along the plug and then turn 90 degrees across the tube.
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Old 09-05-23, 10:39 AM
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There is a faint F

Thank for the sharp eyes. There IS a faint “F” at the beginning which DOES line up with JP serial number protocols for a Fuji. Thanks for the heads up about the stamping on the steerer tube showing the “F6F” which reinforced that there is a faint F at the beginning of the serial number and that this is the fork that came with it.

According to T-Mar’s excellent Asian serial number guide in the C&V sticky section: Asian Serial Number Guide the whole serial number can be interpreted as follows:
  • The first F is the Fuji facility where it was made.
  • The 6 is Showa year, which is 1971.
  • The second F is the month of June.
  • The remaining numbers are the serial number of this particular bike.
The hive mind does it again!

I will post updates as I move along with this project. Going to be a fun one!
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