Now Rita’s been completely stripped and things are starting get more interesting…
Before the frame & forks are resprayed I’ve removed the old decals – as reproductions would appear to be unavailable anywhere – scanned them into my laptop and sent them onto my designer Dan Birkbeck. He’s painstakingly created a marvellous reproduction of the originals, which is shown here against a bucolic background as a demo to show Joao, the bike’s owner. This was a tricky job as the “Tubagem Sangal 401” sticker distorted upon removal, and the “Champion Super France” transfer flaked – as shown in the gallery below. Amazing work Dan, I cannot wait to see how these look when printed and fitted to the frame under a layer of lacquer!
The World Champion stripes were easier to source, but I made sure the replacements were as close to the originals as possible, in the correct width and on a silver background.
Meanwhile I’ve begun restoring the bike’s components. I’ve measured the wheel’s original rusty spokes to find the correct replacements in shiny stainless steel and – last but not least – pondered what to do with cloth bar wrap! You may recall this appeared to be white on the unrestored bike, but upon removal this turned out not to be the case. 30+ years of Mediterranean sunshine had faded the original blue, but after a thorough wash and iron it’s looking almost as good as new. New replacement Velox Tressostar is available but restoring and re-using the original, that the owner’s father gripped onto while racing the bike, just seems more fitting.