Sunday, November 26, 2006

Paris Sport Track Frame

I love it when a surprise email drops into my inbox; shining like a little gem amongst all the junk messages plying penny stocks and cheap Canadian medications. Like the one that popped up the other day.

The email had attached pictures of a Paris Sport track bike that I built around 1980. I am extremely grateful to the owner Paul Pribuss for taking the time to contact me. Paul purchased the frame from American Cyclery in San Francisco, approximately 5 years ago.

I worked for Paris Sport from January 1979 to October 1980. The reason I think this frame was built in late 1979 or 1980 was because of a little decal on the left chainstay that says “dave Moulton design.”

None of the frames I built at Paris Sport had my name on them, even though the customers sometimes requested it. Owner Mike Fraysee felt that the Paris Sport marque was established long enough, and over the years they were built by several different builders.

As a compromise, Mike had the little chainstay decals made. I had requested that my name be spelled out in all lower case letters; this was a kind of signature with me. I guess the person making the decals figured it must have been a mistake to have a person’s last name not capitalized and printed them the way you see here.

The current owner has changed the fork because the original was not drilled for a brake. He tells me he kept the fork the frame came with, which I am pleased to hear. So many people buy a frame like this, and toss the original fork, which is a crime.

Not that this frame is worth a huge amount of money right now, but that could change. It is an interesting part of history. I didn’t build that many frames at Paris Sport; about 175 would be a rough guess. Very few were track frames.

No records were kept and most didn’t even have serial numbers stamped on them. I do recognize my own work and so can authenticate any frame I built, even if it doesn’t have the little chainstay decal as this one does.

I would advise the present owner not to refinish this one, but keep it original. If it is to have any value in the future it would be with original paint and the funky little “dave Moulton design” decal.

It is not a particularly pretty frame anyway and fresh paint would not make a huge difference to its appearance.

The frames I built at Paris Sport were cheap but functional. The Paris Sport frameshop had very limited equipment and was not conducive to a high rate of production, and I was paid about fifty dollars a frame. Not leaving room for very much time spent on aesthetics.

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