Appreciate the lots and lots of responses
>Do you have an idea of the overall quality of the bike?
Id' say "Medium" - some nice parts really nice, some not so good. Everything is very lightly used though - and little very rust (Surface only)
>I don't know the brand, but I was thinking that it sounded fairly high-end until you mentioned the suicide levers. I wasn't ogling road bikes in 1973 (aged -2 years), but I've only ever seen suicide levers on fairly basic bikes.
I had not yet learned to ride in 1973 - although I was 11 years old. I had to wait until I was tall enough to ride my Dads pre-war 28 inch Sturmey archer thing. That took until I was I was 12 or 13.
Lot's of low end and middle bikes at the time used those brake levers - I think the middle and higher end ones kept the gear shifting on the bar, the cheaper ones had shifters at "Nutcracker height" on the steering tube.
This one shifts on the bar.
My research thus far revealed it sold for just over $US100 in 1973-4, It is in gloriously restorable condition, and a similar bike in worse condition recently sold for $150 on craigslist. In 1975 I earned $1.44 for my two-three hour paper round.
This guy modified something very similar, so I'll use it and Fattima's mistress as inspiration.http://vicsclassicbikes.blogspot.com/2008/12/most-recent-project-client-restoration.html
At the moment I'm thinking alloy wheels, new chain and rear cog set - Keeping the front for the moment - Is a french BB going to give me problems size wise? modern brake brake levers, all new cables and some Led lights etc. She has a cotton bar tape - I might keep that (or twine and shellac? ). The brakes are an interesting cantilever movement with a cable fulcrum - and an quick loosen off adjustment. They're v.cute.
There is a lot of room for knobblier tyres under the forks - i may go for something for the gravel, rather than just roads - as that suits my needs atm.
I've left her at work for the moment - until the significant other is in a good mood, so I'll post some pics in the next day or so. It may take some time to get home...
For the Inspiration and encouragement. - many thanks