This old 1980's Cecil Walker had been sitting outside in a garden for a few years, it was heart breaking to see this bike so neglected especially after its owner had informed me he had done nearly 1000km riding about Melbourne on the Cecil before deciding to buy another bike.
It had a history & some how still some sentimental value to him he explained.
"Was it worth anything"? He asked.
After closer inspection I found it was fitted with Campagnolo parts, this then made my pulse jump & started to race alot faster.
This was a blast from the past as a teenager growing up I used to be a member of a cycling club & I've always been a bike nut since I could first pedal.
So whenever you saw a bike fitted with campagnolo parts fitted you would stand there & admire, we all wanted our bikes to have campag parts but could never afford it.The frame & forks were also made with Columbus tubing & handmade Haden brazed lugwork. To me this bike was a piece of art work that needed to be brought back to life. The owner agreed & was excited when I told him I would do my best to restore this bike back to its original look when it was purchased from Cecil Walker.
I collected as much information from the owner as I could get about how the bike looked before its demise to the Melbourne weather. It was then time to start researching looking for the right colour, replacement parts that needed changing,etc etc. I got alot of information & help off good friends in the bike fraternity & as well a source of knowledge from the guys from Cecil Walker in Fitzroy.
After collecting as much info on costs & availability of parts I was ready to start the project. I made sure I kept in constant communication with the owner with the information I had found with the total costs to complete the project.
The first phase was to dismantle the bike,removing all of the parts which are then inspected for wear & tear. All parts that were to be refitted were then labelled & boxed, these were to be cleaned & repolished at a later phase of the project.
With everything removed the frame was ready to go to phase two which was the blasters & then the paintshop.
Johan from Sprayaybike is a magician with a spray gun he was the man with all the right colours, thank you Johan for your patience & understanding of my needs to get the paintwork spot on.
Now let's head to the finished frame below but only after you've taken another look at a neglected bike.
After putting all the extra parts on like a new Selle Royal saddle,700c tyres, a new chain & Brooks leather handlebar tape the completed bike looked stunning, it was ready to be taken out for a test ride for final checks & adjustments before calling the owner ready for collection
The owner came to collect the bike later that week but I got to ride the Cecil out to the shops a couple of times before I had to say goodbye.
When he finally arrived he was very happy with the finished bike, quite ironically so much so that he has now mounted on the wall in his house in Coburg for all to admire.
Although he does take the bike for a short ride on occassions as I'm still told.
Who said bikes weren't art?