Friday, May 19, 2017

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration and Upgrade!

Last Spring Shannon found this Raleigh Grand Prix and we spent a very nice Saturday in Central Wisconsin exploring and picking it up.  It struck me how nice the decals where for a 1973 Grand Prix.  

I didn't really know how I wanted to proceed with the Grand Prix.  It had the beautiful decals but the derailleurs and shift levers where the cheap plastic Simplex components that would break almost instantly.  I thought about it for a couple months, I thought about finding a nice set of Sun Tour components from the same era.  I thought about putting modern parts on it.  I thought about finding even older components and making it a tribute to the Golden Era of Cycle Touring.  In the end I decided to make it a single speed with some wide and aggressive tires.  That is the direction I headed.

I got all the way to the point of mocking up new wheels with the wide and aggressive tires and test road it up and down the road.  Then one day Joel was visiting the shop and saw the frame and fell in love with it like I did.  That is when the build totally changed.

The post for the Raleigh will be in two parts.  The original part of the build and then the change.  This is the first part below.

The Grand Prix looked in pretty good shape to start but did not look as good as it actually was.  I think the seat and foam handlebar tape did not help the look.

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before - Handlebars

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before - Stem & Handlebars

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before - Head Tube

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before - Head Tube

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before - Front Brake Caliper

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before - Front Wheel Hub

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before - Stem

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before - Fork Crown

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before - Front Wheel Hub

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before - Front Wheel Hub

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before - Front Wheel Rim

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before - Top Tube

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before - Shift Levers

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before - Down Tube

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before - Seat Post

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before - Seat Tube

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before - Bottom Bracket

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before - Crank

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before - Front Derailleur

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before - Seat Lug

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before - Rear Brake Caliper

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before - Chain Stay

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before - Rear Derailleur

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before - Rear Wheel Hub

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before - Rear Wheel Rim
I broke the Grand Prix down to the frame and then started the cleaning process.  The frame before looks very descent to stat with but still looked dull and dirty and just relatively unimpressive.  That is when the Grand Prix unveiled it's surprise!

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Head Tube

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Head Tube

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Head Tube

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Top Tube

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Down Tube

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Seat Lug

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Seat Tube

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Bottom Bracket

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Bottom Bracket

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Seat Stays

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Seat Stays

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Chain Stays

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Chain Stays

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Drop Outs

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Fork

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Fork Crown

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Fork Crown

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Fork Blade

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Fork Blades

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Fork Blades
I cleaned the frame and started working through the polishing grits.  I worked slowly and then the first wipe of the polishing residue reviled the beautifully perfect green paint! The paint was just stunning and was perfectly new!  Old paint can be polished out and look amazing and liquid and smooth as glass but still lack that perfect newness, this Grand Prix has that perfect newness!  It is so rare!  Then the best thing showed up, those nice decals to start are perfect!! Just perfect!! The frame is absolutely perfect!  The paint is the best paint I have ever seen for a frame over 40 years old!

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Head Tube

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Head Tube

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Head Tube

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Top Tube

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Down Tube

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Seat Lug

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Seat Tube

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Seat Tube

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Bottom Bracket

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Bottom Bracket

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Bottom Bracket

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Seat Lug

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Seat Stays

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Chain Stays

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Chain Stay

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Drop Outs

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Fork

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Fork Crown

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Fork Crown

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Fork Blade

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Fork Blade

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Fork Blade
The headset and bottom bracket where in ok starting shape.  I put the pieces through the crock pot and then worked through the polishing wheels.  The headset and bottom bracket polished perfect!  With new bearings and grease the headset and bottom bracket spin perfectly too!

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Headset * Bottom Bracket Before

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Cable Hanger Before

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Headset & Bottom Bracket Polished

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Cable Hanger Polished

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Pressing Headset Cups

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Headset Cups Pressed

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Headset Bearings Packed

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Headset Complete

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Headset Complete

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Headset Complete

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bottom Bracket Bearings Packed

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bottom Bracket Complete

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bottom Bracket Complete

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Headset & Bottom Bracket Complete
The handlebars do not look that great to start, I think it is the old foam handlebar tape that makes them look bad.  I cut the foam tape off, broke down all the pieces and then worked through the polishing wheels.  The stem turned out amazing!! Just amazing and perfect!!  The handlebars turned out the same way!!  I love this stuff!!

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Handlebars Before

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Handlebars & Stem Before

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Handlebars Before

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Stems Before

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Stem Exploded View

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Handlebars & Stem Polished

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Handlebars Polished

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Stem Polished

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Stem Complete

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Handlebars & Stem Complete

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Stem & Handlebars Complete

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Stem & Handlebars Complete

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Stem & Handlebar Complete
 I removed the white Carlton brake lever hoods to protect them and then worked through the polishing wheels.  The brake elvers are better then new!  
Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Brake Levers Before

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Brake Levers Polished

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Brake Levers Installed

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Brake Levers Complete
It is a basic seat post.  I gave it a good cleaning and then some time on the polishing wheels.  The seat post looks amazing.  The seat binder bolt looks even better!

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Seat Post Before

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Seat Post Before

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Seat Post Polished

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Seat Post Installed

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Seat Post Installed

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Seat Post Installed
 One of the crank cotter pins was frozen in place.  I had to drill the crank cotter pin out.  I real pain .  With the crank removed I cleaned all the pieces and worked through the polishing wheels.  The crank turned out very nicely.  I assembled the crank as a single speed crank.  Installed the crank looked great with the green perfect paint!

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Crank Before

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Drilled Crank Cotter

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Crank Polished

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Crank Complete

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
New Crank Cotter Pins

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Crank Installed

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Crank Installed
The brake calipers are center pull calipers.  I like center pull calipers like these, they usually restore beautifully and have plenty of clearance for tires.  The best part is center pull brake calipers actually work compared the the same era side pull brake calipers.  The brake calipers did not look in the greatest shape when I started.  I broke the calipers down and cleaned all the pieces and then worked through the polishing wheels.  The pieces of the brake calipers seemed to be polishing nicely as I worked and then I assembled the brake calipers.  While assembling the calipers the pieces transformed from nicely polished pieces to the most beautiful center pull brake calipers I have ever seen!  I love this stuff!!!

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Brake Calipers Before

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Brake Calipers Exploded

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Brake Calipers Polished

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Brake Calipers Complete

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Front Brake Caliper Installed

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Rear Brake Caliper Installed

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Calipers Complete
 At this time I test fit the wheels I built up for the Grand Prix with 40 mm tires.  The wheels and tires made the Grand Prix look like a beast!!  I loved it!!  
Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Wheels Test Fitted
 With the wheels test fit it was time to wire the Grand Prix.  I thought about the cable housing color for the Grand Prix for a long time.  I thought white like the Grand Prix had originally.  I then tried the dark gray, that was not quite right.  The next I tried a light silver and it was nice but then it hit me.  The Gold metallic braided cable!  Perfect! Amazing!!  Best combination of color I have ever seen!!  It makes the whole bike!!

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
New Cables & Cable Housings

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Cables & Housings Installed

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Cables & Housings Installed

Joel's 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Cables & Cable Housings Installed

This is where Joel saw the Grand Prix on his visit to the shop and an even better build was formulated.  See soon!