At 3:25 AM +0000 11/5/07, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
>This is a garden variety 1953 plus model that in nice used shape
>rarely goes over $150ish - and a number of them are in great shape
>from this era.
>The 6K example was from the first production year, 1951, and was the
>first and rarest of the version of that year's production. The 1951
>units are much more hand-worked and have numerous unique features.
>The 6K example was I dare say a fair price for perhaps the rarest
>Campagnolo item ever sold on ebay. The current example in question
>is extremely common by comparison.
All the castings on the earliest types were different - in fact they differed even between the different pre-1953 models - see the article in Vintage Bicycle Quarterly Vol. 2, No. 2. Campagnolo invested a lot of effort into getting these derailleurs "right" through trial and error before releasing the final production model.
I doubt Campagnolo used investment casting, as the molds would have been very expensive. I suspect the parts were cast in brass using a lost-wax or similar technique. This may explain the rarity of these early derailleurs - the technique does not lend itself very well to mass production, as you make a new mold for each piece you cast. Which makes it easy to change the design...
Does anybody have any idea of the production numbers of the early Gran Sport derailleurs? I know of two of the very first version, but I am sure there are more. Did they make dozens, hundreds or thousands?
Jan Heine Editor Bicycle Quarterly 140 Lakeside Ave #C Seattle WA 98122 http://www.bikequarterly.com