I think that this was a Gitane with Helyett decals. See this different bike on French eBay: http://cgi.ebay.com/VELO-DE-COURSE-HELYETT-TRES-BON-ETAT_W0QQitemZ260255298377QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item260255298377&_trksid=p3286.m14.l1318 Fred Yavorsky Jenkintown, PA
On Wed, Jun 25, 2008 at 10:45 AM, Norris Lockley <email@example.com>
> First of all, my apologies for outing this bike to the Lisst, after the a
> uction has finished, and the bike is now destined to go to Japan.
> However I only noticed it shortly before the auction was due to close and,
> with the seller living quite near to where I have my house in France, I dec
> ided to have a bid or two. Again it was not straightforward..and it took se
> veral minutes before I decided to risk my money.
> The principal reason for my uncertainty about the bike is that it looks as
> though it has existed in a time warp. The Helyett company, based at Sull
> y-sur-Loire, not far from Orleans where the seller lives, closed down in 19
> 62. However this Helyett frame has the skeletal rear drop-outs found on fra
> mes from the mid-70s, and Prugnat long-point windowed lugs that I don't rec
> all seeing on the wholesalers' lists in the early 60s. Same goes for the fo
> rk crown.
> It's an odd-looking bike...the frame looks more like a racing frame that a
> randonneur..just look at that fork rake (for a 60s bike?). Some details of
> the frame's build quality can obtained by enlarging the photos..and it appe
> ars to be quite a decently constructed frame. So why would any serious comp
> any put steel 650 rims on such a bike and a TA chainset with rings for road
> racing..although the cranks are 165mm for touring.
> After playing at Sherlock Holmes for ten minutes or so, I thought that I ha
> d the answer..so I slammed a couple of bids until it became evident that th
> e Japanese opposition was keener on the bike than my meer curiosity could m
> If anyone out there would like to interpret the origin of this frame..and w
> hy it is like it is...I would be pleased to hear from them..so that I can c
> heck my theory out.
> Norris Lockley, Settle