Rick starts to make sense of the mess of ’beams in his shed
A quick recap on how to approach such projects. Think about your ability and resources; take a parts book with you and check what’s missing before you commit to buying. That’s standard advice, but there are two very subtle points I’d like to add.
First, is the seller active in the old bike scene? If so, while he may seem a ‘nice old chap’, he will know exactly how much he can ask for what he’s selling. So regardless of how cobwebby his shed looks, don’t assume you’re ‘first in’ on a bargain; odds are, none of his mates wanted it – but they’ve all told him it’s worth a fortune.
Secondly, there are impossible-to-find bits for most bikes. It pays to find out (from owners or a club) what they are – and not just to negotiate a better price or prepare for problems later. Take it as suspicious if they’re all missing – probably either someone has already ‘cherry picked’ the boxes or it’s all the seller’s unwanted spares piled up to look like a ‘project’.
ABOVE: A basket case always involves a bit of a punt, but you can minimise the risk (see above)