Eddy Merckx "signature" Professional 1980-81?

dan73uk

Retro Guru
Eddy Merckx Professional probably built in 1980—81.
The frame set was purchased from a friend in Belgium.
At some point in it's life the original EM decals had been removed and others fitted.
The "true" identity of the frame could clearly be seen through the fork crowns and the seat stays.

1st job was to remove the old decals and this frameset was covered in them.

The main name on the decals was V D Water Kasterlee and after a little research this must relate to a cycle shop called Van De Water in Kasterlee which is still open.
Kasterlee is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Antwerp.
Shop website - http://www.fietsenvandewater.be/

On the chain stay decal it stated- Velo's Lievens and a bit of research shows that this is a cycle shop in Geel, Belgium.
 

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dan73uk

Retro Guru
Re: Eddy Merckx Professional 1980-81?

Frame details
 

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dan73uk

Retro Guru
Re: Eddy Merckx Professional 1980-81?

Few more frame details
 

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dan73uk

Retro Guru
Re: Eddy Merckx Professional 1980-81?

New decals
 

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dan73uk

Retro Guru
I've done a bit of research around the early frames and I have read that the early frames between 80' and 81' had the Eddy Merckx BB shell which this frame has. The early BB serial numbers don't always appear to follow any sequence and this frames numbers are different to any other professional that I've seen online.
There are three different numbers -
3,515 & 879 and no letters which can be found on Merckx BBs.
The 3 & 879 are also on the fork tube.
Some EM Professionals have different BB shells and some have no serial numbers at all.

The fork crowns are identical to early De Rosa frames but later Professional frames with no signature seat stays also have these Crowns.
 

dan73uk

Retro Guru
I have also contacted De Rosa directly to see what they could tell me about the help and assistance given to Merckx by Ugo when Merckx was starting in the business . I sent a number of photos of this frame to see whether they could confirm if Ugo built it.

The son of Ugo replied very quickly and Cristiano is the head of the commercial side of the business.
It doesn't matter that its not a confirmed De Rosa to me, but unfortunately they didn't answer my query around the assistance provided to Merckx.
 

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dan73uk

Retro Guru
Using a plastic ruler, paint renovator the decals were slowly removed.
The colour of the original paint is a wonderful cherry like red.
 

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dan73uk

Retro Guru
Scuffs and scratches had been covered up with a much darker paint or nail varnish.
 

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dan73uk

Retro Guru
Once the touch up paint was removed, the frame looked far better.
I prefer to see the marks from the use of the cycle over it's lifetime and am not a fan of touch up paint.
 

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dan73uk

Retro Guru
The drive side chain stay had a very sticky foil decals which proved very difficult to remove and was a very slow process but the chain stay came up a treat.
 

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