Both the bike and restoration, as well as the advert. Wordy, but comprehensive.
Up for auction here is this fully restored Benotto Modelo 800. So here’s the story. If you go to my website, The Vintage Vendor, you’ll see that I have an extensive background in automobile painting and motorcycle painting. I’ve also done vintage vending machine and gas pump restoration as well as vintage pressed steel toys. And while I am not known in the world of bicycle frame painting, if you google my name, Brent Budgor, you’ll hopefully see I have a pretty good reputation in the vintage motorcycle painting biz, especially British bikes and in particular, Nortons. I do the paint work for The Classic Bike Experience here in Essex, Vermont, for Commando Specialties in Plymouth, Mass, for Jerry Doe who runs the British bike website Access Norton in California and for AHRMA Vintage Racing Champion, Kenny Cummings who owns NYC Norton in Jersey City, NJ. I do work for people all over the country, as far west as Hawaii and as far east as England. I have over 100 testimonials on both my website and Access Norton. I’m certainly not the best out there and I’m not trying to brag, just giving you a little idea of who I am and the level of work I do.
Now as an avid bicyclist, it was only natural that I began to repaint my passion of vintage steel road bikes, especially Italian bikes. My first project was a 1979 Italian Viner Pro w/ full Campagnolo Record components that I restored over the summer. I was more than happy with the results, so when I ran across this Benotto with tired original paint, I was ecstatic. When I say that I repainted this bike, please don’t mistake it for a spray can job or some hastily applied house paint. We’ve all seen those. I bought this bike some months ago with this very thing in mind. I stripped the frame and fork of all it’s components and set them to the side, then stripping the worn original paint off down to the bare steel. After prepping and cleaning the frame and fork, I sprayed them with PPG DP50LV, catalyzed epoxy “direct to metal” primer surfacer. Once this was done, I decided to go with my own choice of colors and color layout, while still giving it a vintage traditional look. If you’ve ever seen the movie “LeMans” with the late Steve McQueen, you will undoubtedly remember the spectacular #20 Gulf/Porsche 917 Can Am car he drove. That car’s colors are what I chose to use, always loved them together. Then I laid out how I wanted them to look on the bike, with the contrasting head tube and down/seat tube color sections and bands. The beautiful reproduction decals were purchased from Gus Salmon down in Florida. I cannot stress how nice his decals are. So once that was all decided, I did the final prep on the frame and fork, then shot it with a coat of non-sanding PPG epoxy-sealer. Next I sprayed the orange where I wanted it in PPG DBC basecoat, let that set up, masked off the orange sections and then shot the PPG blue/gray base on the remainder of the frame and fork. Once that set up, I removed the masking from the orange areas, then applied the 1/4″ white color bands, then Gus’s beautiful decals, then shot 3 coats of PPG DC4000 clear with PPG 3085 hardener. The following day, I gave it a light wetsanding and hand rubbed it. The end results are what you see in the many high quality, detailed pics below. The finish on it now is far superior in quality and durability that what it had new. The materials I used were top of the line and expensive. And in reality, the paint job exceeded the value of the frame and fork, kind of like overbuilding your house.But what the heck. It’s my bike. So in the end, you get a truly one of a kind bike.
The bike itself from what I know is about a mid-1980’s Benotto Modelo 800 as they called it. It was referred to by Benotto as their “Entry Level Racer.” If I understand correctly, although Benotto was an Italian bike manufacturer, these vintage models were made in Mexico. I’m not trying to pass this off as a super rare high end road bike. However, it’s by no means a cheap bike either. The frame is a high tensile steel construction with very nice lug work. It is equipped with the vintage pre-Dura Ace Shimano 600 Arabesque Groupset. These are beautiful components that work about as well as anything from that era and are simply gorgeous with lovely detailing like nothing else of the era. All components were removed, cleaned, lubricated, polished, then re-installed. They are in very nice condition, but not perfect. The polished Sakae bars were treated to new rolls of Newbaum orange cloth tape. All the cables and housing were replaced with a new “Jagwire” road kit. The alloy KKT Pro Vic ll pedals were fitted with new MKS Large toeclips and orange toe straps to match the bars and cables. All bearings were repacked. Araya rims were trued and polished. Both derailleurs and brakes were properly adjusted. The Selle Italia Turbo saddle was treated with leather conditioner and looks very nice for a vintage saddle. The tires have some slight dry cracking. I have had them at pressure for several weeks now and done some test riding on them. Depending on your plans for the bike would depend on tire choice. If it were to be used mostly as a display bike and ridden occasionally, they should be fine as they have little wear on the tread. However if your plan is to do more distance riding or perhaps compete in L’Eroia type events, you may want to consider replacement. Or just keep a couple spares and when one gives out, you’re ready with a new one.
I consider myself a pretty avid cyclist riding year round here in Vermont and average 300 – 700 miles a month. I’ve worked in a bike shop many years ago and have a good knowledge of mechanical components. In riding this Benotto, while it’s no super-lightweight, it handles nicely, accelerates smoothly and is very stable and comfortable to ride. Shifting is quick and responsive as are the competent brakes. Overall, I feel this is a nice quality bike that is really ready to enjoy now. I took this bike to a local shop, The Old Spokes Home here in Burlington that does a lot of vintage bikes. The owner, Glen, looked it over and was very impressed with not only the quality of my work, the but the entire bike as a whole, which was very nice to hear. He is an avid collector and has had a few bikes restored in his day, so his opinion was important to me. I’ve lowered the price on the bike. If you have questions, please ask. I’m happy to help. I will pack the bike myself properly in a new bike box and make sure it will travel well. You are also welcome to pick the bike up if you live close enough to drive. Price is for lower 48 states only.
The Specs –
Frame – 56cm Measurements may not be exact – (center of bottom bracket to center of top tube) Benotto High Tensile Steel Tubing, Lugged, Brazed-on cable guides
Dropouts – Stamped “Suntour GT”
Fork – Benotto High Tensile Steel
Headset – Tange 1″ Threaded
Stem – SR Royal Alloy 90mm
Bars – Sakae Custom “Road Champion” Alloy, Newbaum cloth wrapped
Seat – Selle Italia Turbo
Seat Post – Sugino SP-H Alloy
Brakes – Shimano 600 Arabesque Alloy
Brake Levers – Shimano 600 Drilled Arabesque Alloy w/ New Cane Creek Hoods
Rear Derailleur – Shimano 600 Arabesque Alloy 6 Speed Alloy
Front Derailleur – Shimano 600 Arabesque Alloy
Shift Levers – Shimano 600 Arabesque Alloy Downtube
Cassette – Shimano 14 – 26 6 Speed
Chain – D I D
Crankset – Shimano 600 Arabesque Alloy 40 / 52 / 170 mm cranks
Pedals – KKT Pro Vic ll w/ MKS Toeclips and new straps
Bottom Bracket – Shimano Sealed Assy
Rims – Araya Alloy Sew-up
Hubs – Shimano 600 Arabesque Low Flange Alloy w/ Shimano Quick Release Skewers
Tires – Schwinn Super Record – Sew up/tubular 700c x 25
Weight – As pictured w/ pedals 23.5 lbs/ 10.65 kg
Wheelbase – 99 cm (c to c)
Top Tube – 56.5 cm (c to c)
Down Tube – 62.25 cm (c to c)