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2018年9月 1日 (土)

Yamaguchi MARUWAI-GO (① Selecting a Project)

次回、この記事の日本語版を投稿します。
In the previous post "Bridgestone Bicycle (① Selecting a Project)" we examined the top of the restoration project pyramid which is to try and find a well-stored, barely ridden, all original bicycle.  These “projects” are extremely rare, and the further down the  restoration project pyramid one goes are the more common weather-beaten, broke-down rusty relics of varying degrees.
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I received the following photos and email excerpts from Mr. H describing his first restoration project, shown above.   Mr. H writes:
“I came across your blog two years ago and was deeply moved.  You repeatedly mention that ‛If it was made well in the first place, it will come back to life’.  I took this to heart, found an old Yamaguchi MARUWAI-GO bicycle as my first project.  I visited The Master, Mr. Yatabe at his shop CHOJU JITENSHA SHOKAI (Long Life Bicycle Shop) and he estimated the bicycle to be from around 1951.”
Let's take a closer look at the project. 

Front Fender

Black paint peeling and rusted.
Although rusted, the Yamaguchi MARUWAI-GO trademark is still crisp and clear.
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Head Tube

Paint peeling and rusted.
Upper badge (⇐linked page is only in Japanese) is in fairly good shape, right-half of lower badge not so.
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Fork, Fork Crown, Front Brake

Fork is taped.
Front brake rusted.
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Frame

With the exception of a large portion of the down-tube, paint peeling  all over the frame, original trademark on the head tube - down tube lug only partially recognizable.
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Frame (Down Tube)
The transfer is about 80% intact but the far right portion has peeled away. This transfer is one of the main reasons Mr H. decided to select this as his project.
On the transfer, is written “マルワイ號 高級自轉車” (MARUWAI-GO High-Grade Bicycle) the use of old-style Kanji  “號⇒号” and “轉⇒転” are clear evidence that the bicycle is definitely just around 1950. But what caught Mr H's eye was the small characters “科學之精華” which loosely translated means “The fruits  of science” ie, cutting-edge technology.
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Frame (Bottom Bracket)
Paint peeling and rusted.
Screws and other hardware also rusted.
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Chaincase

Paint peeling and rusted.   Not much original paint remaining.
No major dents, and badges are in relatively good shape.
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Rear Fender
Paint peeling and rusted.
Like the front fender and chaincase, more rust than paint.
Can see where the rear fender stay badge was.
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Rear Brake
Completely rusted.
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Weather-beaten? Yes indeed.
Rusted? Yes indeed.
Paint peeling away?  Yes indeed.

Good for nothing piece of trash?  Not at all.
Beyond restoration?  Not at all.

In the next post we shall revisit this project  and see to what extent Mr H. was able to breath life back into Yamaguchi MARUWAI-GO. 

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