35 years later, this De Rosa has still yet to be built, and has never seen the road. I bought it in Seattle in 2012 from its original owner, a Californian who purchased the imported frame in 1980. He asked the bike shop to fit the first of what he thought would be a full Campagnolo Super Record groupset, but the headset was as far as he ever got with his project; the frame spent the next 32 years in its owners storage room.

I felt very lucky to have replied first to his advert when he came to sell his long forgotten 1980 De Rosa project. But building such a bike is prohibitively expensive, and like him, I dallied and procrastinated, storing the frame away for a day when my ship would come in, when the Super Record parts would turn up at my doorstep. It never happened, and with obvious regret, I sold it locally to a dealer who has subsequently listed it on Ebay for more than three times the price.

It wasn’t a perfect specimen of a classic Italian frame. The stamped lugs were painted sloppily and the decals were not centred properly on the tubing, attention to detail you’d expect for the expense and reputation of this brand. I loved the colour scheme, but I would have also liked chrome forks. The size, however, was perfect: a 57cm, and the top tube was 57cm. The braze-on parts were the beginning of that new type of mounting and cable routing becoming industry standard, and this frame was at that transition between the traditional and modern.

Perhaps one day it will finally be ridden and I hope with all the right components, for this long lost De Rosa Professional deserves nothing less.

1980 De Rosa Super Prestige Pernod
Columbus SL tubing, Campagnolo drop-outs
125mm rear spacing
57cm ( c-t ); 57 tt ( c-c )
14.8cm headtube
Stamped and chromed fork crowns
Italian threaded bottom bracket

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