Not one, but two all-original 1966 Raleigh Sports. A genuine Mr. and Mrs. pair, more so than the Schwinn pair. I won the auction with no outside resistance and called my "driver" friend, offering dinner in return for taking me to pick them up.
The bikes were in good shape for their age. They had consecutive Grosse Pointe registration tags.
Original Brooks B72 saddles: supple, very soft, aged but not cracked. Comfortable "butt hammocks," as I heard someone call them before (Sheldon Brown, possibly?). Not pictured here is the original Britannialloy pump still mounted to the lady's frame.
The gent's frame was in better shape than the lady's frame. It also looked like it had been waxed or polished. Something that confused me was the blue hue showing through the green topcoat. On all parts of both bikes (a.k.a. not replacement parts), there were areas where the green was either fading or rubbing off. Another factory Raleigh color lay underneath. I doubt it's a primer since it was metallic and the primer that Raleigh used during this time was usually if not always black. The two other weathered, green, late '60s Raleighs I've personally seen did not have the blue showing through. Is it possible that these were leftover frames from the previous model year that were repainted with the new year's colors?
The chrome was in nice shape. The seller told me that he had removed the surface rust earlier and to my relief, did not use steel wool. Everything was beautifully polished, more so on the gent's frame.
The hubs are dated April 1966 for the men's frame and October 1965 on the lady's bike. Knowing that hubs and frames were not always assembled consecutively, I wonder if these bikes were ordered and left the assembly line together or if they were only picked out together in the shop. Either way, these two have been together for 50 years and it would be a shame to separate them. So far, new plans are to make both roadworthy, slightly modifying the gent's to match my friend's bike.