The problem was the picture sent to me did not do the frame justice. I looked at the funky straight fork (Not the original.) and the geto bars with no tape, and immediately assumed the frame was “an old beater.”
The owner had been corresponding with me about this frame via email, but because someone else sent the picture, I didn’t realize this was the same bike. Yesterday, the owner sent more pictures, and it all became clear that not only was this the original paint but the frame is in immaculate condition.
The first clue, the frame is built in Columbus SLX tubing; SLX was not around in 1980. The decals also threw me a curve, these were newly designed around 1991 when this was built.
The road bike market had gone right down the toilet, due to the mountain bike craze, and I thought I might survive by building a few high-end custom frames. With this in mind, I redesigned the decals for the custom frames, but as it turned out only two or three frames were ever finished with these decals, making this particular frame unique.
My apologies to the current owner of this bike for my mistake, incidentally, he tells me he has the original fork, but as it is not drilled for a brake he has temporarily replaced it with the one you see here.
I’m also taking up a collection to send him money for handlebar tape.