A custom frame I built in May 1982 sold on eBay last weekend for $886.54. The highest price paid for one of my frames for a while now. These custom frames are quite rare I only built and recorded 216 of them from 1982 to 1986.
There were a few others built in 1981 (But not recorded.) and a few more built after 1986, but so few I didn’t even record them. I would guess no more than 10 or 12 between 1986 and 1993 when I retired.
Before 2008 when this recession hit, these frames would have brought more, but the price of all vintage bicycles is down now. I recall one of my custom complete bikes went for $3,000, and soon after the bottom fell out of everything.
Like antiques, the price is determined by supply and demand. The supply will never increase, I will not be building anymore.
Out of the 216 plus a few more I have mentioned, only 35 are listed on my registry.
Some will have been lost through accidents, or thrown in dumpsters by people who didn’t know better.
In time the numbers out there will decrease. The whole purpose of my registry is to preserve as many as we can.
The demand for these frames will depend largely on the economy, and getting back to more prosperous times when people actually have something known as discretionary income.
In other words spare cash to plonk down on something that is nice to have, but let’s face it, not at all essential.
There are three interesting features about the frame pictured here. The first is the paint job. Metallic blue with off white oval panels. This style of paint was popular in England, but not so much in the US. As a result only a few were painted this way, and as far as I remember, and only in 1981 and 1982 while working in the Masi shop in San Marcos, CA.
The second point is there are two water bottle mounts above and below on the down tube. It was done this way so a frame fit pump could be carried in front of the seat tube.
The other interesting point is the frame number. I accidentally stamped two frames with the same number, 5821.
As I recall I didn’t discover the mistake until after the frames were painted. The frames are not the same, they are different sizes, so there can be no confusion even though they have the same number.
This mistake only happened once, and I find it interesting that out of the number of frames built and the few that have come to light so far, that this particular frame has shown up. I hope the new owner will contact me and add it to the registry, and maybe one day the other 5821 will show up.
Someone is bound to ask, the DB53 stamp is the frame size. “DB” is for Dave and Brenda (My ex-wife.) She did some prep and finish work on the frames. She wanted her name somewhere on the frame. There was no way that was going to happen, so to shut her up appease her I stamped DB before the frame size. This only appeared for part of 1982, later I quietly dropped it.