There were some amazing bikes in Adelaide in January for the 2015 Tour Down Under. I’m not talking about the carbon fibre squads of team bikes — you could’ve seen those in any mainstream publication or local bike shop.
While the final criterium stage looped around the town centre, the Swap Meet in Ebeneezer Place, hosted by the wonderful Treadly store, was attended by some rare and intriguing machines, like Adam’s glittering Paconi.
Hidden amongst the grease-stained cardboard boxes, stuffed full of well-used derailleurs, odd wheels and obscure components, were some some real gems. A sparkling paint job caught my eye and I’d already fired off a few shots when I was approached a very tall bloke with a long beard the same colour as the red bricks that Adelaide is predominantly built with.
His name turned out to be Adam which, ironically, means ‘man of red earth’, and he was the owner of the Paconi I’d been photographing. We pulled it into the sunlight of Ebeneezer Place for a better look.
Paconi is not an Italian marque, but a well-known Australian brand — Victorian, to be precise. The frame builder is the highly respected Kevin ‘Wiggo’ Wigham, who is still practising and has made frames for other names such as Cecil Walker and Mascot Cycles’ Blucher Koln.
Adam’s Paconi has already passed through the hands of a few collectors and although he called it a pain to climb the Adelaide hills with, he’s loathe to move it on — it’s definitely one-of-a-kind. Paint work like this is a rarity in Australia.
It’s in marvellous condition for its age, no doubt previous owners have handled it with as much respect and awe as Adam does. Not only is the sparkling paint a talking point for anyone who lays eyes on it, the group set sparks everyone’s interest too.
Shimano’s Dura-Ace was introduced in 1973 and by 1977 it began to garner the respect it has today. The Crane rear derailleur was its crux, the ‘Black’ series a special edition, consisting of shaded brake calipers and the faux-drillium chainrings.