The Italians aren’t the only ones who can turn it on for a special birthday bike. When the Schwinn Paramount turned 50 in 1988, the Waterford factory produced a Limited Edition frame that was on par with any commemorative Colnago. This example was bought new by the preeminent collector Ray Dobbins in the early 90s, which explains the scrupulous level of care with which it has been presented.
The frame was available in red, blue, white or the option selected by Ray, black. There is a barely-detectable gold fleck in the paint that, along with gold-plated forks, traditionally celebrate a 50th anniversary. Ray originally built it with Campagnolo’s 50th Anniversary groupset, but replaced it with similarly appropriate parts when he sold it in 2008.
Ray is somewhat a perfectionist, sourcing a limited edition La Fausto Coppi saddle by Selle Italia with gold-plated rivets, which matches the gold-plated head on the Silca pump. There are far too many wonderful details to extoll in detail, including the limited edition Paramount headset, high-polished Cinelli cockpit and that flawless, as you’d expect, 24 karat gold-plated fork.