Yesterday I picked this one off eBay. It's not one of those rare, collectible things that makes some people get damp, but it's a very nice bike to bring down and ride in Texas.
Some of the top end Nishikis for the European market were supposedly made by Colnago, but this one was built in Japan in the late 70s (?) by Kawamura. After the Japanese exchange rate got out of hand, Nishiki production moved to Giant in Taiwan and the brand became a bit more of a commodity. The Ultimate was the top of the line (though possibly not cataloged), original full Campagnolo equipped, even down to the Campy rear dropouts. On a Japanese bike!
As someone observed, "The irony is, of course, if it were more common, more famous, but a less well built European bike, it'd going for twice as much." For instance, Silk Hope's reaction to my buying an old Japanese bike was, "WTF?"
And if it was an expensive vintage European bike, I wouldn't have bought it.
|Check out the nice lug lining.|