It is hard to believe that this bike is in fact as old as it is. The
Tange Aero tubing was certainly ahead of its time… aero right down to
the seat post tube. This bicycle is a real engineering marvel and it
shows just what Panasonic was capable of during the early eighties. The
frame shown here appears to have been built in 1983.
One of the Panasonics I always liked were the old AR-6000 Aero models.
They came about at a time when Aero was a bit of a craze in the cycling
world and were fitted with the unique Dura Ace AX part group.
This particular bike was brought to my attention by the mechanic at my
old Panasonic dealership in Clear Lake, Iowa. The previous owner (Ryan)
really loved the time he spent with the bike although an upcoming move
to Florida prompted him to sell it. It has had at least two or three
owners prior to it coming into my hands and it will need a little work
to be brought back to prime condition.
It has most certainly seen better days but have no doubt it can be
saved. I have been wasting no time hunting down a few of the missing
parts I need for it as well. I have a NOS drive side crank to replace
the scratched original piece, some replacement brake hoods, Panaracer
gum wall tires, and a Dura Ace AX rear derailleur.
I also just managed to get a pair of NOS original aero water bottles on
ebay. Oddly enough, I had been bidding on another one there that wound
up selling for $143.50 plus $9.95 shipping! Unbelievable! Much to my
amazement, I just happened to stumble across another pair of NOS bottles
just like it with a buy it now price of $25 each. I bought them and
then noticed two more with the same buy it now from the same seller so I
snapped them up as well. I wanted two for myself and planned on
offering the other one to another local AR-6000 owner. The last one
would be offered up to someone on bicyclingforums.net in the even
someone was in need of that specific bottle for a restoration. Well, as
it turns out, the seller (Chris of Alpha Bicycles in Vista, CA) called
to inform me he had mistakenly listed four instead of just two. He was
apologetic and offered a refund or asked if there was anything else I
was in need of. As it turned out, I needed a Dura Ace AX rear
derailleur and he just happened to have one which he offered to me in
place of the other pair of water bottles. I love it when things work
out like that! I’m looking forward to stripping the bike down and
getting it ready for paint in the upcoming months.
See it here: http://panasonicbikemuseum.info/archives/375
A 1982 example can be viewed here: