The Team America was the 2nd model from the top after the Team Europe
model. So what was the Team America? In a nutshell? It is a Japanese
bike built with Italian Columbus SL tubing and named the Team America.
How about that for a mind bender?
The 1986 Team America model came with a full Dura Ace component group
and lovely Araya Aero 4 tubular wheels. The three color paint job is
perhaps one of Panasonic’s more attractive designs.
What can I say about this ’86 Team America other than the fact that it
is likely my personal favorite Panasonic bicycle. You see, I remember
looking at the 1986 Panasonic model year brochure back in the day and
even though this wasn’t the top dog (Team Europe) within the line, it
was far and away THE bike I wanted. It is also the bicycle that
prompted my quest for more Panasonic information… and turning up fairly
empty-handed, I guess you could say it also led to the creation of this
So I wanted one of these for many years… since 1986 to be exact! The
only problem was that I had never actually seen one anywhere other than
in the bike shop catalog back in the day. I have been watching ebay and
other sites for quite some time and never saw one for sale. I sort of
figured that perhaps this bike was a bit of a unicorn within the
Panasonic line. You see pictures but can’t be sure they actually exist.
Well, during mid May of 2008 the unicorn bike became a reality. I
spotted one on ebay and was determined to own it as long as the price
didn’t go up to insane levels. As luck may have it, I won the auction
and the bike is now sitting over my left shoulder. I spent several
evenings going through everything in order to get it “museum clean”.
It turns out that I had in fact purchased the bike from the original
owner. The bike was originally purchased from a now defunct
Schwinn/Panasonic dealer in East Liberty, Pennsylvania called The Bike
See it here: http://panasonicbikemuseum.info/archives/12