Hold onto your chairs Lotus fans, you're about to be transported back in time to the year 1984 and take delivery of your brand new 1984 Lotus Legend Compe.
Jeff Groman from Classic Cycles writes:
"Hi Tim, I just picked up and took out of the
box a Legend Compe that is the Campy Nuovo Record/Gran Sport bike. The bike was in a box since 1984
the rear derailleur is stamped with an 83 date. It is in unridden condition."
Needless to say, this bicycle is definitely capable of dropping your jaw and giving you goosebumps..... simultaneously. Make sure you take advantage of the Click to Enlarge links on the photos. If you are attempting to restore your bicycle, these photos will provide an insight into what a new vintage Lotus looked like before it was ever considered vintage.
We can't thank Jeff Groman enough for finding, preserving, and contributing photographs of this outstanding bicycle.
The 1984 Legend Compe was equipped with the Campagnolo Gran Sport Gruppo with Nuovo Record front and rear derailleurs. The chain and freewheel were Suntour Ultra 6 components and the chain is marked as such in the photo above. Note the factory assembly lube still on the Campagnolo Nuovo Record derailleur.
The handlebars are wrapped in black cotton twill tape and the ends are sealed with unmarked black end caps with a center mounting screw. Also of interest is the generous length on the brake cables.
Officially, Lotus called this color Tan, but we prefer to refer to it as Champagne Silver based on descriptions of the same color on other Lotus models.
This 1984 Legend Compe features Columbus SL tubing and LOTUS engraved fork crown and LOTUS engraved full-wrap seat stay caps. The full-wrap seat stay caps have been found on the Legend since the very first models. Also note the triangular cut-out in the cast fork crown and the chromed fork and stay ends.
The Legend Compe was the entry-level racing bike for Lotus in 1984 and as such features shorter chain stays than the standard Legend frame. Since the Legend Compe is a racing bicycle it does not have threaded eyelets on the front or rear drop outs.
New for 1984 was the block-style font for the Legend Compe decal on the top tube. The riveted Lotus head tube badge found on the 1983 Legend Compe has been replaced with a decal on the 1984 models.
The 1984 Legend Compe uses a padded Kashimax Aero-style saddle featuring a reflective LOTUS adhesive nameplate on the back.
While the seat post is part of the Campagnolo Gran Sport gruppo the handlebar and stem are made by SR. We're sure that Lotus mixed the Japanese parts in with the Italian gruppo to offer an Italian equipped bike at a competitive price, without compromising performance or quality.
It's obvious by looking at the component selection and design of this Legend Compe that Lotus paid careful attention to detail when designing their bicycles. The excellent reputation of the Nuovo Record derailleurs took precedent over including the lesser Gran Sport derailleurs that one normally would expect to find used as part of the Gran Sport Gruppo. Even though this was the entry-level Lotus racing bicycle, it was designed and built to professional standards with much attention to detail.
Assigning original equipment rim choices for the Legend Compe bicycles has long been a matter of conjecture and even some controversy here on VintageLOTUSbicycles.com.
While we were convinced the Legend Compe bicycles came with tubular rims, in keeping with other Lotus racing bicycles, we haven't been able to pinpoint any specific examples with much accuracy.
Quite honestly, we never saw this coming, but this particular bicycle rides on French Super Champion Competition rims with 36 spokes laced to the Campagnolo Gran Sport hubs. We might have expected Ukai or Araya Japanese tubular rims, but Lotus threw us a curve ball with this one. Note the very fine tread design on the Hutchinson Tempo I sew-up tires.
Nothing looks as clean as brand new parts, especially tires, rims, pedals and toe straps. This Legend Compe has Campagnolo toe clips with KKT toe straps on beautiful Campagnolo Gran Sport pedals.
"The GS pedals and toe clips have seen my foot only once."
~~ Jeff Groman ~~
"We sold Lotus bikes at our New Jersey shop in the early 1980's.
I think we were one
of Sid Star's first customers. The shop was Marty's Reliable Cycle."
~~ Jeff Groman ~~
All photographs courtesy of Jeff Groman, edited by VintageLOTUSbicycles.com