This Raleigh Team Panasonic Track was a high point of my morning commute to my workplace in The Rocks, Sydney. It turned into one of those ‘coffee shop romances’ where I’d roll into town and wonder excitedly whether we’d cross paths or not. A little online sleuth work revealed the owner to be none other than an old Sydney bike courier colleague of mine, Levon Broederlow.
Levon’s Raleigh is a true piece of Nottingham steel, purchased on Trade Me, New Zealand’s online auction site. He’s been riding it around Sydney regularly for over four years now, proof of both the reliability of Reynolds 531 and Levon’s smooth style. The Team Panasonic livery is less popular than the red, black and yellow of the Ti-Raleigh team, but no less striking, regardless of the wear Levon has inflicted upon it. Perhaps it’s more appropriate to find a Team Panasonic Down Under, considering the membership of Australian Phil Anderson in 1984. The Suntour Superbe groupset is not its original components, but the Campagnolo headset is, and the bottom bracket was replaced with a Phil Wood unit, which Levon has not had to pay much attention to.
Levon is considering a restoration, but as most purists will agree, it’s only original once. This Team Panasonic will only improve with further love and respect, and if it was wearing a brand new outfit, there’s a good chance I may not have taken the time to look back with such admiration.