Flashback Friday – Fall/Winter 1984-85

Fashion model by day & copywriter by night!  Chuck Lewis has been at Performance since nearly the beginning of our company, so we asked him to write up a few memories about the Fall/Winter 1984-85 catalog:

“Back in the early days Richard Snook and I shared copy writing responsibilities, frame prepping and wheel building skills, and even provided the occasional talent for catalog photos.”

“On page 34 Richard donned a shop apron to give an old world nostalgia look to the custom assembled bike-in-process.  He also wrote the copy below the picture.  What you don’t see in the picture is the box of Chips Ahoy cookies he always had close at hand!”

“Pete Walther and I shared the local talent responsibilities along with a Carolina Co-ed for the shot of rain gear taken in the Coker Arboretum on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus (that’s me hiding under the rain hood).  I’m pretty sure we got the picture you see in one take.  After all we had to rush back to work and get the last of the orders packed and shipped out for the day.”

“I wrote the full page of copy for the two Performance frames one night after work.  This was done on a vintage Smith-Corona portable manual typewriter (try Googling that one!)  I brought all my skills as a former English major to bear on the labor of love to bring the bike frames to life on the page.  Richard came up with the name Campione for the racing frame and I chose Blue Ridge for the touring frame.  I’ve visited the parkway all my life and the name was a natural fit.  I remember picking out the colors and script for the logos and name badges at a graphics design studio in Raleigh.  It was exciting to be involved in so many different aspects of the business from its early beginnings.”

Here’s a photo of Chuck today, still the proud owner of his custom-built Performance bike (with a few updates added along the way).


10 thoughts on “Flashback Friday – Fall/Winter 1984-85

  1. I remember that catalog! I had up to just a few years ago the red and gray jacket that appears on the cover. The Performance catalog was a bible of sorts for me back in the mid-1980’s. I got a lot of information from it. I also had that monstrous Cat-Eye cyclocomputer that is on the cover. I think it was solar powered too. I bet it would be a bit of a collectors item today.

    Neat post.

  2. My Performance Blue ridge frame is still in use with the Performance Wheelset I bought with it in late 1986. It’s currently a single speed and wearing the Shimano 600 brakes from 1986.

  3. I have a Performance Campione (Red) I bought in the eighties and in the process of rebuilding it for masters racing. Nothing like keeping pace with thoses guys on new unobtainium carbon budget busters. These old steel frames are a really sweet. Thousands of miles and two realignments from crashes and it is getting a new lease on life. Thanks Performance folks for offering a great frame. Obivously Italian, I wonder who made it way back then?

  4. I just bought an old Campione frame, and I plan on building it up with early 90s 600 and 105 components. I’m prettey stoked to have an old columbus frame, and after seeing the original price, I know that I got an excelent deal!
    1+ does anyone know who actually made these frames in Italy? (De Rosa?) I would love to know.

  5. i crashed my trek 660 (R531) in a sunday race in ’85. had a big annual race the following sunday. i needed a frame – quick! i ordered the campione and it arrived the saturday before the big race . built it up that night with what was hanging on the trek. test ride was at midnight. raced the following day.i raced on that bike for the next two seasons. i hung it up in the cellar at season’s end. the following season, i went on to aluminum and then on to carbon which i’ve been riding since the early 90’s.
    a few weeks ago, i was down in the cellar and saw the campione hanging just as i left it 26 years ago and thought to myself what a shame it was to let it just hang there.
    well, long story short, i took it down, stripped it down, cleaned it up and built it up with a really nice mix of vintage & modern components and a nice pair of wheels. I took it out for a ride. once i got my mind back around to the concept of downtube shifting, i realized just how smooth riding a nice steel frame can be! i’ve been riding it ever since and have logged almost 500 very enjoyable miles! it’s a really nice bike. light and very pretty, to boot. i think it’s going to be fun summer.
    btw, i too, am curious as to the identity of the builder.

    1. Does anyone know of a suitable bottom bracket for the Blue Ridge bike frame? I have been using one for years on a stationary bike trainer every day and the bottom bracket now needs replacing. Any help would be appreciated. Jim

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