Hi my name is Andy and I now live in Sydney Australia, being Derby born and bred I used to own a Mercian Strada Speciale back in 80’s and eventually sold the bike in 1993. Upon reaching 50 I really wanted another for my birthday but money being tight I put an ad out on a Classic Bike Forum over here for “Mercian Wanted” , I had an answer from a chap in Grafton who said he has had what he thinks is a Mercian hanging up in his shed for the past 15 years, he sent me some photos and I could not believe it was a Strada that I can identify by the lugwork, looking the same size as the one I gave up 24 years before. So with the deal done I visited Mercian In Derby and Jane kindly sorted out the build sheets for both my frames with new Decals and the dimensions were found to be identical. The my original frame was a 1982 build in 531 Competition but this new find was a stock frame made of 531 Special Lightweight of 1979 Vintage, but with an internal rear brake cable and an extra set of bottle mounts. During this time in the UK the frame was at Geoff Scott’s having a new Campagnolo rear drop out being fitted and fettled to take modern wheels and group sets. The paint restoration was completed by Peter at Star Enamellers here in Sydney and he has one of the best reputations for cycle paint in Australia, I could not decide on a paint scheme so in the end I gave Peter a photo of my original Strada and ask him to copy it. I have fitted a full Campagnolo Veloce 10 speed group set in silver (Centaur rear cassette in 12-30), Mavic Aksium Race wheels de stickered shod in Continental rubber, Turbo Saddle and Deda finishing kit. The bike ride superbly and gets lots of attention when visiting the cafes in the New South Wales roads, I think the bike will go on for another 38 years which just shows how good the Mercian of Derby craftsmanship has been.
Thank you Andy for your pictures and letter.