"Enclosed are a few photographs of my 1976 Fuji Finest. There's an interesting story I'd like to share about this particular bicycle. This was posted on my local Craigslist but due to the high asking price it seemed to languish for months. I developed a dialog with the owner and he explained that in 1976 he had ordered a Fuji Ace from his local bike shop. The Ace was of interest of course because unlike other Fuji's that year, the Ace was fully built up with Shimano Dura-Ace instead of Suntour, Dia Compe and Sugino components. Unfortunately, the Ace frame arrived damaged and the owner agreed to have all of the components switched over to a brand new Finest frame. Most of the components are Dura-Ace, including the hubs. Some exceptions are the Nitto Pearl stem, Sugino seatpost, MKS Unique Royal Road pedals and the Fujita Pro Nubuck saddle.
I continued to be in touch with the seller, usually dropping him an email every time it showed up on Craigslist. The price slowly began to drop with every new listing. Eventually the two of us got together and I got a chance to view the Finest. I was absolutely stunned at the amazing condition it was in. Tom, the owner, had kept it in wonderful shape. The decals were all intact, the frame was rust free and mostly devoid of scratches. The chrome lugs sparkled like new. What pushed me over the edge was the original receipt, warranty papers, the 1976 Fuji catalog, a small can of still usable Fuji "Rainbow" blue touch-up paint and and extra tubular tire stretched onto an surplus Ukai rim. Tom's a great guy, he wanted it to go to a good home and I wanted to save it from being parted out on EBay. In the end, we both agreed on a price that we were happy with.
A few differences with your 1972 Finest..... The presence of the "The Finest" decal on the top tube and the small tri-color decals around the fork and chain and seat stays. Also the Fuji head badge is the tall extended version rather than the shorter, rounder badge.
I haven't ridden it extensively, the rear tubular tire has a slow leak and I'm a novice in the tubular tire repair & glue department. Other than putting air in the rear tire and removing a rack and kickstand, I haven't made any changes. It's a extremely elegant bicycle and I'm thrilled to be it's new owner.
Thanks again for your wonderful Fuji blog!
Scott, that is another beautiful bike you have, thanks for sharing it. The paint and chrome are stellar, I wish mine looked so nice!
Here are the original Craigslist posting pictures: