The first bikes which were to bear the Eddy Merckx logo, were the Eddy Merckx Kessels bikes in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Nobody less than the Champion himself rode them.
Unfortunatly Kessels made some cheaper, mass produced Eddy Merckx bikes some years later. Thus many people forgot about the professional bikes they once assembled.
A small manufacture, the family Vaneenooghe were amongst those who were producing for Kessels back in the early days. Later in the 1980s they made the bikes for the pro team Splendor, with riders as Sean Kelly, Eddy Planckaert and others.
Our Kessels is one of those which were built by the specialists of Vaneenooghe, clearly recognizable by the "Compass" on the fork crown and the V under the bottom bracket.
The frame is completely built with Reynolds 531 tubing, at least that is what the stickers say. Many Kessels frames used those butted tubes just on some of the main tubes and more affordable stuff for the stays. But the weight of the complete bike with just 9kg makes it very likely that it is indeed 531 tubing throughout.
The bike is fully equipped with a nice Campagnolo Nuovo Record Groupset from 1976.
The awesome condition of the frame, the beautiful bright purple colour and the top class groupset are making this bike very desireable, indeed.
The bike has very likely been made for a customer of the famous sports shop Bittl in Munich, where Eddy Merckx has stayed as a guest several times.
A bike like this would be perfect for a collection. But of course it is also an eye-turner wherever you ride it.