This road-going, time trial version of the frame that Francesco Moser used to break Eddy Merckx's World Hour Record on the track in 1984 is, according to the seller on eBay, a prototype – which of course only serves to make it even more desirable.
When Francesco Moser set a new Hour Record of 50.808km in 1984 – smashing Eddy Merckx's 1972 best of 49.431km – the Italian did so on an aerodynamic 'lo-pro' time trial bike with disc wheels and dressed in a skinsuit, dragging the record into the modern age. Just four days later, Moser improved his own record to 51.151km.
Available here on eBay is a prototype of the road version of the frame Moser broke the Hour Record on, with the model named Va Por La Hora – Go For The Hour in Spanish, presumably alluding to the fact the 1984 record was set in Mexico City – and subsequently used by some of the sport's top TT specialists over the following seasons, including Moser at the 1984 Giro d'Italia, which he won overall.
Lo Sceriffo, 'The Sheriff', rode his own bikes, and had his own bike company – Moser Cicli – with the bikes quite rightly boasting large 'F.Moser' decals, and he concentrated on his business after his retirement from professional racing in 1988.
However, Moser continued to ride and race long into retirement, and in 1994 returned to the highest level, and to Mexico City, for what was an unsuccessful attempt (51.840km) to beat Chris Boardman's 1993 record of 52.270km. Moser used Graeme Obree's famous 'egg tuck' position, on his own Moser frame, which Obree had used to break Moser's 1984 record earlier in 1993 (51.596km).
Obree would beat Boardman's record in that same tuck position in April 1994 (52.713km), and Miguel Indurain and Tony Rominger would both set new records later that year.
Moser's older Va Por La Hora frame design is unmissable thanks to its bendy top tube and seat tube, which were designed to get Moser into the most aerodynamic position possible – even though plain-old straight tubes would have surely done the same job. Still, most of us want bikes to look spectacular, and in that respect the Va Por La Hora doesn't disappoint.
The Greece-based seller points out that this prototype frame has a different cable-routing set-up to later production models, and vintage metal spiral outer cables only serve to help this bike look the business.
It's been restored and repainted, and boasts Ambrosio by Logos disc wheels, a special 3TTT 'Moser 51.151' handlebar and stem, and a Campagnolo Super Record groupset, complete with 'FM' stamped chainring. The seat tube size is a whopping 68cm, and the tope tube is 63cm, so only tall, bendy riders need apply – if you were going to attempt to ride it.
Also on eBay is this later example of a Columbus SLX-tubed Va Por La Hora. The previous owner told the seller that this very bike had been used by Czechoslovakian-born Milan Jurčo while riding for Château d'Ax in the prologue time trial of the 1987 Tour de France in Berlin, Germany, where Jurčo finished fifth.
So if you're in the market for a Moser Va Por La Hora, you'll have to decide between a prototype or a later, Tour de France-ridden model. Or – at £10,000 (US$12,400) and £11,300 (US$13,999), respectively – just get both.
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