Sunday, August 15, 2021

Tandem restoration tidbits: Dating the Peugeot TM 8

Manufacturing date

One of the first questions that comes up for any vintage bicycle is certainly its age. For our Peugeot TM 8 the color scheme, orange lettering, checkerboard graphics and 'record du monde' decals give a hint, as does the equipment which can be compared to catalog images. Yet one of the best ways is certainly to look for original parts bearing a date of manufacture.
Captain's bottom bracket: 12 79, Stronglight, Marque Deposée: December 1979.
In our case we found 12 79 for December 1979 on the captain's bottom bracket spindle, and 2-0 on the Atom hub brake, which according to a website (I no longer find) stands for February 1980
Atom drum brake stamped 2 - 0 for February 1980.
So the bike can be no older than February 1980. More information might be obtained from the stamped/engraved frame number, and the paper sticker.

Frame sticker in addition to the frame number. The dot to the right of the T
turned out to be a removable spec of dirt so its a 'T' and the '1' could be a
misprinted M - for TM8 'Tandem Mixed 8'. For other models however, the
mixed version is known to have a 1 in front of the model number! But usually
the 1 would have looked different (with short top dash and large serif/foot).

Paper stickers are said to show a serial number (top) alphanumeric model number (bottom left) and frame size (bottom right) here. A frame size is absent here, but the TM 8 was only built in 56 (captain)/ 52 (stocker), so this makes sense. The character to the right of the T could be a 1 or a misprinted M for TM8.  For other models however, the mixed version is known to have a 1 in front of the model number... But ususally the 1 on the paper stickers looked different with shorter top dash and a foot/serif. And for the tandem, the homme/homme version had the designation TH8. As for the serial number I have no idea on how to decode it and whther it contains information about the manufacturing date.

Price / value

If we take 1980 as the year the bicycle was purchased, its price according to a list found here was 3340 French Francs. The good reference to gauge its value might be a PX10 at 2980 FRF, and a PY10 for 4690 FRF. If this is to be taken as a measure of its quality, today a good Tandem is often rather more than twice as expensive than a good racing bike.

Prices in French Francs as of 1980. The TM8 cost 3340 Francs, and sits in
between the PX10 and PY10.
Using a conversion tool, 3340 FRF in 1980 equate to about 1500 Euros at the time of writing. Not exactly cheap compared to some current budget tandem offers on the internet, but still very far below known good ones. As an interesting coincidence this is probably about the total investment we made from ebay-find to full restoration.