One of the Panasonics I always liked were the old AR-6000 Aero models. They came about at a time when Aero was a bit of a craze in the cycling world and were fitted with the unique Dura Ace AX part group.
This particular bike was brought to my attention by the mechanic at my old Panasonic dealership in Clear Lake, Iowa. The previous owner (Ryan) really loved the time he spent with the bike although an upcoming move to Florida prompted him to sell it. It has had at least two or three owners prior to it coming into my hands and it will need a little work to be brought back to prime condition.
It has most certainly seen better days but have no doubt it can be saved. I have been wasting no time hunting down a few of the missing parts I need for it as well. I have a NOS drive side crank to replace the scratched original piece, some replacement brake hoods, Panaracer gum wall tires, and a Dura Ace AX rear derailleur.
I also just managed to get a pair of NOS original aero water bottles on ebay. Oddly enough, I had been bidding on another one there that wound up selling for $143.50 plus $9.95 shipping! Unbelievable! Much to my amazement, I just happened to stumble across another pair of NOS bottles just like it with a buy it now price of $25 each. I bought them and then noticed two more with the same buy it now from the same seller so I snapped them up as well. I wanted two for myself and planned on offering the other one to another local AR-6000 owner. The last one would be offered up to someone on bicyclingforums.net in the even someone was in need of that specific bottle for a restoration. Well, as it turns out, the seller (Chris of Alpha Bicycles in Vista, CA) called to inform me he had mistakenly listed four instead of just two. He was apologetic and offered a refund or asked if there was anything else I was in need of. As it turned out, I needed a Dura Ace AX rear derailleur and he just happened to have one which he offered to me in place of the other pair of water bottles. I love it when things work out like that! I’m looking forward to stripping the bike down and getting it ready for paint in the upcoming months.