We know that the Centurion "Equipe" was made in Italy, circa 1984-85, with the involvement of Cinelli framebuilders; see here.
The photos below are of a Centurion "Professional" that has Cinelli-like features but was made in Japan. Note in particular the BB design and serial number, M8K18033. According to the Japan made Centurion frames the decode is:
Centurion models manufactured in Japan between 1980-1990 use a serial number format WXYZZZZ with:
W = a letter, purpose uncertain, possibly indicates a manufacturer or Centurion; X = a number, indicating the calendar year of manufacture; Y = a letter, indicating the fortnight of manufacture (A = wk 1 & 2, B = wk 3 & 4, etc.) ZZZZ = four digit number, probably indicating frame number during fortnight of manufacture.
N4E0283, as an example, would indicate this is the 283rd frame made during the period of weeks 9-10 in 1984.
That would make this frame a 1988.
More information about Centurion:
Centurion was a brand of bicycles created in 1969 by Mitchell (Mitch) M. Weiner and Junya (Cozy) Yamakoshi, who co-founded Western States Import Co. (WSI) in Canoga Park, California (initially Wil-Go Imports) to design, specify, distribute and market the bicycles. The bikes themselves were manufactured initially in Japan by companies including H. Tano Company of Kobe and later in Taiwan by companies including Merida. The Centurion brand was consolidated with WSI's mountain bike brand Diamond Back in 1990. WSI ceased operations in 2000.
Other frames that were made to look like a Cinelli were Windsor and Raysport.
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9 months ago