Looking up the serial number, I learned it was a 1985 Trek 500, made in Wisconsin with Reynolds 501 steel. My plan was to fix it up and sell it.
As soon as the weather got warm enough, I painted it along with another project I was working on, an early 80's Bridgestone Kabuki. I gave it two coats of primer, four coats of brush on Rustoleum, and and a few coats of clearcoat. I gave it a new fork, some chopped down old Bontrager mountain bike flat bars, mismatched Tektro and Shimano 105 brakes, mismatched cranks, and a fixed gear drivetrain. You couldn't really tell it was a Trek unless you looked at the custom investment cast lugs. It looked pretty generic, but the first time I rode it it felt special. It was springy, lithe, and fast. It was more fun to ride than any other bike I'd ever ridden. And I had built it. I was keeping it.
But last week, I started feeling a weird wiggle. I thought the rear hub might be too loose, so I took off the rear wheel and tightened it. But on my next ride to work, it still felt weird. It was the Saturday before Christmas, our busiest work day of the year, so I decided to look into it after Christmas and rebuild the hub if necessary.
Leaving work that day, I rolled down off the curb and was preparing to accelerate into Grand Avenue ahead of an oncoming car half a block away. I hauled up on the handlebars to get some power and the bike literally ripped in half. The down tube sheared a few inches below the head tube and the top tube bent back into the shape of a croissant.
I can see why the frame failed the way it did. There was a dent in the tube there where I think the previous owner had ground off too much metal removing the downtube shifter bosses. Looking back, you can see the flaw was there all along.