Dating how often dating fender amps chassis
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The rear derailleur can often be dated to a year or two by referring to the book "The Dancing Chain - History and Development of the Derailleur Bicycle", by Frank Berto, 3rd edition 2009.
Swaps also can be made as the bike falls out of favor, or is being sold, where the higher quality components are traded for lower quality ones that the owner had onhand.
(Don't all cyclists have boxes and boxes of old components in their garage?
)Most early Treks (1976 through about 1980) were sold as framesets.
The components were added by the local bike shop or by the buyer. Components also could be swapped from an existing ride to the new frameset.