Investigation concludes: it's a 1994 GT Tequesta

 

It does have a GT logo stamp on the rear of the top tube. In a mix of literal technical description and allegoric marketing jargon, the GT is branded.

The serial number on the bottom bracket reads: H3M5 4603 94087. The 94 indicates the production year, which is supported by the stamp "1993" on the fork. XXXX XXXX YYXXX  is the composition of the serial number from 1994 onwards, a final confirmation of the production year of my GT.

My final quest is to find out the further logic of the serial number. The first 4 numbers look different, are on the left. I assume that therefore they have been stamped before the other numbers, maybe by the supplier. My guess is that the first 4 numbers are to do with the frame and the model. H3M5 therefore indicating tubing specifics, maybe also the size?


The STX components were introduced in 1993 and first used by GT in 1994. This is consistent with my GT, therefore, yes it is the model year 1994. Only the Tequesta had everything STX plus a dia-compe Ahead system. The Timberline only had an STX rear derailleur. Most other components were lesser Shimano Alivio components.
Facts, forensic analysis and Sherlock Holmes like deduction are leading to the fact supported conclusion: This GT is a slightly modified and badly repainted 1994 Tequesta.

And of course the photos give you a glimpse of the paint stripped new bare naked steel look.

GT Tequesta "official" specifications

1994 https://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/BikeSpecs.aspx?item=15153 (no https!!!)
and GT Catalog Spec Sheet data (see retrobike.co.uk)
In 2004 GT Bicycles (Wikipedia) has been acquired by Dorel Industries (Wikipedia) after the bankruptcy of the original company in 2001. Dorel Industries also owns Cannondale and Schwinn among others. Therefore you will not find catalogs or data pre-2004 on the site of BT Bicycles.

Other links: https://knowyourbike.com/gt/tequesta/1994

Frame & Fork

FRAME: GT Triple Triangle Design, 73mm Bottom Bracket Shell, [Groove (Top) Tube?]
FRAME CONSTRUCTION: Tig Pulse Welded Steel
FRAME MATERIAL: Double Butted Chromoly
FORK: GT Unicrown Full Chromoly with 1 1/8" Oversize Steer Tube and 1 1/8" Blades with Chisel Cut

Components

PEDALS/TOE CLIPS & STRAPS: One-Piece Alloy GT Nylon w/GT Resin Clips, Anatomically Sized
CHAIN: Shimano HyperGlide
DERAILLEURS: Shimano STX 21-Speed
SHIFTERS: Shimano STXRapid-Fire plus 7-Speed DUAL SIS w/Optical Gear Display
HANDLEBAR: GT Ergo Alloy 1-Piece Bar/Bar Ends with Multiple Hand Positions, Anatomically Sized
HANDLEBAR STEM: GT Flip Flop III Heat Treated Chromoly 1 1/8 Oversize "Aheadset" Type, Anatomically Sized
HANDLEBAR GRIPS: GT Long Type Kraton
CRANKSET: Shimano STX 42/34/24 HyperDrive-C with Anatomically Sized Arms
BOTTOM BRACKET SHELL WIDTH: 73mm
BB PARTS: Shimano Cartridge
REAR COGS: 7-speed, 11 - 28 teeth
SADDLE: GT ATB Racing
SEAT POST: Alloy Micro-Adjust
S.P. CLAMP: GT Alloy QR
BRAKES: Shimano STX Canitlevers
BRAKE LEVERS: Shimano STX
FRAME SIZES: 14.5", 16", 18", 20", 22"
Colors: Blacklight, Raging Red

Wheels

RIMS: Weinmann Double Wall Alloy 26x1,50 32H, Silver Anodized
TIRES: Tioga Psycho 26x1.95
HUBS: Shimano STX QR Alloy with Rear Cassette, 32H
SPOKES: 14G Steinless Steel


My Tequesta as bought in 2021

non-original paint, therefore hard to tell whether it was black or red
My Tequesta has had a steel (!) GT Ergobar with Alivio Brake levers as opposed to the original spec of an Aluminium Ergobar with STX Shifters and brake levers. 
After a incredibly extensive forensic data research and Sherlock Holmes worthy deductions ;-) , I assume that the original had been replaced at some point. Either it was damaged, stolen or at some point a non-GT bar was fitted and the then owner wanted to refit a GT OEM handlebar. I think the last GT Ergobar was swapped from another GT bike, therefore it came with the Alivio levers.
After more than 25 years of usage, the bike parts that most commonly have been replaced are the rims and tires. And the saddle. None of which seem original on my GT.
Otherwise a surpising amount of components are original, BB, crankset, chainrings, derailleurs, canti brakes...


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