I own and love my 980. I was lucky enough to find one a few years back, and it worked, but was a bit jerky and sluggish. So I took it apart, cleaned, and re-lubed it. It runs like a champ, and has the original nuke-proof belt. I have told this before, but my main machine at the time was a Thorens 166. I didn't want to like the 980 more, but in all honesty I did. It sounded wonderful, looked cool (to me) and it was quiet. So I sold the Thorens. I don't use my BIC too much these days, which is the problem with the ease of finding cool tt's a few years back. Nothing cool lasts a half a day on Craigs List now. I use my SL-1350 more. But I keep the BIC 980 around.
Taking them down is not easy, but not impossible. If you take your time, and keep good mental notes or take pictures, you can do it. Just go back the way you came, and you should be fine. Only problem I had was the orange cam auto changer. Keep track of that!! I have since done a few orphan BICs. The later ones are batty complicated, but I can do them in two minutes now.
BIC did do one Realistic machine at least. I can't remember the LAB but I have seen it. The also did an MCS/JC Penney turntable. It is real bare bones, kind of like the 912, and when I popped it open it was all labeled BIC but was made in Mexico. So there is a fun one out there. Lord knows how they set up shop down there.