I use the 1495 Medalist model on several of my vintage fiberglass rods (Shakespeare Wonderods, Silaflexes, and even Phillipsons). I like the reel a lot. All of mine are vintage reels; most purchased, as others have said, on ebay.
One of the really nice features of the older Medalist reels is that they have the ability to have weight added to them in a way that doesn't unbalance the reel. This is particularly important when you're fishing one of the earlier fiberglass rods; most notably when it's a solid glass rod; not hollow-built on a mandrel. If you take the two screws out of the cream front cap on the reel, you'll find a hole in the spool axle that will take bb shot. I just add as much shot as I need to balance out the rod that I'm pairing the reel to, add some synthetic batting to prevent the shot from rolling around, replace the front cap, tighten down the screws and that's it; a reel that's balanced to the rod.
Some people shy away from the heavier vintage fiberglass rods, saying that they get arm-tired quickly. My experience is that if the rod and reel are not balanced; then your arm will get tired quickly. But, even with a heavy rod, if the reel balances it, then you won't get arm-tired. It's primarily the imbalance that tires out your arm; not the total weight of the rod and reel set-up.
I have five 1495 Medalists, one 1494 and one 1496 and I fish them all - regularly. Unfortunately, none of them are for sale at this time.
But you'll likely find what you're looking for in a 1494 Medalist, dman, if you keep an eye on ebay. Good luck - it sounds like an interesting project. Maybe some pics for the rest of us when you've sourced one(?)