Old SRAM PC-870 chain (top); new SRAM PC-870 chain (bottom).
Measuring from the center of one rivet to the rivet 23 away on a new chain is 12 inches (~30.48 cm). My chain was over 1/4 inch longer. Park Tool recommends replacing the chain when it is 1/16 inch too long.
Replacing the 8 speed cassette is a problem because of the dearth of parts, considering I need a ≥28 tooth lowest cog. I’ve found Miche 13-28 Campagnolo compatible cassettes on eBay in the UK and Italy, but then I start to wonder whether I should keep trying to support shifting components that were last produced in 1997.
I’ve also found on Branford Bike that a Campagnolo 9 speed hub could be used by dropping one sprocket and using a Wheels Manufacturing 8 speed spacer kit, but that spacer kit is also no longer available.