59 Western Flyer Super Deluxe Tank Model (AKA 3-on-the-tree)

Jun 22, 2014
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Well I'm going to start a build thread for my 1959 Western Flyer Super Deluxe Tank Model.
:eek: this bike has a long name :eek:

{Now calling this build "3-on-the-tree" }

Seeing as my work schedule and location have been getting switched around a lot lately and its been to unbelievably hot out to work in my garage my other build is at a stand still; so I brought this bike home.

Here it is as I got it.



And a pic of the bike from the Christmas 1959 Western Auto catalog. Note the "1960 Styling!"


So far I've managed to ID this bike (not an easy egg to crack) the BB has the first line that reads MOR 2052. MOR made it a 1959 and I knew that 2052 represented the model but it took a ton of digging and finally finding that catalog scan to find out what it was.

After I was done driving myself crazy to ID this middleweight beauty I started working some of the bolts lose.
I got this bike rideable (needs a tuneup but could ride if wanted) so most of the bolts seem to move easily.
The tank probably hasn't been pulled forever and took a lot of work to get free. As it so happens this bike was originally red (go figure)

Trying to decide if I want to try oven cleaner and such to see how much red is under this old blue repaint. It does appear to be the fabulous red that fades & peals to reveal silver underneath.

I have a lead on a chain guard and fenders so I'll see how that goes (hopefully the guy gets back to me). Also I need to dig in the garage when I get a chance as I know I have a Murray luggage rack but I think its a different style than the ad shows but if it fits I may use it anyway.

That's where I'm at as of right now; not much but its a start.
 
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Jun 22, 2014
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Thanks.
I'm excited. This is my first pre 1960 men's bike that has its tank.
Seems this thing is a bit of an oddball (maybe that's why I like it) when it comes down to it.
Thinking I may do a resto mod build with this bike; close to stock but a bit different.
Found a correct luggage rack on eBay it has the oval with "WF" on it. $80+ is too much for my blood at this point. http://www.ebay.com/itm/111384395253?

I think it looks like a standard torpedo headlight in the pic of the ad so that will be an easy one to get.
 
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Jun 22, 2014
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Just got a call and I'm going to go check out the fenders before heading to work. He said he is still looking for the chain guard.
 
Jun 22, 2014
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I got the fenders.
They are not the ones this bike should have but they are from a 1960 Murray that is almost identical. They are covered in old clear coat that is partly pealed off in areas & the supports need tweaked a little here & there but they fit right on my bike.
Because they are not the right ones, need a good cleaning & some tweaking I got the pair for $5.
He's still looking for the chain guard for me; said he will probably have it dug out by Monday at the latest. He said he'll let me have it cheap too because he stripped it to bare metal then ended up ordering a chrome one instead.

A quick background on these parts/ guy I'm getting them from. He restored (factory parts upgraded too) his 1960 Murray about 2 years or so ago and hung onto all the old parts. The bike was his childhood bike (said his only bike he ever got new) and thought it was long gone until his parents had to go to a assisted living home and he was cleaning there house. He found the bike coated in dust & dirt in the back of the attic. He told me he took it home & washed it up and wanted to make it look good again. His friend told him to clear coat it to keep it shiny and protect the paint; so he did. He said that was the worst thing he ever did as it all started to dole and hase over as time went as well as it flaked off in some areas (mostly on the chrome and little rust spots). After becoming disgusted with how it was looking he took it on himself to restore it with a few changes and ride it again.

I tried to get him to let me take a pic of his bike but he said no.

Anyway I'll try to get pics with the fenders fitted here after a bit or tomorrow before work.
 
Jun 22, 2014
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Looks like a fender headlight may be out of the picture with this fender; oh well one less part to get lol.
But it will be interesting trying to get a trussrod to look right with how short the fender is out front; I'll figure something out or may need to locate a different fender.
 
Jun 22, 2014
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So got a call right as I got off work to come check out the chain guard; when I got there I was surprised (he said not as much as he was). The front is very shiny raw metal (the back needs a little clean up but not much).
Here's the chain guard on for a test fit as I got it.


 
Jun 22, 2014
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Thanks. Still trying to decide what I'm going to do with this bike.
Starting to think more hotrod maybe a nice green paint job & banana seat (been meaning to build a banana seat bike again) with some apes but who knows; thinking I need to brake out Photoshop.
 
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Jun 22, 2014
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Tossed on some Schwinn riser handlebars and snapped another pic to try to get an idea the direction I want to go with this bike.


Not sure if I'm liking it yet but I think I'm going to break out Photoshop later and play with color and such & go from there.
 
Jun 22, 2014
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So I did a bit of Photoshop and here's my thought for this bike.
What do you fellow RRBers think?
Green?


Burnt copper?


When I'm feeling a bit less lazy I might try adding some decals to the PS rendering.
 
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Jun 22, 2014
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Thanks. Trying to find the right green; already have the copper I'd use is the reason I threw that out there.
I'll probably stick with the chrome fenders but I have a painted pair I can see if they fit and PS the color.
 
Jun 22, 2014
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OK I quickly made some freehand decals on the Photoshop pics to get a better idea of how it could look.





BTW I did a rendering with painted fenders but it just looked cheap to me.
 
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Jun 22, 2014
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Thanks I'm digging the copper more & more.
Trying to figure out how I'd do the decals. The only one I can buy premade is the fork darts.
I've never had decals on after a repaint so I may need to find a custom vinyl shop.
 
Jun 22, 2014
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So I got a bit bored and started doing some work on removing the blue from the tank and found part of the original decal.
I havnt been able to find any similar so far.
Also can't get a pic of it as its very light; I did attempt to draw what I can see of it.
If anybody has any idea what this would have looked like let me know.


Edit: never mind I'm pretty certain this is what it's supposed to look like
 
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Jun 22, 2014
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Decided being that the chain guard was bare I would prime it today.
Then decided hey I have a bit of the copper paint left so I'm going to see how it turns out.

Here it is (only 1 coat of copper paint as I ran out; also this is flat paint)




I'm thinking I'm going to get more copper for this bike along with clear coat.

Its burnt copper metallic and after it gets clear coat catches the light like crazy.

Unfortunately now I have to wait a day for this to dry then scuff it before I can finish painting it; and I didn't even get the back painted either.

This is an up close sample shot of the paint
 
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