RRBBO13 1939-40 Elgin Sports Model No (1)3 - (Refurbished Eyes for Elgins)

Nov 22, 2011
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Well never say never, in the discussion thread I said I was taking retirement from build offs. I’ve truly been in the downsizing mode, moving 10 bikes on in the last 6 months...and then a friend (DeadWrench) calls me from a swap meet in OK. He says I found this old Elgin bike with a tank in tack. We conversed back and forth, he bought the bike and we agreed to meet for me to take a look.
It turned out to be a repainted 1939-1940 +/- Sports model. It’s missing a rack, chainguard, pedals, drop stand and maybe correct bars. It came with 2 sets of peaked fenders. It has a kickstand that shows up in 1940 Sears catalog reprints.
Still has drop center rims and Musselman air cooled hubs. The seat is probably a later addition, although close to original. The tires hold air, I added some pedals this morning, made some adjustments and took it for a spin. The front wheel bearings need adjustment or replacement. Hopefully the races are OK.
After doing 8 of these build offs I’ve given up on trying to build a vote winning bike. I’ve spent endless hours, money and effort trying to build a bike that the majority of voters would like. In my mind I’ve built several bikes that were really very under appreciated and I’ve had total “views” that should have pulled in more votes in the end.
The title “1939-40 ELGIN SPORTS MODEL NO (1)3”, is the result of this being my 3rd Elgin Build project now in BO #13.
The direction will evolve as time goes on, probably nothing over the top...just a rejuvenated rider for someone with a retro look.








 
Last edited:
Nov 22, 2011
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The Elgin currently has IRC Balloon Tires from Japan, noticed a used one on eBay for $129...maybe gold in those old things. LOL


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Nov 22, 2011
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You had me at 'pretty ratty'....! :bigsmile:
Cool hubs. Another bike waiting to be ....
Elgineer-Ed. RaT oN!
Thanks OddJob, there’s rust in them thar scuffs and scrapes. Think it needs new tires though.
Great looking bike! Would've been hard to pass up for sure.
Yah I’m a sucker for an old bike, especially the long tankers. Never had one.
 
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Nov 22, 2011
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I did a little early morning reconnaissance on the new Elgin before celebrating Mother’s Day with my wife. The dust cover on the rear Musselman Hub dates it as being built in second quarter of 1939 with an “E and diamond” imprint, thanks to chart supplied by a Facebook friend.


I also placed an Alemite grease fitting back into rear hub. It had been freshly removed before I got the bike by someone for who knows what reason.




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Nov 22, 2011
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The Elgin bike would have had a drop stand the fenders have the appropriate mounting holes. It had a weird kickstand that I had not seen before made from steel channel. It shows up in the 1940 Sears catalog reprints as an accessory add on.

I have 2 - 1941 Elgin’s made by Murray. The tube connections are via forged half pieces then welded together and roughly finished. It provides a nice contoured look like something hydro formed.
This 1940 version apparently was a work in progress towards the end result in ‘41. The difference being that the bottom bracket tube attachment hadn’t progressed to level of refinement yet...the weld bonds were still conventional on this Sports Model.


1941 contoured connection above.


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Nov 22, 2011
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These bikes get under your skin, I think the historical clues to the origin of these old things is sometimes more intriguing than the build itself. Although the outcomes are satisfying as well.
After it cooled off I moved some stuff around in the garage to free up some space and make my riders more accessible. In the process I played around with rough fitting the fenders. The set that matches the bike in color and hole patterns are pretty beat up. The spare set are more straight and true but “crusty and rusty”. (For #OddJob) The have a little deeper profile and somewhat of a bead at the peaks. They will probably look better in the end. I’ll just need to drill out the stay rivets and use some fender bolts on the switch over.





Not sure what the chainguard is from, it was a $5 Swap Meet find. I’ve tried to resell it to no avail. I think it might have found a new home. It will require some fab altering work to fit.
At this point the goal is to clean, adjust, fit parts and get it comfortably rideable. When that is achieved I’ll decide the fate of existing rust and paint an/or the longevity of it in my collection.
 
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