1946 Huffman built Hiawatha confirmed 1956 model



Apr 1, 2014
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Picked this up at Iola, WI old car show and swap. Serial starts with 6H so I believe it is 1946 model. Oldest bike I've owned. Seems like a Huffy Mainliner built for Gambles stores. Bike has very rotten middleweight 26" tires. Fender clearance seems tight for 2.125 rubber, were they building middleweights that early? Wheels may or may not be original, Bendix coaster is pre red band (never seen one before). Thought there was a grease zerk on top of bottom bracket but it is a tiny wooden plug, maybe chainguard mounting?
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kingfish254

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Aug 31, 2009
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Cool score!!!
And it has that rare chicken handlebar horn too!!!
 
May 20, 2009
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I was thinking 56 too, based on the fork design.
Huffy used that frame up until the Schwinn cantilever patent ran out in 57 (I think). Then they started producing a 'standard' canti frame.
In any case, I love that frame...... here's mine.




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Apr 1, 2014
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Yes it does look like a '56. (revised thread title). Huffman serial # recycled every decade. I was thrown off by chain adjusting bolts on the drop offs - I thought it may have been originally a skip tooth driveline. I also thought a pre red band Bendix coaster would be older but now I see they were made up till 1961.
On closer examination, the crank looks twisted and bent.
I have this complete Huffy cranbrook.
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Gonna try swapping wheels and crank and see what I get. Bought this off Craigslist, seller said his daughter rode it twice! Wierd seat seems to be rotten tho an is shedding black rubber dust?
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:p
 
Apr 1, 2014
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Tires & wheels from cranbrook were too wide for the Hiawatha fenders. IDK what Pacific cycles uses for tubes but brought front wheel up from 20psi to 40psi (pressure stamped on tire) tube then sprung a leak!:speechless:
Thought I'd try airing up the tires that came on the Hiawatha. Old Sears Allstate and Montgomery Wards tires hold air fine. :)
 
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The old wheels look good except for some rust on the rims, the spokes look good. You could also put those tires and tubes on the Cranbrook rims, same diameter.
 
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Update put a patch on the new cranbrook tube. Rimstrip was twisted leaving several spokes in contact with the tube! Took the rear tire off but that rimstrip was OK.