50 Shades of Blue AKA HellCamino

Jun 16, 2008
202
387
Kansas City, MO
Some of you may remember the build I started last year in honor of my Dad who had recently been diagnosed with cancer. Here's the original thread:

http://www.ratrodbikes.com/forum/index.php?threads/hellcamino.83308/

He passed two weeks into the build and I haven't done much with bikes since. Fast forward almost a year and I'm ready to "finish" what I started (metaphorically). I actually found another Schwinn straightbar frame in Spitfire blue, which is the blue that triggers fond memories of the bike my Dad rattle-canned for me. And that is my starting point. The plan remains the same: build a rider from my favorite parts across a wide spectrum of bikes. I'm trying to use blue parts, but not necessarily all Spitfire blue, or all Schwinn for that matter. I like original paint so I'm going to have as much of it as I can, and figure out the rest as I go along. I've come to realize that being 6'2" is great for almost everything except riding a balloon tire bike for any distance. So my goal for this BO is create something I will actually ride and that makes me think of my Pop.

So here's my starting point (in the back of my '77 ElCamino):


And in the rack:


Here's a side by side for anyone thinking I'm using the same frame as last year:


And here's a smattering of parts I've accumulated for the build thus far:

Schwinn chain guard


Shelby front fender


Columbia 5 Star headlight

I've still got a few parts I haven't taken pictures of, but one item I'm looking for is an original paint blue Monark deep rear fender, with our without fender braces. I have a green fender that I'll repaint if I can't find one, but some nice crusty OG paint would be even better. If you happen to have one lying around I'd definitely make it worth your while and you could have my green one too. :D

So this is where I begin!
 
Last edited:
Mar 26, 2012
7,498
14,582
Maplewood, MN
Great theme, great colors, and put that passion you speak with into your build and you will have a great result! I hear ya on the 6'2" issues on the 26" wheeled cruiser. I just put the seat at a decent height, and do the bent knee "piston pump"...
 
Jun 16, 2008
202
387
Kansas City, MO
First I'd like to thank everyone who has expressed their condolences regarding my Dad. There's definitely some top-notch people on this forum.

The ideas for this build are flowing and now I'm just waiting on parts and paint. In the mean time here's a couple of more ingredients:

Higgins Jet Flow rack (which will probably get a repaint even though it's blue). This one had a "nice" twist when it came to me, but a little time with a large wood clamp and some elbow grease had it back in shape in no time:


My original plan for this build was a banana/chopper seat, but I've decided to go back to my trusty crusty long spring Troxel saddle that's been kicking around:


I've also got an extra long "Lucky 7" seatpost that will hopefully get me at a good height for riding (once I flip the clamp back around):


Now I'm looking forward to a little time with my compressor, an angle grinder, and some wire brushes this weekend!
 
Jun 16, 2008
202
387
Kansas City, MO
I feel like I've taken more steps backward than forward, but here's a small progress update. I managed to clean up the tank, fender, and chainguard.


Hard to believe these parts are all from different bikes. The tank has faded nicely over the years and matches the frame really well. The fender is still a Shelby, but a much nicer one I found on eBay that still has my favorite curb-feeler braces. I also have one more brace that I will adapt for the Monark rear fender I'm running. Here's a super fast mockup that shows at least part of the direction I'm heading:


As for the setbacks, I guess they'll happen. Waited almost two weeks (an eternity in bike-part time) for a new fork only to discover the steer tube is too short despite asking the seller about the length three times. I also received my new Nexus 8-speed hub that I plan to build a rear wheel around. It rolls great...right out the back of my car onto the driveway and bent the flange. New fork ordered and fingers-crossed on a straightened flange. Regardless I'm still super-stoked about my plans and can't wait to make some more progress.
 
Last edited:
Mar 26, 2012
7,498
14,582
Maplewood, MN
First I'd like to thank everyone who has expressed their condolences regarding my Dad. There's definitely some top-notch people on this forum.

The ideas for this build are flowing and now I'm just waiting on parts and paint. In the mean time here's a couple of more ingredients:

Higgins Jet Flow rack (which will probably get a repaint even though it's blue). This one had a "nice" twist when it came to me, but a little time with a large wood clamp and some elbow grease had it back in shape in no time:


My original plan for this build was a banana/chopper seat, but I've decided to go back to my trusty crusty long spring Troxel saddle that's been kicking around:


I've also got an extra long "Lucky 7" seatpost that will hopefully get me at a good height for riding (once I flip the clamp back around):


Now I'm looking forward to a little time with my compressor, an angle grinder, and some wire brushes this weekend!
Love the Higgins "cheese grater" rack. I've got one for the back of my Fat Rat...monsters! Will look "grate" on your build...:thumbsup:
 
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Jun 16, 2008
202
387
Kansas City, MO
Took advantage of perfect weather today to make a little more progress. One of the items high on the list is stripping and repainting the rear Monark fender and Higgins rack. Happy to say they're both now in primer.











My new fork (with correct steer tube) was also delivered today. Going to take a little tweaking to get my fender to play nice with it, but what fun would it be if it just worked?!