54 Spitfire?

Discussion in 'BIKE I.D. & VALUATION QUESTIONS' started by phleb, Sep 6, 2018.

  1. phleb

    phleb

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    Hey all, was looking for some help identifying this bike I got a while back. From the research I've done(looking at old catalogs) the closest thing I can find is a 54 Spitfire, but I have a weird serial number serial situation. Only numbers I can find are on the bottom bracket, but those don't fit any of the serial number patterns. When I joined someone had told me to check the crank to look for numbers, and the number I found there was 29, but I'm pretty sure I saw these cranks were used for a long time(1917?) so I don't think that number means much. Only other thing I can find is either "s112" or "6112" on the rear dropout, but again, don't think that means much. So yeah, any help is appreciated.
     

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  2. Wildcat

    Wildcat

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    That's not a Schwinn serial number on the BB, maybe a local number for ID purposes. Pre 1952 should have the number there across the BB, perpendicular to whats on there. The bike is Schwinn though. Check the left rear dropout again for a 5 or 6 digit number that begins with a letter. Like this:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
  3. phleb

    phleb

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    Unfortunately there’s no other numbers on the bike. Was just hoping someone would be able to nail it down by looks. I hate that it doesn’t have the numbers though, because I’d love to know more specifics about it. Is it possible it was never stamped and sold directly to a rental company without being stamped or something? Or is it more likely that it was just sanded off?
     

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  4. Wildcat

    Wildcat

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    Schwinn serial numbers were stamped in pretty deep so they would have had to been filed or ground off, and I don't see any gouge marks or grooves from a grinder.

    So, to narrow it down:
    1. It's got forward facing dropouts so it's post WW2, 1945 or later.
    2. It didn't have a built in kickstand, there are no marks where it would been removed.

    I would remove the bearing cups from the BB and the head tube to check the original color. Also, on the chain guard, there may be a name hidden under the repaint. Looking at the wheels, they match so they are probably original. Clean off the rear hub and look for any numbers, it's a long shot but worth a try. And, if the tubes are original, they may have a date on them.
     
  5. RustyGold

    RustyGold

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    With weird serial and no kickstand on a postwar bike...could this be some kind of Whizzer? Its been repainted, so any clamp marks could be gone...do Whizzer frames have additional holes in them?

    I know very little about Whizzers, just throwing out a theory to be shot down :grin:.

    Jason
     
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  6. RustySprockets

    RustySprockets

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    Me neither. There may not be any added holes or clamp marks, but I think Whizzers had a dimple stamped in the rear fender, for chain clearance. It's a curiosity for sure.
     
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  7. Wildcat

    Wildcat

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    54 Spitfire from the catalog:
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. phleb

    phleb

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    I’m really appreciating the help y’all are giving out. You can't see it from the picture, but the bike does have a kickstand. I'll have to do some more digging for original color, and dates on the tubes and rear hub. Here’s another picture where you can see the kickstand. Also, any advice on getting the seat post out? Because that thin is not wanting the budge. Also wondering about the chain. It’s nearly rusted solid, so is it worth the effort in trying to soak it and break it loose? Or should I just track down a new one?
     

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  9. KJV

    KJV

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    Whatever it is.
    Rat On !
     
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  10. Wildcat

    Wildcat

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    A new chain is only about 7 bucks, so I'd get a new one. Make sure it's for a one speed.
     
  11. RustyGold

    RustyGold

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    If it is a skiptooth chain (I can't tell from the pics), you'll want to try and save it. They haven't been made in many decades.

    Jason
     
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  12. RustySprockets

    RustySprockets

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    I can tell from the crank that it's a skiptooth, so it's a valuable chain and needs to be saved. Examine the links carefully and look for a master that appears like the one in the photo.
    751_b45660d0-f16a-4f1a-9193-205f5e9427b6_1024x1024.jpg
    With some wiggling (and cursing) you should be able to pop the plate marked "out side" then remove the chain from the bike. Do not lose the master link. There are many opinions on how to treat a rusty chain. I've had good results soaking in a mix of ATF+Acetone, but your stuff is way rustier than mine was.
     
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  13. Wildcat

    Wildcat

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    That's good advice, save that chain. I didn't even notice it was skiptooth.
     
  14. RustySprockets

    RustySprockets

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    I was so preoccupied I totally overlooked your seatpost dilemma. The best advice I've found is to lube liberally--there are plenty of products available. Liquid Wrench, PB Blaster, Kroil...even homebrews all help to eliminate rust's choke hold. Heat can help, too, by gently expanding the outer seat tube until the bond breaks. Just don't ruin the paint if you plan on saving it.

    One commodity that is always in short supply is patience. I bet you're eyeing those vise-grips or a big pipe wrench right now. Resist!
     
  15. phleb

    phleb

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    Pretty sure I found that link last time I was messing with the bike, but I don't remember seeing writing on it so I'll have to make sure it's the right one. And I've used ATF to unstick a lifter in my old Toyota, but I didn't even think about it here. But yeah the chain is rusted pretty good. I was actuallyworried that the crank was seized when I started taking it apart, but once everything was coming loose I realized the chain was almost solid.


    I was definitely eyeing the vice grips(was going to use a rag to protect the post though)! :bigsmile: I'll keep spraying PB in there every day until I can work on it again. Not worried about the paint as I think I'm going to rock this bike with clear coated bare metal, but I'll still look to that as a last resort.

    Thanks again for all the help, y'all. I'm used to cars, so I can wrench, but bikes are a whole new world for me.
     
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