Western Flyer Newsboy Special

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Brought home this Western Flyer Newsboy Special from the Buddy's Pedal Fest swap meet and show this past weekend. I don't know much about this balloon tire bike, other than the middleweight versions are usually sold as Columbia Firebolts. This one has also been modified somewhat with a few holes, a bolt, and some scratched-in serial number on the top bar of the frame. The rear rack supports also look to have been welded on crooked. What all can you guys tell me about this bike? Any and all help/info is greatly appreciated!
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Columbia made bike. There should be a letter before the numbers. One letter then 6 digits. If the missing letter was a "K" that makes it a 61 model. Going by the numbering list I have for Columbia made frames, that where 175281 would be. The Columbia frames like that I've seen are all 1962.
The brighter pinstriping looks added on a long time ago. It was well taken care of, no scuffs on the seat or grips.
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Columbia made bike. There should be a letter before the numbers. One letter then 6 digits. If the missing letter was a "K" that makes it a 61 model. Going by the numbering list I have for Columbia made frames, that where 175281 would be. The Columbia frames like that I've seen are all 1962.
The brighter pinstriping looks added on a long time ago. It was well taken care of, no scuffs on the seat or grips.
View attachment 173855
Yeah, I don't know why there isn't a letter before the 6 digits. So odds are this bike was made between '61 and '62? The whole bike had been repainted at some point, with the dull red and brighter pinstripe tape over original metallic red and white pinstripes.
 
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The numbers for 61 are K5000-K205465, in 62 the numbers were L205466 on up. So yours was probably made in the later part of the year if all those numbers were used on bikes. That's 200,000 bikes, about 10,000 a day made per a 5 day work week. I don't think they made that many a day. It may be a 62 model, made in 61 getting stocked up for the Christmas season. If they were rushed to get a lot of bikes built late in the year, that might explain why the letter was left off the number.
 
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The numbers for 61 are K5000-K205465, in 62 the numbers were L205466 on up. So yours was probably made in the later part of the year if all those numbers were used on bikes. That's 200,000 bikes, about 10,000 a day made per a 5 day work week. I don't think they made that many a day. It may be a 62 model, made in 61 getting stocked up for the Christmas season. If they were rushed to get a lot of bikes built late in the year, that might explain why the letter was left off the number.
Okay, thanks! Maybe I'll find out if there is a letter hiding underneath the paint when I sandblast it. I wonder if anyone else has a missing letter on their Newsboy's serial number. Speaking of serial numbers, what do you think is up with the serial number scratched onto the top bar of the frame? I.D. for newspaper delivery company maybe?
 
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Westfield/Columbia only made this frame for a short time. It's unknown if the ballooner Newsboy frame is any different than the middleweight Firebolt. Your chain ring is a replacement, and pretty sure the seat is too. W'field serials, for comparison.
1960​
H5000 - H259120​
1961​
K5000 - K205465​
1962​
L205466 - L425743​
1963​
M425744 - M617828​
N617829 - N624001​
N5000 - N26183​
-Adam
 
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Westfield/Columbia only made this frame for a short time. It's unknown if the ballooner Newsboy frame is any different than the middleweight Firebolt. Your chain ring is a replacement, and pretty sure the seat is too. W'field serials, for comparison.
1960​
H5000 - H259120​
1961​
K5000 - K205465​
1962​
L205466 - L425743​
1963​
M425744 - M617828​
N617829 - N624001​
N5000 - N26183​
-Adam
Well, based on what I've seen in photos, the Firebolt has narrower chain/seat stays than the balloon tire frame. I slapped a pair of 26" x 2.35" tires on this bike, and I still have loads of room to squeeze even bigger tires on it. I know the chainring/crank arms aren't original, but thankfully I do have the correct part for the bike elsewhere. I'd have to remove the paint on the chain stay to see if there is a letter before the serial number on my bike. Thanks for your help!
 

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