1942 D.P. Harris Black Beauty

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Shucks, it's been a while since I darkened the doorway to this forum. I have been pretty much focused on motorcycles and 80's-90's MTBs, so I haven't messed with any sort of old cruisers for several years.

It was a Facespace Marketplace find and I wasn't really looking for something like this...just thought it was neat and it seemed to be relatively complete and original looking.

It has the D.P.H. Mfg Co. New York Black Beauty badge. From what I could gather, this is a H.P. Snyder built frame and has 24EH stamped on tge BB, so I believe that puts it at 1942 which seems to be the first year for the curved downtube frames. Rear facing drops, 5 arm chainwheel, and the general looks seem early 40's to me. It does have a 1950 El Paso locense tag, but that certainly could have been installed anytime after the built was built. Looks like it spent much of its life in El Paso as the seller is from there and had just brought it to my area of Texas.

I am thinking this is an original paint bike with original U.S. Royal Chain tires (totally roached) and the saddle looks original. Is it missing a tank? Seems odd to have the fancy springer fork and fender light without a tank or also a rear rack. I'm not planning to bring it back to factory original specs.

Other than finding some grips and replacing the tires so it at least rolls, I like it as-is other than cleaning some of the rust and scale. Not planning on making it a rider, but I want it to more or less be rideable.

Other than tracking down some useable vintage tires, are there any reasonably priced repops worth looking into? I feel like this bike is worthy of more than some Kenda or Sunlite brand tire.
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kingfish254

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MazdaFlyer

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Shucks, it's been a while since I darkened the doorway to this forum. I have been pretty much focused on motorcycles and View attachment 211709 View attachment 211710 View attachment 211711 View attachment 211712 View attachment 211713 View attachment 211714 View attachment 211715 View attachment 211716 View attachment 211717 View attachment 211718 View attachment 211719 80's-90's MTBs, so I haven't messed with any sort of old cruisers for several years.

It was a Facespace Marketplace find and I wasn't really looking for something like this...just thought it was neat and it seemed to be relatively complete and original looking.

It has the D.P.H. Mfg Co. New York Black Beauty badge. From what I could gather, this is a H.P. Snyder built frame and has 24EH stamped on tge BB, so I believe that puts it at 1942 which seems to be the first year for the curved downtube frames. Rear facing drops, 5 arm chainwheel, and the general looks seem early 40's to me. It does have a 1950 El Paso locense tag, but that certainly could have been installed anytime after the built was built. Looks like it spent much of its life in El Paso as the seller is from there and had just brought it to my area of Texas.

I am thinking this is an original paint bike with original U.S. Royal Chain tires (totally roached) and the saddle looks original. Is it missing a tank? Seems odd to have the fancy springer fork and fender light without a tank or also a rear rack. I'm not planning to bring it back to factory original specs.

Other than finding some grips and replacing the tires so it at least rolls, I like it as-is other than cleaning some of the rust and scale. Not planning on making it a rider, but I want it to more or less be rideable.

Other than tracking down some useable vintage tires, are there any reasonably priced repops worth looking into? I feel like this bike is worthy of more than some Kenda or Sunlite brand tire.
I’ve used Sunlite Sandy Beach 26x2.5’s on a couple of old bikes. They measure out at around 2.3” wide inflated. They ride nice.
Someone on The CABE was selling the chain link repop tires a couple of years ago.
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A bike I left in Hawaii is a 42 Hawthorne, but the same frame. The reverse serial number is correct. The EH was the Michigan City, Indiana factory. Others had an SN, which was the Little Falls, NY factory.

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Mine was sandblasted down to bare metal so I didn't know the color. An ad showed it to be a V50 or V60 model with a tank. They had a tank on the deluxe versions in 1942, so your deluxe Black Beauty Rollfast may have had one also. Hawthorne didn't offer a springer but Rollfast did. I can't find any 42 Rollfast ads, I think with the restrictions on bikes early in WW2, they stopped ads until business could thrive again. You had to formally request a new bike and have a good reason.

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V50 Hawthorne ad.jpg
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A bike I left in Hawaii is a 42 Hawthorne, but the same frame. The reverse serial number is correct. The EH was the Michigan City, Indiana factory. Others had an SN, which was the Little Falls, NY factory.

View attachment 211759

Mine was sandblasted down to bare metal so I didn't know the color. An ad showed it to be a V50 or V60 model with a tank. They had a tank on the deluxe versions in 1942, so your deluxe Black Beauty Rollfast may have had one also. Hawthorne didn't offer a springer but Rollfast did. I can't find any 42 Rollfast ads, I think with the restrictions on bikes early in WW2, they stopped ads until business could thrive again. You had to formally request a new bike and have a good reason.

View attachment 211765 View attachment 211760 .

View attachment 211758
That is awesome information! I had come up with the information regarding the NY factoring, but was wondering how the EH letters played in.

I was wondering about bike availability during WW2. I had no idea about the authorization forms, but that all makes perfect sense. I loved reading that Hawthorne ad and it possibly explains some things I've observed on my bike with respect to using less materials. I had noticed that the fenders seemed of thinner gauge than what I have seen on bikes from the 50's and 60's. I bet they rolled these out of lighter metal as a conservation measure.

I do wonder about whether my bike would have had a tank. Maybe that was another conservation measure. They aren't really necessary, so maybe they were omitted during the war years. That ad you posted doesn't have a tank on the V60 model from what I can see. Maybe another conservation attempt, I am guessing. I found a Rollfast book that is sold by The Cabe on their ebay store. I may pick up a copy as it could possible have some useful info related to my bike.

Thank you for posting all this cool stuff!
 
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I’ve used Sunlite Sandy Beach 26x2.5’s on a couple of old bikes. They measure out at around 2.3” wide inflated. They ride nice.
Someone on The CABE was selling the chain link repop tires a couple of years ago.
View attachment 211756
I was really hoping to get a set of the chain link repops as a couple members of The Cabe seemed to think that seller still might be selling them. I private messaged and emailed him, but didn't hear back...bummer.

Ended up ordering some repop Schwinn Typhoon Cords from Coker Tire. These were something they had made around 30 years ago and still have a pile of them they are now selling for $24 a tire. Seemed like a good deal, so I ordered 2 sets since the shipping was the same either way.
 

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