1967 Schwinn StingRay Lil Tiger build

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Oct 5, 2011
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Farmington Hills, MI
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I picked this thing up at an auction last year only as few miles down the road. So now I am building it up better than new. Plans call for a fully polished and copper plated frame. Everything else will be chromed. A lot of the bright parts were originally cadmium plated, which isn't that bright, so the full chrome treatment ought to really make it shine.

I have a 2 and 1 year old who are going to get to play with it once its done. No matter how nice it is, if you can't ride it,why bother, right?





more pics to come...I now has many pieces for very small bike.
Cool project!
I look forward to seeing that copper plate.
kingfish254 said:
Cool project!
I look forward to seeing that copper plate.

You and me both! :D I'll try to get pics in process too, since I do polishing and plating for a living. Its painting that I don't like because its unfamiliar to me.

If anyone knows of a sissy bar available for a lil tiger, please let me know. I might just make one; they are pretty simple.
Update: i worked on the fenders and got them finished. One little step of many, I try to work on this stuff after work but before getting too hungry, lol.

Below shows the worst of the dent damage, then after the dents were repaired, then after polishng and so on. If you look at the prevous post showing the complete bike, you can see the fender braces were pretty tweaked also. They are straightened in the photo with the straightened fenders, but not polished yet.





Above and below show the fenders polished in bare steel. The shorter one I polished to a chromelike finish just for fun.
Regular steel will polish up as bright as stainless, but will not hold the shine for long without a coating.


Below shows the fenders in brand new chrome plating. Only about 40 more parts to go, but these were some of the hardest to restore of all the brightwork.
After a very long year, I have had a lot going on and the lil tiger was boxed up and put on hold.
However, now I have a 2 and 4 yr old ready to ride it, so ive made much progress and am sticking
to the original plan. Pics coming soon!
Removing the old solid rubber tires was easy; I simply cut them in half with a sawzall. Installing the new solid rubber tires was the most difficult tire installation I've ever had the pleasure of performing. They have to be boiled in water in order to become pliable enough to install onto the freshly chrome plated wheels. Even boiled, they weren't exactly putty in my hands.

Those are nice! I noticed you went with pneumatic tires. I think that was a wise decision.

I just bought another early Lil tiger already mostly disassembled and missing some pieces. I will pilfer it's sissy bar, and the do something constructive with it. The 4 yr old big sister is petite and still fits the 12" bikes, but I think I want to build her a 16" Schwinn.

Two Purple Stingrays by sunliner500, on Flickr

Thought I'd jump in...here's the purple L'il Tiger that my kids have been riding for the past 10 years or so. I think it was my step-sister's, and it's unrestored, just preserved. My dad had new tires put on it and gave it to us when my son (who's a teenager now) was little enough to ride it.

Yours is looking COOOOOL with that plated finish!
I did clearcoat the copper plated parts. it takes some of the shine away, but keeps it from turning brown. However, letting the copper oxidize would yield a cool look for a different type of bike.

I am still waiting on my inner seat pan and sissy bar to come back from Dad's shop. I should have taken a pic of what was left of the inner seat pan. There wasn't much of it, but good old Dad fabricated the missing rear section and is nickel plating the whole thing to regain structural integrity. It doesn't show at all once the upholstery is on. The sissy bar came from a second lil tiger (already missing some pcs) I bought online just to pirate the sissy bar and associated hardware from. This second lil tiger is a 68 that I have already repainted metallic red and am putting back together with cleaned up original brightwork. Nothing fancy on this one.
At long last, almost 4 years from when I first bought the rusted corpse of a bike, the thing is completely finished! I just re-installed and re-reupholstered the seat this weekend. The original holes drilled for the sissy bar were misaligned by about 3/4" from the factory. I didn't notice until I had the vinyl wrapped on and bar mounted. I finally took it back apart, re-drilled one of the holes, took one last trip to the hardware store for more stainless hardware, and pieced it all together one final time. The kids are 4 and 6 now, perfect ages to ride this thing all over the driveway. They love it!

Next project is to finish the red 68 Lil tiger. That one is much simpler, nothing fancy. ANybody know where to get some chrome wheel/pneumatic tire sets for it? I'm tempted to buy a whole newer bike and just take it's wheels/tires, and seat.


I finished the Red 68 Lil Tiger as well! Sorry, no before pics of this one.
The bright parts are cleaned up and cleared where needed. (I used a CLR soak, does not harm chrome)
I repainted it with touch-up paint from an auto parts store. It scratches easily, I do not recommend that.
This one was missing a few pieces, so I improvised.
The seat is from a newer Schwinn, the seat post is custom made since the original post size is only 5/8".
The training wheels are generic and were free.
The wheels and tires are from a Tonka Bike, which was pretty cool on it's own, but not 68 StingRay cool, so they had the Tonka logos removed and the yellow sprayed to black.
The chain is assembled from leftover links from past bikes.
Not a bad little ride for very little cost. It's almost the antithesis of the Copper Plated 67.

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