AMF Debutante and unknown Huffy girls' bikes ID, Value and Potential

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Picked up these 2 girls' bikes for free a few months apart. I got the AMF Debutante back in August, and I picked up the blue Huffy just this Sunday. The AMF Debutante looks to be mostly complete, with either the front or rear wheel replaced at some point. The blue Huffy meanwhile is missing a few parts, and it looks like it was in the process of being converted to either a cruiser or a muscle bike.

Normally, I build bikes for myself and no one else, as this is a hobby for me, but I'm strapped for cash right now. After the positive response I got from my last RRBBO entry and my current ORBBO entry, I figured I could try building a bike for the sole purpose of selling it and making some much-needed cash. That said, there are some things I'd like to figure out about the 2 potential candidates for this "Free Marketplace Flip" before I begin.

1. What is the year, make and Manufacturer (mostly for the Huffy, but I'd like to know how old the AMF is too.)
2. What are they worth as they sit right now?
3. What are they worth if I put some work into fixing them up? (The Huffy would probably have to be a custom build given the missing parts and ruined fork. The Debutante mostly just needs a wash and new tires and tubes.)
4. Are the parts worth more than the complete bikes, or is the complete bike still worth something?
5. In the case of the Huffy, would it be better to try and build this bike using only original parts that I'd need to find and purchase, or would I stand a better chance of turning a profit building it up as a custom bike using what parts I already have, while adding some tasteful artistic touches?
6. Would the AMF Debutante be worth more as a custom boy's bike, if I cut and welded a new top tube onto it?
BftD_tale_of_2_bikes.jpg


Candidate 1: AMF Debutante. Here are some details about it that I know:
1. The crank, chain, pedals, wheels and fork all seem to turn freely, though they could probably use new grease either way.
2. The banana seat has a tear that goes right down to the bare metal seat pan.
3. The seat and sissy bar are not currently tightened down in place.
4. Either the front or rear wheel is not original to the bike. Not sure which is original.
5. Paint and chrome are both in decent shape, and could easily shine back up with a good wash (and in the chrome's case,) some steel wool.
BftD_amf_debutante_1.jpg
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I'm not sure what this plate's for, but I guess it housed a reflector?
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Sticker on base of seat tube. Not sure what the info's about.
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Serial number found on headset.
BftD_amf_debutante_17.jpg
 
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Candidate 2: Unknown Huffy.

Here's what I do know about it:
1. It's missing the original crank, pedals, chain guard and chain ring.
2. The fork was destroyed by a previous owner when they cut through the steerer tube and pried it open for unknown reasons. It would have to be replaced for it to ride again.
3. The banana seat and sissy bar could be aftermarket, given the full fenders, 20-spoke wheels, and cruiser handlebars. Not 100% sure of this though.
4. The fork and wheels do turn.
5. The tubes hold air, at least long enough for a few quick photos.
BftD_blue_huffy_19.jpg
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Found stamped on kickstand.
BftD_blue_huffy_22.jpg


Serial number under bottom bracket. Number appears to read "2047."
BftD_blue_huffy_21.jpg
 
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It does not look like any BMA stickers that would date them at like '73/'74. I do not think they are much older than that. Girls bikes are a tough sell near me. They would be $15 bikes as they sit around here. Selling girls banana seat bikes around me is like selling sno cone machines in Anchorage. I would be careful about putting too much into them other than getting them riding as is, unless that type of bike is a hot commodity around you. The wheels being 24 and 20 spoke make them not so desirable for anything but kids bikes. IMO they are not worth the effort unless you are going to take your time out of the equation like we always do. Good luck either way
 
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It does not look like any BMA stickers that would date them at like '73/'74. I do not think they are much older than that. Girls bikes are a tough sell near me. They would be $15 bikes as they sit around here. Selling girls banana seat bikes around me is like selling sno cone machines in Anchorage. I would be careful about putting too much into them other than getting them riding as is, unless that type of bike is a hot commodity around you. The wheels being 24 and 20 spoke make them not so desirable for anything but kids bikes. IMO they are not worth the effort unless you are going to take your time out of the equation like we always do. Good luck either way
Dang, if that Debutante is worth only $15, I'd rather just part it out to help fix up some of my better bikes. I figured they could maybe bring $50 each with some TLC, but for $15, that doesn't really inspire confidence. Thanks for the advice though.
 
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Dang, if that Debutante is worth only $15, I'd rather just part it out to help fix up some of my better bikes. I figured they could maybe bring $50 each with some TLC, but for $15, that doesn't really inspire confidence. Thanks for the advice though.
That is based on where I live, maybe different near you. I guess you could maybe get $50 but how much are you willing to put into it? You may get lucky and someone had that bike as a kid and wants it now. Ladies are not as nostalgic as the men so rarely do you see women looking for their childhood bikes like us boys do.
 
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That is based on where I live, maybe different near you. I guess you could maybe get $50 but how much are you willing to put into it? You may get lucky and someone had that bike as a kid and wants it now. Ladies are not as nostalgic as the men so rarely do you see women looking for their childhood bikes like us boys do.
I know, but I still can't say I've seen a ton of girls' like these around here that actually sold all that fast. Even Schwinn girls' bikes don't sell all that fast here. Well I didn't want to put much effort into the Debutante, but I know the Huffy definitely needs work regardless. I hear ya. I guess I just need to really think about what I want to do with them.
 

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I'm basing this more on motorcycle experience than bicycles, but I think if there was money to be made fixing up and selling old bikes like that, you would already see fixed up old bikes like that for sale. These won't have a big draw as collector bikes due to make/style/condition so they'd have to sell simply as bikes. How do they compare to the other 20" bikes for sale in your area? Will they compare favorably to the newer bike that got outgrown or will they look like cleaned up versions of the bike people see for $5 at garage or sales, or even free at other places?

The best ways to make money working on old bikes is to work on the expensive ones, or have someone pay you to fix something for them.

If you're getting positive responses from the builds you do here, build and sell bikes like that? I have no idea what the market is for bikes like that but it can't be any worse than the market for less than pristine 20" girl's bikes?

I don't mean to sound harsh but if you want to make money working on bikes, get a job in a bike shop. Or start offering your services fixing them. The bikes you've posted here are money pits. To paraphrase an old adage - There is nothing more expensive than a free bike...

If you must try selling old bikes for a profit, at least start with nicer ones. Parts cost the same. It's quicker and cheaper to fix a bike that isn't trashed to start with.
 
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Ok everyone, thanks for all the feedback. Between the replies I got on here and the C.A.B.E., I think I got the info I needed. These 2 bikes are clearly not worth the effort to fix up to sell. That's actually something of a relief regarding the Debutante, as I've got bikes that could use most of its parts. The Huffy on the other hand... well, I actually kind of like the frame and the paint. Plus, I'm sure I have most everything needed to build it into a decent rideable bike. Maybe I could try building this bike super cheap, like under $25, mostly using whatever parts I got for free!

To be honest though, after all the feedback I received on this post, I mostly want to build that Huffy out of spite. Having people call a bike "scrap" or "a money pit," no matter how right they may be, just makes me want to prove that point wrong. I like to believe that just about any bike can be made into something cool, no matter how bad it looks at first, and that you don't always have to spend a ton of money to do it. Heck, that's the whole point behind my username; I like to bring broken and castoff bikes "back from the dead!"

Just to prove my point, here are a few bikes I've built so far:

Here is the first bike I ever built, my 1950 Snyder-built Montgomery Ward/Hawthorne, Dumpster Diamond. I paid $20 for this bent-up frame at a swap meet back in 2019, but some who saw it in its rough state thought I "pulled it out of a dumpster." Between that unpleasant comment rubbing me the wrong way, and wanting to participate in the 2020 Rat Rod Bikes Build Off, I decided to turn this "dumpster bike" into a "diamond," hence the name. Did it cost more that I would've liked? Yes. Did I make some mistakes along the way? Absolutely. Did I finish it the way I had initially planned? Not yet. But in the end, I got a cool bike and a good learning experience that's helped me with my latest builds. That, and placing 17th out of 65 finished entries in my class during the Build Off wasn't too bad either, especially for a beginner.
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My next example is my latest Rat Rod Bikes Build Off entry, a 1961 Murray Meteor Flite I call Shoestring. I bought this for $40 at the Kellyville swap meet back in April from a guy who thought this bike was good for nothing but yard art. Hard not to see why, but all that did was give me more motivation to fix it up with all that sweet patina intact! Having learned from my previous builds, I managed to build this bike just the way I wanted, on time, and within my $50 budget! And to top it off, I made it into the top 10 of my class for the first time, finishing 7th place in the 2022 Rat Rod Bikes Build Off! I even won an award for it too! Between all the positive feedback it's received from those who have seen it both online and in-person, and just how fun it is to ride, Shoestring has easily become one of, if not my all-time favorite bicycle build to date!
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Lastly, here is my current project, a 1952 Schwinn Hornet I call Kasual Klunker. It's not done just yet, but I was able set a personal record by tearing this bike down and getting it rideable in just under a month. Like Shoestring, this was another $50 budget build, with the bike costing $40, and the chain an extra $10. I was just throwing it together so I could ride it while I saved the funds to build and paint it the way I wanted, but I ended up loving the bike just the way I've built it. I even fell in love with the original paint and patina after shining it up with some rubbing compound! I've since ditched the $50 budget for this bike, as I want to add a few small personal touches to really finish it off and make it my own, but this bike ended up proving its worth to me in the end. It also helps that I've already received a bunch of compliments on how it's turned out so far.
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So are these 2 girls' bikes worth the trouble to fix up for a profit? Probably not. Will that stop me from fixing up at least one of them, and maybe adding some custom enhancements to spice things up a bit? Also probably not. Heck, I may just enter that Huffy into the Muscle Bike Build Off going on right now, just to see if I can build it faster than my Schwinn straight bar!

Either way, thank you all for your advice! I appreciate it.
 
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The Huffy should have a serial number like 8H12345, with an H for Huffy as the second digit. The first number is the last digit of the year, 8 would be 1958 or 1968, yours is a 60's bike, unless it's a 59. The number on the BB is probably a registration number done by the local owner. It was put on after the paint job. Serials at the factory are usually on before paint. Your number should be on the rear dropout by the axle. I see one digit here:
219062-BftD-blue-huffy-18.jpg

It looks early 60's that was converted to a stingray type bike like a lot of kids did in the mid 60's. That explains the newer banana seat. Full fenders wouldn't be on a high handlebar bike usually and those look like heavier fenders than the later models.
 

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Having people call a bike "scrap" or "a money pit," no matter how right they may be, just makes me want to prove that point wrong
I like the idea, sounds like a great build theme. They already named it for you.
I look at it this way. Building bikes is a hobby. I do it for the process of putting the bike together. The activity itself is part of the payoff. Calculate the fun into your profit column by subtracting from the entertainment budget
 

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I like the idea, sounds like a great build theme. They already named it for you.
I look at it this way. Building bikes is a hobby. I do it for the process of putting the bike together. The activity itself is part of the payoff. Calculate the fun into your profit column by subtracting from the entertainment budget
+1

I almost always lose actual money (cold hard cash) on many bikes. Putting them together and saving them from the crusher is the real value. I'd rather give them away sometimes in hopes they at least get a bit more use
 
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The Huffy should have a serial number like 8H12345, with an H for Huffy as the second digit. The first number is the last digit of the year, 8 would be 1958 or 1968, yours is a 60's bike, unless it's a 59. The number on the BB is probably a registration number done by the local owner. It was put on after the paint job. Serials at the factory are usually on before paint. Your number should be on the rear dropout by the axle. I see one digit here:
View attachment 219061
It looks early 60's that was converted to a stingray type bike like a lot of kids did in the mid 60's. That explains the newer banana seat. Full fenders wouldn't be on a high handlebar bike usually and those look like heavier fenders than the later models.
Awesome! Thanks for the info. I'll see if I can get that rear wheel and sissy bar out of the way so I can get a better look at the serial number. So odds are this Huffy became something of a pig bike back in the day? Cool!
 
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I like the idea, sounds like a great build theme. They already named it for you.
I look at it this way. Building bikes is a hobby. I do it for the process of putting the bike together. The activity itself is part of the payoff. Calculate the fun into your profit column by subtracting from the entertainment budget
Haha! Yeah, I could probably come up with a good name between "Scrap" and "Money Pit!"

Wholeheartedly agree with you. Bikes are a hobby for me first and foremost, and what makes this hobby fun is actually building and customizing bikes. Usually when I sell bikes and parts, it's just because I don't need it and I need to free up some space. If I can make a profit, great, but for the most part, I'm just trying to make my money back.

"Calculate the fun into your profit column by subtracting from the entertainment budget." I like how that sounds, but I might need some extra help explaining how that works.
 
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Putting them together and saving them from the crusher is the real value. I'd rather give them away sometimes in hopes they at least get a bit more use
That's the way I like to look at it. In today's society where everything is disposable, it feels good to save something from becoming landfill. What better way to recycle a bike than to fix it up and get it riding again?
 

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