Morpheus, Oneiros, The Lord Shaper

Rat Rod Bikes Bicycle Forum

Help Support Rat Rod Bikes Bicycle Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

purple or no purple?

  • Total voters
Sep 6, 2012
Reaction score
The Mason-Dixon Line, Amuricah
Okay, so I was mulling around about how I absolutely NEEDED a bike for this summer. Some friends and I have been eyeing a couple of trails around my area, and on top of that, I get an email from (an online presence that I honestly have been neglecting since my previous Build Off attempt.....That women's pre-war Western Flyer has relocated to some sort of uncertain grave.</3).
"Hey Ian! time to remind you that you really want a bike and oh yeah, by Sunday!"
Tension is building inside me..... I've been scouring the rural thrift shops and dumpy flea markets for weeks now. I JUST WANT TO MAKE IT TO THE END OF THIS TRAIL!!!!(sobbing uncontrollably)
But alas, a sign from god! I went to church for once and as my sweet lady and I zipped home to get some sleep I remembered a dream of a black cruiser with teeny little pinstripes and a drop stand.....
"Oh wait a second! I got it! Isn't there a couple of flea warehouses we pass on the way home??"
I peek around, make sure to note that I shouldn't get involved with the absolutely outrageous amount of used vinyl that was around this place(oh god help me). Low and behold, this guy with a cowboy hat has 4 bikes marked "50's - $60".
Now, two of these were complete bull. A Huffy that had to be at least 90's and another Western Flyer that had me remembering of a certain bi-pedaller from my past.... but I pretty much immediately fell in love with this kinda rusty Montgomery Ward Hawthorne that seemed accurate. I force choked Cowboy Hat into submission of $50 as my final, and then proceeded to try and figure out how to fit this hunk of junk into my already packed sedan. I made it guys, I am back on [the] board!

After the giddiness settled (just kidding, it hasn't even yet.), I became aware that I had to name this thing..... It took a second, but then I remembered where this concept grew from initially. I swear it came to me in a dream, pretty quickly after I had viewed the film 'Amelie' a couple of months ago. The bike in the film likely sprouted my regaining of vintage bike interest, but I still remember vivid pictured of a sleek black bike, thin white pinstripes, and white wall wheels of course. And who might have given me this dream? Well, being the Gaiman fanatic that I am, I could only assume that the King of Dreams himself was the culprit. I want to state here that if you haven't even glanced at Gaiman's Sandman series, it is hands down one of the most important articles of reading in the past 20 years. Beautiful artwork, sincere storytelling, and just generally a good ride(badum tiss). So Here we are, Morpheus Bike Build 2016. Here are some references for the uninformed

3417422-sandman+floating+world.jpg Sandman 4-1.png sandman___dream_of_the_endless_by_chisako.jpg yes.png soo kawaii
Now here is the bike in question. I would love input on the year as I cannot find much on these Hawthornes save the badge seems to be anywhere between 50's and early 60's. Serial number is 75SH.
Love that wheelset!
Cool frame too, just need to straighten the fork.
Update: I have been Naval Jelly and wire brushing this frame since last night, and I revealed a secret serial on the back end. C070603, If anyone can date this, please do. Also, here are some disassembled pics:Deconstruction 2.jpg Deconstruction 3.jpg Deconstruction 5.jpg Deconstruction 1.jpg3G wheels I had from that old WF project that haunts my dreams like the father who wants his cake in Creepshow. They will make a nice addition.


  • Deconstruction 4.jpg
    Deconstruction 4.jpg
    207 KB · Views: 254
I've searched and searched and I finally found a place that sold Naval Jelly, a professed miracle worker amongst this community. I slathered the goop on every painted bit of the project, and waited. 3 hours because I had no intention of keeping the original paint job. I then proceeded to steel brush all the paint and rust and jelly off, and give them a couple of primer coats. (sorry no pictures of the raw steel</3)

I'll get some pictures of the primed bits soon, next is some coats of black and I have the little bits in a bucket of vinegar.
Nice use of the mic stand for painting, no brackets or extra legs to get in the way of the paint! Rat on!
So I got pretty close. My whole build was stalled when I had to attend a luthiery school up in New England, and I have everything but the Purple Heart grips carved out. I planned to do that when I got back home 4 days ago, but my car has broken down and I'm stuck up here until further notice. I didn pick up a Pphilli's made in england while in New Hampshire though, so I suppose I can try again next year. I'll post the pictures I had up until this point of my current build though, and happy ratting to everyone.
Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 12.02.48 PM.png
This part was stuck on there pretty solid, I ended up taking it to a mechanic friend that took the bolt off after we heated it up considerably.
Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 12.03.10 PM.png
Leaving the bolt on this in vinegar was a bad move, it basically disintegrated. I had some spare parts to mess with though so....
Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 12.03.30 PM.png
I was having a hard time with these guys, bending them straight initially seemed dumb, but I got them relatively in tune
Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 12.03.51 PM.png
I have since put bearings and handlebars on the thing, but this is basically what it looks like now otherwise.
Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 12.04.37 PM.png
I really dig the colors, I'm glad they worked out as I imagined
Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 12.05.00 PM.png
used an alternative to attach the fender stays, I plan on throwing a bike rack and a bag on this, as well as a 49 cc motor eventually. When I do get back home, I'll get some fully assembled pictures for you all.