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Re: Packard Bikes
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2009/1/24 9:59
From Davis, CA
Posts: 721
My mention of Packard bicycle ornaments drew some interest verbally, if not here in writing. Thus I thought those following this thread might like to see the attached catalogue full page of Packard-style bicycle ornaments from 1954. This aftermarket car ornament maker did a big biz in automotive ornaments, but also sold a good number of bicycle ornaments.

Interesting that they devoted a full page just to Packard-style bicycle ornaments and note reference to "same designs as famous hood ornaments" (and you know what this means)...! Packard Motor Car Company apparently was not bothered at all by the bicycle ornaments. So much so that another bicycle ornament maker actually came right out in their 1950s catalogue and actually called their bicycle ornament a "Cormorant"...! The ornament maker for the catalogue I show here refers to their version of Packard-style ornaments as "Buglers" and "Flamingoes." Of course the company offered dozens of other designs for bicycle ornaments, but only the Packard style had their own full page in the catalogue. And you won't find this stuff on a DIY web site.

Ohh... and in case you have not noticed, they also somehow anticipated Packard's use of a "V" symbol. This company offered one for bicycles with the Packard-style bird ornaments... except it came in gold-tone instead of chrome with the gold circle. Note the "V" symbol on the catalogue page and mounted to the handlebars of the pictured bicycle!

So... for your enjoyment. And for those of you who have occasionally posted questions about "Packard" ornaments that look too small or slightly different, now you know...

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Posted on: 2019/8/17 11:36
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Re: Packard Bikes
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2009/1/24 9:59
From Davis, CA
Posts: 721
And here is a car ornament catalogue (from another company) page of bicycle ornaments from the early 1950s. Note that the Packard bird-looking ornament is listed as "Cormorant"...!

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jpg  CormorantBicycleOrnamentWM.JPG (724.60 KB)
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Posted on: 2019/8/27 21:12
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Re: Packard Bikes
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Another Packard bicycle ornament of the 1940s-50s. This one was made of pewter and looked quite nice when polished. While this cast ornament may appear rather crude by today's standards, it was quite popular with boys back when Packards were still being made. Boys in Detroit all called these ornaments "Packard birds."

Biggest hoard of these ever was at an old bicycle shop that once existed on Detroit's east side on Mack Avenue. It was known as Acme Bike Shop and was first run by a fellow named Mr. Jackson and later by a Mr. Rivers. The latter was a guy with an infectious smile and a gold tooth who happened to love Silver King aluminum bicycles (he called them "silva khangs") and Packard automobiles (he called them "Paack-kuds"). In addition to piles of Silver Kings he had saved, Mr. Rivers also had a respectable number of different Packard-branded bicycles tucked away, rusting in his basement (for all I know, they may still be there).

Rivers taught me a lot about vintage bicycles when I used to go to his shop in the 1950s. He also refurbished** old bicycles and sold them (not as "collector items" but simply as affordable used bicycles) –yes, in the 1950s and 1960s. He was way ahead of his time. It was because of him that I bought my first Packard bicycles (back then) and first Silver King bicycles (back then). Years later, I had a pile of both. So while many talk about vintage bicycles today on the internet and even TV, this is not at all a new thing for me. And for me, none of this was a ridiculous buy-low/sell-high thing as they depict it on TV today (who the heck was I going to sell any of this to back then when nobody cared?). While there were a few people collecting antique contraptions with big front wheels back then, there was no hobby of collecting and restoring what I called "classic" streamlined balloon tire bicycles. At least not until the 1970s when I invented it and wrote articles that appeared worldwide–such as in Popular Mechanics magazine. Today, everybody's an "expert" on classic bicycles–or so they will tell you.

I had collected perhaps 35 or 40 of these ornaments over many years, but they all disappeared in a robbery in 2002. I had them on most of my Packard bicycles back in the 1950s-1970s

There were three ways to mount these ornaments. They came with either a handlebar clamp mount or a handlebar stem mount (a flat piece of bright metal with a hole at each end). OR you had the option of drilling a hole in the bicycle front fender and mounting it there. All of these ornaments came with a threaded base with washer and nut. Size of ornament in this image is very close to actual size.

(** In today's era where people think "restored" for a car means a shiny paint job, set of modern alloy wheels and a Chevy krate engine, I say "refurbished"–as people used to say when terms had meaning beyond being mere buzz-words. Mr. Rivers sometimes did paint jobs and pinstriping, but he never intended anyone to think his paint jobs were exactly as the bicycle had when new. They were reburbish jobs... meaning Mr. Rivers either cleaned up or repainted to make the bicycle presentable to sell–not as a "collector item" but merely as a used, affordable bicycle. But he did not do actual "restorations." )

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jpg  PackardBicyclePewterOrnamentWM.jpg (903.33 KB)
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Posted on: 2019/9/2 9:51
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Re: Packard Bikes
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Another Packard bicycle headbadge. Again, no connection whatsoever to Packard Motor Car Company. And nobody gave these away to sell Packard automobiles.

ALso, no connection to Schwinn... and no connection to Cleveland Welding Company... and no connection to Colson. So the internet myths continue to go "pooof!"

This time the headbadge was from S.& K. Cycle Company which had their own headbadges made up in a very elaborate pressed brass 3-D design. I've only seen two of these...

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Posted on: 2019/9/17 11:39
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Re: Packard Bikes
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And just to show you how popular the Packard name was with bicycles, I submit this original photo. The lady here with the tongue is riding a 1940s Roadmaster from Cleveland Welding Company. No, it is not a Packard-branded CWC-built bicycle, but rather their premium "Roadmaster" brand.

However the lady has taken the time to go to a Packard dealer to buy a genuine official "Packard" automotive logo. These logos indeed were sold as an accessory at Packard dealers beginning in the late 1930s, for the purpose of attaching to the sides of a Packard hood assembly.

If you look closely, you'll notice that she has taken the time to get a proper bicycle ornament bracket and has attached the Packard logo to her bicycle handlebar stem.

At least in Detroit, there were LOTS of bicycles rolling the streets and sidewalks with Packard-looking ornaments and sometimes real Packard logos and other parts attached to them. People today may not know this or have forgotten it, but this is how things were in the American bicycle world back then. Packard dealers didn't need to give rebates of Packard bicycles or use them to "sweeten deals"... there were tons of Packard-branded bicycles sold. People also dolled up even non-Packard branded bicycles with Packard-looking and sometimes real Packard parts!

Some people even mounted real Packard tail lights on the rear fender of their bicycle. There were a couple of prewar Packard tail lights that often turned up on bicycles back then (yes, they fit nicely)... along with Packard logos like this on the handlebars and a bird on the front fender. Such was the love and admiration of Packard automobiles back then–whether anyone today knows it or not...

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Posted on: 2019/10/3 7:24
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Re: Packard Bikes
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2009/1/24 9:59
From Davis, CA
Posts: 721
And another shot of the lady (this time with a friend) frolicking on the CWC Roadmaster bicycle with the genuine Packard accessory emblem...

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jpg  PackardLogoGirlsBicycle.jpg (69.63 KB)
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Posted on: 2019/10/19 10:43
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Re: Packard Bikes
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Another version of a Packard bicycle headbadge. These appeared on SOME Packard-branded bicycles made by the Colson Corporation. This one is known as a "waterfall" type. Dare I say no connection whatsoever to Packard Motor Car Company? These were not given away to sell cars...and yes, this design was prewar...

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jpg  WaterfallColsonWM.jpg (698.65 KB)
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Posted on: 2019/11/2 12:02
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Re: Packard Bikes
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Here is yet another Packard logo that was used on bicycles... both as part of a larger headbadge (on the front tube of the bicycle frame) and as a stand-alone substitute for a larger headbadge. In the latter case it was sometimes attached with what some collectors call a "bottle-cap" retainer (looked like a soda-pop bottle top that fanned out in a hole on the bicycle head tube. There were other uses for these as well.

Compare this image supplied by NBHAA.com to the earlier posted image of the Bean Son "Packard" San Francisco badge and the Philadelphia headbadge.

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Posted on: 2019/11/22 7:51
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Re: Packard Bikes
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Here's yet another Packard (influenced) bicycle item.

Get a look at the slogan on this original late 1930s bicycle kickstand–sound familiar? Side kickstands were just coming into vogue then to replace clumsier rear stands. This is an original ad primarily aimed at bicycle dealers and manufacturers.

By the way, the bicycle shown is an Iver Johnson...one of the pricier, premium grade bicycles of the classic era. Yes, made by the company that made firearms of the same name.

(Click on the photo for a larger image that is far more clear)

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Posted on: 12/11 15:04:17
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Re: Packard Bikes
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Joined:
2009/1/24 9:59
From Davis, CA
Posts: 721
And... another Packard and bicycle connection. This one is genuine. And yet another official Packard accessory that often ended up on bicycles in the 1950s and even beyond.

With the debut of the 1953 Caribbean and new chrome wire wheels by Motor Wheel Corporation, Packard dealers began selling a new accessory. While originally intended as the red hexagon for wire wheels (and a side visibility safety item for night driving), red stick-on reflective hexagons made of 3M Scotchlite became an accessory. You can see an original dealership point-of-purchase display stand for these Scotchlite hexagons pictured in the Nat Dawes postwar Packard book, "The Packard 1942-1962" (page 88). The idea was to upgrade your red hexagons to be reflectorized in car headlights at night. Pretty far ahead for the 1950s. Or to repair/replace your existing Scotchlite hexes.

So in case you did not know (and most don't) 1950s Packard wire wheel center caps (including 1953 and 1954 Caribbeans and any 1955 and 1956 ordered with wire wheels) were originally equipped with Scotchlite reflective red hexagons and not red paint. If you look closely even at black & white photos taken at the time, the hexes often appeared to be bright white–because they were glowing in the camera light).

Yesssss, it's true. All those repopped wire wheel sets running around all over the place today are missing the original reflectorized red hexagons.

Of course these Scotchlite hexagons quickly began appearing for sale in bicycle shops and were a very popular bicycle accessory in and around Detroit in the 1950s–as well as around the USA. Yes, I even had some on one of my bicycles back then!

(Sorry about the "hexagonal hexagons" in the photo caption, but once the photo watermark was saved–it was saved with the poor wording!)

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jpg  PackardScotchliteHexTapesWM.jpg (853.75 KB)
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Posted on: 12/25 19:34:20
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