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Re: Packard Bikes
Home away from home
Joined:
2009/1/24 9:59
From Davis, CA
Posts: 585
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...

Attach file:



jpg  PackardBicycleOrnamentsCatWM-2.jpg (1,473.74 KB)
1249_5d584773c8872.jpg 2047X2710 px

Posted on: 8/17 11:36:29
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Re: Packard Bikes
Home away from home
Joined:
2009/1/24 9:59
From Davis, CA
Posts: 585
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"...!

Attach file:



jpg  CormorantBicycleOrnamentWM.JPG (724.60 KB)
1249_5d65feffbe672.jpg 1535X1707 px

Posted on: 8/27 21:12:10
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Re: Packard Bikes
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Joined:
2009/1/24 9:59
From Davis, CA
Posts: 585
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." )

Attach file:



jpg  PackardBicyclePewterOrnamentWM.jpg (903.33 KB)
1249_5d6d48792c997.jpg 2048X2730 px

Posted on: 9/2 9:51:24
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Re: Packard Bikes
Home away from home
Joined:
2009/1/24 9:59
From Davis, CA
Posts: 585
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...

Attach file:



jpg  S&KHeadbadgeWM2.jpg (1,600.08 KB)
1249_5d81294d2c12d.jpg 2017X2956 px

Posted on: 9/17 11:39:31
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Re: Packard Bikes
Home away from home
Joined:
2009/1/24 9:59
From Davis, CA
Posts: 585
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...

Attach file:



jpg  WomanRdmstrPackardLogo.jpg (62.24 KB)
1249_5d9600e52a52f.jpg 800X560 px

Posted on: 10/3 7:24:21
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