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Re: Packard Bikes
Home away from home
Joined:
2009/1/24 9:59
From Davis, CA
Posts: 721
Quote:

Ozstatman wrote:
Leon,
How about a photo of you on one of your "Packard" bikes

Sorry, couldn't help it, "social distancing" does that!


Okay... ask and ye shall receive.

–Only this photo is from 1978 and it's not a Packard bicycle, but rather, a rare Caribbean and aluminum Silver King "wingbar" (actually two of them) bicycles. Look behind us and you'll also notice one of my Caribbeans. This was a 1955 and yes, I drove it regularly. I lived at the beach and I often took it on drives along the coast. Often people would stop me and beg to buy it or wonder what the heck it was (who made Packard?).

One of my good friends (I'll let you figure out who he is) used to drive down from Beverly Hills and we would go bicycle riding–but always on my vintage pieces. Something I stopped doing long ago for a lot of reasons.

People on TV and on the internet would have you believe the hobby just dropped out of the sky in the late 1980s. But I was doing this stuff in the 1960s and 1970s–which is when I started it. I was collecting and restoring Packard bicycles and other American classic bicycles before anyone. This is a fact–whether anyone today wants to acknowledge it or not.

Some want you to think that "picker" guys on TV are the experts on American classic bicycles (how did this happen?). Others want you to think a pawn shop knows or has friends who really know. There are "experts" all over the internet. But where were they in the 1960s and 1970s? Still others want you to think this somehow started in Michigan. But yours truly wrote and published the first international news stand article on American classic vintage bicycles (you can look it up in the January, 1978 issue of Popular Mechanics magazine). And if you know anything about magazine schedules you'll realize that a January, 1978 cover date meant the magazine was in circulation in late 1977... and the article was obviously written at least by 1977. So how does this make people who just stumbled onto any of this stuff in the late 1980s or 1990s today's "experts"?

Today, it is Interesting to see a YouTube video recently posted of a famous car customizer showing off what he thinks is a "1936 Elgin Bluebird" (with a 1937 paint job). The customizer gives a number he thinks are the existing Bluebirds left... but yours truly has personally owned more than that number over the years. The two guys you see here also were collecting Elgin Bluebirds in the 1970s.

Next time, MORE Packard bicycles!

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jpg  LeeLeeWingbarsWM.jpg (294.20 KB)
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Posted on: 4/24 8:10:31
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Re: Packard Bikes
Forum Ambassador
Joined:
2007/5/20 1:34
From Bowral, Southern Highlands of NSW, Australia
Posts: 10623
Leon,
Thanks for the photo. Glad you didn't do this -

And a "guess" at the celebrity - Barry Gibb?

Posted on: 4/24 22:18:44
_________________
Mal
/o[]o\
====


"Out of chaos comes order" - Nietzsche.

'38 Eight Sedan 38's are great! (Sold July 2009)
'41 120 Club Coupe 41's the One! (Sold October 2017)
'48 2222 "Almost" Rolling Limo Chassis and Engine (Sold Sept 2019)
'50 Eight Touring Sedan(Sold Feb 2020)

Project Blogs:
'41 120 Club Coupe - Locked
Wade's Workshop - Locked
'50 Eight Touring Sedan

What's this? >>>>>> FAQ - Add your Packard to the Owners Registry
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Re: Packard Bikes
Home away from home
Joined:
2014/7/15 11:30
From Terrebonne, OR
Posts: 2003
I was also guessing a Gibb brother but not sure which one.

Posted on: 4/24 23:34:49
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Re: Packard Bikes
Home away from home
Joined:
2008/5/22 13:43
From Vancouver, WA
Posts: 632
Along the lines of the bicycle registration, growing up in Pasadena, CA., my brother and I were meeting in the early morning to pickup our load of newspapers to deliver, all loaded up and ready to go when a cop car stopped us and checked the bikes back frame where the city required us to post our bicycle license plate......"no license plate..eh" and the cop wrote us both a ticket for illegally operating an unlicensed bicycle.

Posted on: 4/26 9:12:21
_________________
Steve
Old cars are my passion

1951 Packard 200
1953 Packard Clipper Custom Touring Sedan
1955 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer Tri-tone
1966 Rambler Classic 770 Convertible
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Re: Packard Bikes
Home away from home
Joined:
2009/1/24 9:59
From Davis, CA
Posts: 721
Quote:

packardguy53 wrote:
Along the lines of the bicycle registration, growing up in Pasadena, CA., my brother and I were meeting in the early morning to pickup our load of newspapers to deliver, all loaded up and ready to go when a cop car stopped us and checked the bikes back frame where the city required us to post our bicycle license plate......"no license plate..eh" and the cop wrote us both a ticket for illegally operating an unlicensed bicycle.


Ohhhhhh yes! People have forgotten. Most big urban areas (meaning cities as in the original meaning of the term) once (and some still do) had mandatory license for bicycles. We sure did in Detroit. And yes, Pasadena did too (I know from relatives who lived there).

Most of these bicycle licenses were actually metal plates. I'm not talking about the little miniature car license plates that you could buy with your name on it, but a real metal legal plate with a paper registration (which is what I posted earlier in this thread). You had to go to the police department or DMV or Secretary of State office to get your bicycle licensed. They would record the serial number and issue a paper Registration certificate. In Detroit, the license was attached with a metal strap that was stamped and permanently sealed–similar to what was once used on interstate truck trailers.

And yes, in Detroit, police officers would definitely issue a ticket if they stopped you on your bicycle and it was not licensed– or license was expired. You were expected to show your bicycle license registration. This was serious stuff!

By the 1970s, bicycle license plates were largely degenerating down to water-transfer decals or outright stickers. With crime as bad as it got to be and governmental agencies overwhelmed, bicycle license programs mostly disappeared.

Both Packard Motor Car Company and General Motors sponsored bicycle safety programs and actually sponsored films to be made on the subject. I believe the Jam Handy Corporation (located on East Grand Blvd. just up the way from Packard) made both of these films. I have the GM-sponsored film, but so far am still missing the elusive Packard bicycle film. Did you know they paid for one? This was in the 1930s, by the way.

Do I have bicycle license plates? Of course. Lots of them. Attaching an image of a bicycle license plate from the Detroit suburb of Hamtramck. In fact, two of my Packard bicycles came with metal license plates still attached. Ironically one of my prewar Packard bicycles was purchased from a friend who was also once owned the Packard Request concept car!

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jpg  HamtramyckBicycleLicense copy.jpg (503.90 KB)
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Posted on: 4/26 11:18:02
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Re: Packard Bikes
Home away from home
Joined:
2014/7/15 11:30
From Terrebonne, OR
Posts: 2003
Growing up in Sacramento, CA and always having a bicycle (an Armstrong) I don’t recall even needing plates but its frame number was registered.

Posted on: 4/26 13:40:44
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Re: Packard Bikes
Home away from home
Joined:
2009/1/24 9:59
From Davis, CA
Posts: 721
Quote:

PackardDon wrote:
Growing up in Sacramento, CA and always having a bicycle (an Armstrong) I don’t recall even needing plates but its frame number was registered.


Armstrong. Yes, have original brochures. But all we have were imported European lightweights.

Regarding licenses and policies of enforcement, every municipality was different and went in whatever direction they chose. However, during the classic bicycle era (1920-1965) in the USA, most had metal bicycle license plates.

But keep in mind that the policies and procedures varied from city to city and year to year. I will look the next time I have a chance to see if I can find any in my collection from Sacramento. They had some once upon a time.

I do know that many cities that used metal license plates reverted to thick cardboard paper license plates during WW2 when metal was precious and hard to get (yes, I have some of these). And prewar, there were other practices too. During the 1930s, Kansas City (for example) issued stamped metal tags on a metal cable that was sealed/affixed to your bicycle frame (yesss, I also have some of these).

Posted on: 4/26 18:29:31
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Re: Packard Bikes
Home away from home
Joined:
2009/1/24 9:59
From Davis, CA
Posts: 721
Quote:

PackardDon wrote:
Growing up in Sacramento, CA and always having a bicycle (an Armstrong) I don’t recall even needing plates but its frame number was registered.


Just to show that I really DO have stuff I say I have... and I don't have a paid staff of television "researchers" to look my stuff up like the picker guys and others on TV do. Take a look at some original Armstrong bicycle literature. One on the left is 1964... right is from 1953. Of course I have more...

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Posted on: 5/3 11:47:39
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Re: Packard Bikes
Home away from home
Joined:
2014/7/15 11:30
From Terrebonne, OR
Posts: 2003
So who was the celebrity in #51?

Posted on: 5/3 11:52:08
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Re: Packard Bikes
Home away from home
Joined:
2009/1/24 9:59
From Davis, CA
Posts: 721
And here is a City of Detroit 1950s bicycle license on my original J.C. Higgins Deluxe Wonderide (which folks on the internet in recent years have taken to calling "jet-flow" for whatever reason).

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jpg  DetroitBicLicWM.jpg (215.15 KB)
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Posted on: 5/3 11:52:39
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