Hello and welcome to Packard Motor Car Information! If you're new here, please register for a free account.  
Login
Username:

Password:

Remember me



Lost Password?

Register now!
FAQ's
Main Menu
Recent Forum Topics
Recent Comments
Who is Online
72 user(s) are online (45 user(s) are browsing Forums)

Members: 4
Guests: 68

BDC, George40, 56Clippers, Tobs, more...
Helping out...
PackardInfo is a free resource for Packard Owners that is completely supported by user donations. If you can help out, that would be great!

Donate via PayPal



« 1 ... 6 7 8 (9) 10 11 12 »

Re: Packard Bikes
#81
Home away from home
Home away from home

Brian Wilson
See User information
Hello Leeedy

You're a veritable fountain of information on these things. Something that makes this site so interesting.

As the owner of a 1956 Clipper which has proved surprisingly reliable, I have ample time to contemplate these things. I have to admit I'm not a bicycle person - more of a motorcycle/old race car nut - hence my ignorance on these matters.

I'm not surprised that someone in the bicycle world had a tilt at "Torsion Level". Nor am I surprised that the subject bicycle you described did not see production. I have a pretty good idea what it costs to build things with magnesium.

It seems people today will fork out something like $8-10k for a featherweight bicycle made mostly of carbon fibre. Probably cheaper for them to lose the weight themselves! But it seems tyres (tires) aren't getting better at the same rate. When I'm out cruising in my Packard (yes, I know it's officially a Clipper) I still see an awful lot of bicycle riders huddled beside the road wrestling with damaged tyres.

Now, if I can just find someone in these coronavirus-riddled times to tidy up the paintwork on my Clipper I'll be a happy man.

Best wishes

Brian

PS Is there somewhere in the US you can safely stash your collection of material for posterity? There is something like that happening here now for vintage race car material. A far better option than the alternatives. BW

Posted on: 2020/8/6 21:09
1941 120 Club Coupe (SOLD)
1956 Clipper Deluxe (RHD and auto) - for the wife, or so I told her!
 Top  Print 
 


Re: Packard Bikes
#82
Home away from home
Home away from home

Leeedy
See User information
Quote:

b.wilson wrote:
Hello Leeedy

You're a veritable fountain of information on these things. Something that makes this site so interesting.

As the owner of a 1956 Clipper which has proved surprisingly reliable, I have ample time to contemplate these things. I have to admit I'm not a bicycle person - more of a motorcycle/old race car nut - hence my ignorance on these matters.

I'm not surprised that someone in the bicycle world had a tilt at "Torsion Level". Nor am I surprised that the subject bicycle you described did not see production. I have a pretty good idea what it costs to build things with magnesium.

It seems people today will fork out something like $8-10k for a featherweight bicycle made mostly of carbon fibre. Probably cheaper for them to lose the weight themselves! But it seems tyres (tires) aren't getting better at the same rate. When I'm out cruising in my Packard (yes, I know it's officially a Clipper) I still see an awful lot of bicycle riders huddled beside the road wrestling with damaged tyres.

Now, if I can just find someone in these coronavirus-riddled times to tidy up the paintwork on my Clipper I'll be a happy man.

Best wishes

Brian

PS Is there somewhere in the US you can safely stash your collection of material for posterity? There is something like that happening here now for vintage race car material. A far better option than the alternatives. BW


Hello Brian,

I've delayed a bit in responding until I could find some time to do a more appropriate answer to your comment and inquiry. Thanks for the kind compliments.

I've loved Packards AND bicycles (there are those today who think loving cars means you hate bicycles) since I was a kid. Even as a toddler growing up in Detroit, I could identify any Packard or Studebaker (back to the 1940s) rolling the streets and it says so even in my baby book!

I also knew every bicycle I saw. And since it was easier to collect bicycles and literature about them, this is what I started doing in the 1950s. Got my first bicycle catalogue about 1953 at the same time I got my first prestige Packard catalogue. Famous Grand Prix Formula One champ Phil Hill once told me that he started gathering catalogues the same way I did.

RE: being a "bicycle person"... I'm not sure what that is. Even after owning, restoring, riding and collecting several thousand bicycles in my lifetime, I still encounter folks who think they can turn their nose up because they just spent ten grand on a composite-frame something that is lighter than air and has those same skinny little tires that get caught in everything and go "POP!!!" at the slightest opportunity! Or they just got a mountainbike and can ride the top of a wooden fence for 100 feet! Or they ride more than I do (or think they do). I wish I could tally the miles and miles and miles I put on my bicycle in the 1950s and 1960s just doing my paper route and going back & forth to visit relatives in Canada (yes-on a balloon tire "heavyweight" bicycle).

RE: bicycle tires... You are absolutely correct. But when the lightweight bcycles of today are still riding on what are little more than rubber shims-"rim protectors" with high pressure inflation, what can one expect?

RE: where in the U.S. can I stash my collection for posterity?.... Good question. A very good question. One of the problems of being too far ahead of my time is that almost nobody cared about American-made balloon tire streamline bicycles when I started collecting them. I wrote a book on the subject. No publisher would touch it. I tried to hang out with folks who were collecting antique turn-of-century contraptions, but in those days they detested my streamlined balloon tire classics and didn't want them around (yes... a fact-no matter who denies it today). A lot of people laughed at me for collecting such stuff. Why would anyone want something THAT heavy? "Serious collectors" said my stuff "wasn't historically significant." Yes... they actually said this. I went on national TV and radio (even in Canada)... but nobody paid a lot of attention. I started the world's first newsletter on the subject. But there was hardly enough of an audience to support it. I did displays at trade shows and stores and exhibits at museums. I held the very first national classic bicycle show and swap meet. I started and wrote the first news stand magazine series on the subject for Cyclist magazine in the 1980s. I was written up in Bicycling Magazine... and even in FORBES magazine. But people got amnesia. Nobody remembers these things.

Today? We've got "picker shows" making megabux on TV talking about classic bicycles-the very same stuff I was always collecting but people aren't laughing at them for doing it like they did with me. THESE guys are getting PAID! That pawn shop show? When they want info on a classic bicycle, they go to people I never heard of... and who likely never heard of me. And one of the publishers I tried to get to do my book and who turned it down in 1981 saying they only wanted to do CAR books? Well... they waited a decade or so and then today are the biggest publisher of vintage bicycle books! They never called me and never mentioned me in their books. They simply made up their own "expert."

When the money finally started recognizing classic bicycles, everything changed. There was a wild scramble and people went nuts trying to catch up. Or trying to establish some kind of legitimacy. They invented their own "experts" and then went to work. When they had no idea of what they were talking about? They just made up something that sounded good. After all... who would know?

Today I get to listen to folks telling me "how rare" something is, because they heard it on a TV show-or the internet! Like I wouldn't know.

Problem is, a lot of folks realizing they missed the boat could only get in on the action by posing. This meant they had to make up their "histories" and use somebody else's stuff to look legitimate. OR they schlocked parts from different old bicycles together all on one thing and called it "restored"... and even got this stuff in magazines! If I corrected the magazines, they just got mad.

AND... there were and ARE still those who felt that MY stuff would somehow be better and more legitimate if it was THEIR stuff. So 20 years ago I was robbed of over 750 bicycles, tens of thousands of parts and all of my tools (along with my 1956 Packard Four Hundred and Packard Caribbean convertible). This nightmare put some chortling folks into a position where they felt they could sit back and grin. They showed me-or so they thought. Some would even justify this dirtbag conduct by implying somehow that I didn't deserve to have my collection or these fine things in the first place! There ARE people like this out there.

Only just recently I received an anonymous (with fake email address) poison-pen email stating that if I got robbed, it was because I was "incompetent" and deserved to have my things stolen! Again, there ARE sick rat people like this out there. My 1956 Caribbean convertible with factory air and wire wheels is STILL missing after nearly 20 years. My 1956 Four hundred is also still missing... and my barn full of Packard parts is missing too. And don't tell me that nobody knows anything. SOMEBODY knows.

While I still have the world's largest collection of this bicycle stuff (despite being wayy down from the over 3,000 bicycles I once had) there really is no safe place to keep it. And I would say probably 80% of the history I've saved is unknown to today's collectors, "experts" and historians. Almost none of it is in a book- even after all these years! What I tried to do in the 1970s and 1980s STILL hasn't been done. For example, when's the last time you saw a 1939 Packard bicycle catalogue (see attachments)? Betcha they never showed you one on TV. And you won't find one in anybody's book! But take a look at that electric tail light... Huh?

So what will happen to my collection and all this history when I'm gone? Good question.

Attach file:



jpg  (273.36 KB)
1249_5f5263a14858b.jpg 1920X1221 px

jpg  (108.43 KB)
1249_5f5263f566fb4.jpg 960X1280 px

jpg  (326.09 KB)
1249_5f52643e4f2e6.jpg 1920X1440 px

jpg  (228.20 KB)
1249_5f52646518c02.jpg 1280X960 px

jpg  (645.64 KB)
1249_5f5264836ff2c.jpg 1920X2559 px

jpg  (130.15 KB)
1249_5f5265f663540.jpg 1920X1293 px

jpeg  (479.36 KB)
1249_5f526b91d356b.jpeg 2048X1536 px

jpg  (484.14 KB)
1249_5f526c163d0a0.jpg 1920X1295 px

Posted on: 2020/9/4 11:00
 Top  Print 
 


Re: Packard Bikes
#83
Home away from home
Home away from home

Brian Wilson
See User information
Thanks for your reply, Leeedy

Yes, it's a sorry tale and I can feel your frustration. Some of this happened with the "old car" movement but maybe not to the same degree. Being an old racer at heart, I keep running into people with amazing experiences or stories to tell and say "you should write a book". Some of them have, but many left it too late. Most who did write something ended up publishing it themselves, especially if their special expertise was in something a bit off centre (like air-cooled race cars). Despite what publishers seem to think, there is a market for well-presented books on almost any subject written by somebody who really knows what they are talking about.

You still have an amazing collection of classic bicycles and deep knowledge of the subject. Something a publisher is typically incapable of recognising or understanding. So they will likely continue to reject your approaches or offers. At least two of my older friends have resorted to self publishing and came out of it reasonably well financially. More importantly, their knowledge was captured for posterity. You have a ready made repository of classic bicycles and material, and could assemble a "bible" on the subject. Potentially a very time consuming exercise, but the result is that your collection serves a purpose and your knowledge is captured. I'm just thinking aloud, but my great fear is that what you have will go with you when you depart. That's a tragedy.

Even having a searchable repository online of correct examples of classic bicycles and pics thereof would be enormously valuable, but only scratches the surface.

One of the side benefits of such an effort is that the instant experts et al are easily proved wrong when they start talking nonsense.

As a complete aside, when did your 1956 Packard 400 (hardtop) disappear? I am idly looking at one for sale here with a rather hazy past but last sold through a dealer in Chicago called Chicago Car Exchange, Inc. It's Scottish Heather/White paint (code MK) and trim code 86, car number 5687 1773. Which means it was built in late 1955 but a 1956 model. I hope you don't recognise any of that!

This 400 has been sitting in a shed here for more than a few years, so would no doubt require a mechanical birthday. I'm pretty happy with my current RHD 1956 Clipper, and would be hard to prise out of that.

Cheers

Brian

Posted on: 2020/9/5 0:02
1941 120 Club Coupe (SOLD)
1956 Clipper Deluxe (RHD and auto) - for the wife, or so I told her!
 Top  Print 
 


Re: Packard Bikes
#84
Home away from home
Home away from home

Leeedy
See User information
Here is a Packard bicycle purchase from February of 1944... WITH sales receipt and original dealer's sales literature from the factory.

As I have said many times, sales of these bicycles had zero to do with sales or manufacture of Packard Motor Cars. And the bicycles were not given away with Packards "to sweeten deals." Despite how many times these mythical stories have been stated in both the car hobby and the old bicycle hobby. As you can see here, the bicycle was sold via a normal bicycle shop and no mention of a car or a give-away.

Also note that the company that made this Packard bicycle had temporarily ceased making bicycles in spring of 1942 due to U.S. Federal Government War Board regulations. How do I know so? Because I have the original company records that state when they stopped. And when they resumed. I also have the complete set of War Board regulations issued in early 1942 that covered all aspects of who could buy and who could sell and all related conditions and factors.

The War Board regulations only allowed two American bicycle companies to continue making bicycles. The rest of the USA bicycle companies were re-directed to make war armaments and equipment for the war. These are facts, not guesses.

Also, contrary to a wild posting that has appeared in the past on the internet, Packard Motor Car Company had absolutely nothing to do with ownership of the Colson Corporation. Fact.

Attach file:



jpg  (673.47 KB)
1249_5f78b953159b5.jpg 1920X2559 px

Posted on: 2020/10/3 12:48
 Top  Print 
 


Re: Packard Bikes
#85
Home away from home
Home away from home

Leeedy
See User information
Another bicycle that was just like the "Packard bicycle" that began this thread, just to show you the design was not so un usual for the time. AND the design had zero to do with Packard automobiles or PMCC.

Attach file:



jpg  (833.79 KB)
1249_5fa1a447b5510.jpg 1920X2488 px

Posted on: 2020/11/3 13:41
 Top  Print 
 


Re: Packard Bikes
#86
Home away from home
Home away from home

Leeedy
See User information
Thought you might want to see Packard man, Alvan T. Fuller's first newspaper ad for sales... but it wasn't for Packards. Mr. Fuller was in the bicycle business before he got into the Packard automobile business. The year was 1899.

And were those bicycles he sold branded Packard? No. But he did sell Eclipse, Columbia, Orient and Victor brands. Uhhh, sorry Schwinn worshippers and sorry Packard bicycle yarn spinners.

Ad courtesy of NBHAA.com and the original "The Packard" magazine...


Attach file:



jpg  (197.33 KB)
1249_5fd24e3ced16c.jpg 1733X1767 px

Posted on: 12/10 11:36
 Top  Print 
 


Re: Packard Bikes
#87
Home away from home
Home away from home

Leeedy
See User information
Leaping forward from Alvan T. Fuller in 1899... DIY-ers on the internet will tell you that Bean Son Company (the bicycle distributor that handled the Packard bicycle that started this thread) went out of business in the 1940s. Awwww.

Now, from the NBHAA archive, here are a couple of dealerbook examples that clearly indicate otherwise. Bean Son Company (NOT "Bean and Son Company" as also stated in the beginning of the thread) was selling 10-Speed bicycles in the 10-Speed heyday. And when was that? Try the 1970s. Yes.

Like one "museum" today says, "We don't ever want the facts to get in the way of a good story..." Hmmmm. Wow. They actually say that on a sign and introduction!

And were there Packard-branded 10-Speed bicycles ever sold? Welllll...?

Attach file:



jpeg  (392.86 KB)
1249_5fea10e62315e.jpeg 2047X1414 px

Posted on: 12/28 12:08
 Top  Print 
 


Re: Packard Bikes
#88
Home away from home
Home away from home

Leeedy
See User information
Now... still with Bean Son Company and Packard bicycles, let's move back now in time from the 1970s to...how about 1917?

The world was gearing up for the deadly Spanish Flu pandemic and war was raging overseas.

Yes. Good 'ol Bean Son is in business... and in fact selling Packard Bicycles–as this original bill head from my collection clearly indicates. No ten-speeds here. And no mention of Packard automobiles either. It didn't happen folks.

AND I can assure you they didn't give away Pierce bicycles with Pierce-Arrow automobiles either! And no... they didn't give away a "Cadilac" (one "L") bicycle with a Cadillac automobile either! Who started these stories? Huh?


Take a look...and just in case you wanna know... do we have a "Cadilac" (with one "L") bicycle? Yep. Sure do. And have several Cadillac bicycles (with two "L"s) as well. But you already knew this, didn't ya?

Now... just look at all of the automotive history being missed here...eh?

Attach file:



jpg  BeanSonLetterhead1917PackardWM copy.jpg (589.71 KB)
1249_60121e0edf57b.jpg 1920X2496 px

Posted on: 1/27 21:17
 Top  Print 
 


Re: Packard Bikes
#89
Home away from home
Home away from home

Leeedy
See User information
So... it's either raining or snowing outside? Brutal cold? Ice storm? Or you're hunkered down at home maintaining social distancing because of covid?

Who ya gonna call? Or what're you gonna do? How about looking at some more Packard bicycle history of course?

You've seen the many Packard bicycle headbadges I've shown you so far. Here's another. And no... (sorry Schwinn worshippers) it wasn't made by Schwinn, it wasn't made by CWC either. Nope... not Huffy. Not Murray-Ohio. And no one has yet to ID the maker of the last headbadge we posted, so this will put you two behind. Have fun!

(And just think... a big publisher turned down my book on bicycle history in the early 1980s–claiming it was of limited interest and they didn't think people would be collecting this stuff. A bicycle history that also dared to mention cars? OMG! Now who on this earth would possibly be interested in that? As silly as it may seem, some publishers back then wanted to know why I didn't include "diet and exercise tips" in my history? THIS is where SOME people's lost empty heads were... and some still are. Now... we've got guys on TV raking in millions talking about vintage cars and vintage American bicycles... and home-brew "books" photocopying and guessing, trying to talk about the subject and determine history by group consensus (could be this, might be that, I saw a picture...NOBODY could really, possibly KNOW this stuff–and how dare anyone say that they do!..., etc. etc....). My 1970s manuscript and thousands of original factory photos? Still sitting in my computer after alllll these years. Smart guys of vision, huh?)

Attach file:



jpg  Headbadge copy.JPG (180.91 KB)
1249_602873374df1c.jpg 579X1617 px

Posted on: 2/13 19:49
 Top  Print 
 


Re: Packard Bikes
#90
Home away from home
Home away from home

Leeedy
See User information
Something I neglected to say when talking about the Packard bicycle I showed you earlier sold in 1944 (scroll back in the thread)... those of you who know such things surely are aware there was no such thing as a 1944 Packard automobile. Like most of the bicycle companies in the USA, the car companies also were not making cars during most of World War II. So... for the folks with the stories about Packard bicycles given away to sell a car... WHERE were the 1944 Packards?

Again. Nowhere. The bicycle sale in question had zero connection to a Packard automobile sale. American bicycle COMPANIES were not making Packard bicycles to go with Packard Automobiles. Yes, there were car names (or more accurately, car-like names) on some bicycles. And yes, in most cases this practice was "accidentally-on-purpose"... but was not done in connection with car companies or with the sale of automobiles (insert the endless ridiculous argument about "Pierce" and "Pierce-Arrow" bicycles here).

Some (NOT all) automotive names (or automotive-like names) that appeared on classic-era (feel free to ask what this means) American-made bicycles were as follows:

Peerless
Pierce
Pope
Pontiac
Cadillac
Cleveland
Jaguar
Oldsmobile
LaSalle
Auburn
Clipper
Hudson
Winton
Packard

... and more.

And while I'm at it, guess I ought to tell you that a LOT of USA-made bicycles from the classic era had car model names. SOME of these were as follows:

Impala
Corvette
Camaro
Bel Air
Corvair
Eldorado
Coupe Deville
Holiday
Starfire
Jaguar
Strato-Streak
Chieftan
Firebird
Roadmaster
Super Deluxe
Fleetline (and Fleet Line)
Mustang
Thunderbird
Coronet
Challenger
Imperial
300
Clipper
Pan American

...and many more. AND here's another point: several American-made bicycles from the classic era had THEIR model names long before cars appeared with those names. For example, "Challenger" bicycles were sold by B.F. Goodrich and this model name existed long before Mickey Thompson's Bonneville car or the Dodge Challenger that debuted in 1970. SO... some car names may have originated from CLASSIC BICYCLES! But in the case of Packard bicycles, we're safe. Packard Motor Car Company had the name first.

Why haven't automotive historians and publications picked up on these facts of history? Good question!

Of course, many automotive stylists (some of them friends of mine) designed American-made classic bicycles. Among these were Harley Earl, Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky, Brooks Stevens, Benjamin Bowden and several others. And yes, we have bicycle examples of each. Some we exhibited at the Oakland Museum in Oakland, California, years (decades) ago (yes, you can look it up). Since that time you'll find a few DIY-ers repeating the info about car designers doing bicycles without telling you where they got it. Yes, there were many more car designers who did bicycles.

LOTS of automotive history here... that nobody ever paid attention to... unless they were repeating a certain article...

Posted on: 2/13 22:38
 Top  Print 
 




« 1 ... 6 7 8 (9) 10 11 12 »




Search
Recent Photos
1937 Packard 115c Conn. (07/02/2021)
1937 Packard 115c Conn.
1953 Mayfair (06/26/2021)
1953 Mayfair
IMG_20210324_172433493.jpg (03/28/2021)
IMG_20210324_172433493.jpg
Photo of the Day
PAC Nat'l 2008- 1927 Packard 343 Rollston Touring
Recent Registry
Website Comments or Questions?? Click Here Copyright 2006-2021, PackardInfo.com All Rights Reserved