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Re: Packard Bikes
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Packard Newbie
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Leeedy,
I notice in the various ads that 'coaster brakes' are available at a premium. I know 'coaster brakes' as the rear hub drum brake that one would activate by pedaling in reverse. My understanding is caliper brakes came along later, so if you didn't pay the few bucks extra for coaster brake stopping, does that mean there were NO brakes? That seems a little crazy to be scooting around on a bike that can reach considerable speeds and have no provision to stop!?!? Chris.

Posted on: 3/11 21:29
'If you think you can, or you think you can't - you're right!' Henry Ford.
1939 Packard Six, Model 1700
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Re: Packard Bikes
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Leeedy
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Quote:

Packard Newbie wrote:
Leeedy,
I notice in the various ads that 'coaster brakes' are available at a premium. I know 'coaster brakes' as the rear hub drum brake that one would activate by pedaling in reverse. My understanding is caliper brakes came along later, so if you didn't pay the few bucks extra for coaster brake stopping, does that mean there were NO brakes? That seems a little crazy to be scooting around on a bike that can reach considerable speeds and have no provision to stop!?!? Chris.


LOL. Yessss, as crazy as it may seem to us in 2022, most bicycles in the late 1800s and early 1900s came standard without a brake. If you wanted to stop the machine, it was possible to buy either an attachment or (with safety bicycles– those with wheels roughly the same size) some manufacturers offered optional hub brakes like coaster brakes. If you wanted safe riding, you had to pay extra.

Of course if you scroll back to our recent post about freewheeling rear hubs on Packard bicycles, most bicycles didn't have freewheeling either. So? You controlled the speed (and essentially what substituted for braking) by never taking your feet off of the pedals. There was no coasting without freewheel mechanisms– unless you took your feet off of the pedals. The pedals, cranks and wheels all went 'round and 'round locked together... and thus you could still make a Herculean back-pedal and try to stop your brake-less bicycle. But ... that's what made companies like New Departure (which later became part of GM) and Morrow/Eclipse so rich!

Posted on: 3/11 22:52
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Re: Packard Bikes
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Leeedy
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We've discussed Packard bicycles to the hilt... and we have mentioned in this thread that there were numerous other bicycle brands patterned after automobile names. Here is yet another example... and again we also will tell you that the car dealer didn't give a balking customer one of these to "sweeten the deal" on a car. This "sweeten the deal" business on luxury car buying is a modern idea perpetrated by minds of the present era. But typically such things did not happen as may be imagined today.

Now. The legends of fine automobile history say that there were three luxury automobile brands that all began with the letter "P." Of course the first of these was Packard. Then Pierce-Arrow. Then the wonderful Peerless automobiles. Otherwise known as "the three P's."

We've already talked about Pierce (not "Pierce-Arrow" as some mistakenly think they were) bicycles a bit here. We've even talked a bit about Cadillac (and "Cadilac") bicycles. But we'll just bet you've never seen another competitor to Packard bicycles: the Peerless. We'll show you one now.

The original bicycle literature here supplied by National Bicycle History Archive of America (NBHAA.com) is from 1931. Coincidentally that year was the last production for Peerless Motor Vehicle Company automobiles (yesss, some Peerless cars were sold in 1932 but they were merely leftover 1931 production).

Who marketed Peerless bicycles? Several retailers and wholesale-distributors, but in this case it was the almighty Western Auto stores (and bicycle folk will tell you that W-A only sold "Western Flyer" bicycles. Of course... not true.

While there were several different Peerless bicycle models, the deluxe model shown here was intended to compete directly with deluxe Packard-branded bicycles.

This one was was made for Western Auto Supply Company under contract by Shelby Cycle Company of Shelby, Ohio. No... while Shelby is a well-known car name of today, these are two different Shelbys. This bicycle company had no connection with Carroll Shelby and his fabulous cars.

Anyway, the deluxe model of Peerless you see here had everything: headlight, Klaxon horn, toolbox tank, rear carrier and singletube 28" whitewall tires.

This Peerless you see here was also marketed with slight changes under the brand name "Shelby"... and under the name, "Lindy"- in tribute to famous pilot, Charles Lindbergh. The "Lindy" version of this bicycle featured a miniature "Spirit of St. Louis" airplane mounted on a pedestal on the front fender (yes, yours truly has a 1931 Lindy bicycle and once had it on display at the Oakland Museum in Oakland, California).

So. There were the Three P's of luxury automobiles... and there were the three P's of deluxe bicycles. Now you've seen a Peerless bicycle, competitor to Packard bicycles.

Peerless bicycles are rare. The literature on them is even more rare. So remember where you saw it...

Attach file:



jpeg  1931PeerlessBicycleNBHAA.jpeg (910.16 KB)
1249_624c6fc1a9e15.jpeg 2861X3884 px

Posted on: 4/5 11:38
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Re: Packard Bikes
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Leeedy
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Now, to 1939 and more Packard bicycles for salenot being given away with Packard automobiles. Here was a regular bicycle shop in St. Cloud, Minnesota that was selling Packard-branded bicycles. Selling, not giving. And no Packard automobile is mentioned.

You will also note that two different versions of Packard bicycles are mentioned in this ad with one an apparent standard level model and the other listed as a "Deluxe"... nice. And just as we have been telling you all along.

So as we have said many, many times... where is the hard evidence in all of the fabled stories of Packard bicycles being given away with Packard automobiles to "sweeten deals"?????

Original ad is courtesy of Leon Dion and National Bicycle History Archive of America (NBHAA.com).

You're welcome.

Attach file:



jpg  PackardBiycles1939StCloudMNWM.jpg (66.82 KB)
1249_6269596050311.jpg 600X341 px

Posted on: 4/27 9:55
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Re: Packard Bikes
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Leeedy
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Now to 1941 and a Pennsylvania department store (NOT a car dealer). Here is their Packard bicycle line. One thing: the seat maker's name was Troxel not "Troxell."

You could have all this for weekly payments of fifty cents, folks! Of course, fifty cents was still a decent amount of money back then. For instance, that same fifty cents (with an "s") would have gotten you into the local movie theater and paid for your popcorn!

Bicycle hardware here was was made by Shelby Cycle Company of Shelby, Ohio (no relationship to Shelby cars). Shelby Cycle made some of the most top quality bicycles in the industry. They also made the "Lindy" bicycle in tribute to Charles Lindbergh.

Original advertisement is courtesy of NBHAA.com.

Attach file:



jpg  Penn1941PackardBicycles copy.jpg (70.98 KB)
1249_628fede9e4f24.jpg 443X585 px

Posted on: 5/26 16:19
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Re: Packard Bikes
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Leeedy
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Let's move to 1944 and Lancaster, Pennsylvania. WWII was a big time for bicycle thefts. Bicycles were scarce because only two American companies were allowed by the war board to manufacture bicycles for most of the war. The rest were kept busy making armaments, war items, etc. AND... a buyer had to have a special federal government ration ticket. These ration tickets or cards affirmed the holder was either in the military or working in making defense materials, etc. So bicycles were difficult to obtain.

Federal wartime regulations on bicycles were so strict that pages of regulations were issued to bicycle dealers in early 1942. Among these was a rule that bicycles sold had to leave the dealership only via the front door of the building– so help me. And if you don't think this rule was seriously enforced, believe me, it was. In the 1980s I bought out an ancient bicycle shop in Missouri. This shop had been shut down during World War II for selling bicycles out of the back door! Yes. Even more amazing was the fact that most of the bicycles and parts in that store were still there! As if in one huge time capsule left over from the 1940s. nearly 1,000 vintage prewar bicycles and amazing piles of parts and literature. Items like new, unsold bicycles and wartime license plates made out of thick paper! And yes, there were several Packard bicycles, but no Packard automobiles!

Anyway, during the war a huge number of people relied on bicycles for daily transportation. Gas and cars were also rationed and car production halted in 1942. So you can see that bicycles were like gold at the time. This was nationwide. The Lancaster, PA police blotter said that bicycle thieves were busy stealing two-wheelers. And remember, this was in a time where thefts were nothing at all as common as today.

But there was one remarkable thing. Out of eight bicycles stolen (and still missing) in Lancaster, it seems the thieves had a preference for guess what? Three of eight bicycles stolen were all Packard brand. So the folks stealing bicycles apparently had a fondness for Packard bicycles!

Here's the proof from a Lancaster newspaper. And, as I've said so many, many times– no matter what you've been told elsewhere– NO Packard automobiles were involved. Nobody was giving these bicycles away to sell Packard automobiles.

(original 1944 newspaper clipping courtesy of NBHAA.com)

Attach file:



jpg  PoliceSeekStolenPackardBicyclesLancaster1944WM.jpg (54.69 KB)
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jpeg  KCbicycleLicenses1942&OilersWM.jpeg (2,815.16 KB)
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Posted on: 6/27 21:28
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Re: Packard Bikes
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Leeedy
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Now... to the 1930s. I've told you several times during this thread about Packard bicycle ornaments. Here are more.

Packard-inspired bicycle ornaments of the Goddess type were much smaller than the automotive radiator counterparts. Yet these were quite popular for bicycles. As I've pointed out previously, the bicycle ornaments were often made by the same companies that made larger versions for cars (whether these were legitimate PMCC parts or not).

There were several versions of Packard-inspired bicycle ornaments by the early 1930s. Here are two more. One in the catalogue (below) was designed to attach to the handlebar stem binder bolt. You will notice the wheel and tire she holds have been a bit blurred (perhaps as a way to differentiate from the genuine PMCC car version). One could call this one "the donut smoosher" instead of "the donut chaser."

The second type came with a threaded base and was designed to attach to your bicycle's front fender (yes, you had to drill or punch a hole). Beautiful, huh?

Why are these rare today?
1.) They were made and sold during the depression when most people had no money for such frivolity.
2.) They were quite delicate and broke off easily.

Rare or not, both these and other similar ornaments turn up today at swap meets and on the internet with folks swearing they are Packard automobile parts. Not.

But we thought you might enjoy seeing them anyway and knowing what they really are!

Attach file:



jpeg  PackardBicycleOrnamentWM.jpeg (1,906.75 KB)
1249_62ca0769f3893.jpeg 2267X3783 px

jpeg  PackardBicycleGoddessOrnamentWM.jpeg (132.17 KB)
1249_62cdb0784f157.jpeg 500X375 px

Posted on: 7/9 18:02
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Re: Packard Bikes
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Leeedy
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Okay. Let's crank up the "way-back machine" and travel back to 1897.

If you remember or know the origin of Packard Motor Cars (or if you never knew) it all started with the purchase of a Winton automobile. Winton cars were an offshoot of the Winton bicycle, which was rather well known by the late 1800s.

James Ward Packard stepped up and purchased one of the new-fangled Winton cars. Of course, Mr. Packard expected the car to... well... be a car. But the contraption broke down several times on the way back home from Cleveland to Warren, Ohio. Ultimately the sputtering, chattering, clunky Winton automobile ended up being hauled in behind a team of horses!

Mr. Packard was so upset that he went back to Alexander Winton to complain about the terribly unreliable car. Packard also suggested countermeasures to improve the Winton. But Mr. Winton had a nasty temper and instead argued back that if Mr. Packard was so smart, why not build a better car himself? We know the result of this challenge, don't we?

Anyway, thought that you might like to see the cover of a Winton Bicycle catalogue from 1897. Courtesy of National Bicycle History Archive of America (NBHAA.com). And thus the early bicycle genesis for the Packard automobile...

Attach file:



jpeg  Winton1897WM.jpeg (784.53 KB)
1249_62dc033e33593.jpeg 575X880 px

Posted on: 7/23 9:23
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Re: Packard Bikes
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sterling
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movie with Packard dealer selling bike to kids of dads that buy a Packard car.
funny wording inplying they sold it. and young one riding the best bike they said. (funny he was pushing bike on right side not riding it)i do not recall the movie as i was just looking at the cars in it. think late 1920s.
it was done in a way it looked like part of the movie but was a ad for Packard cars. it inplyed Packard was supplying them to dealers to sell. the bike in ad was one that looked more like a indain motorbike.(fenders 1/2 covered wheels) two lights and by shade it could be red or any dark color. it never said the name of the bike but with all the chrome and had everything you could get for a bike in 1928ish. it looked high $$$!
kid looked 12 to 15 in age.
seen it two times in my life and ads were left in it just like when seeing it in a movie house. maybe ad was in movie as man buying the Packard was star in movie. it was stars i have only seen in this movie.
i know this is not saying it was a Packard bike but dealers did sell bikes as this ad said so. and Packard was part of the bike. who made them for Packard to sell and what brand was it? was it just a couple years they did this or many years?
i was told by my dad that some dealers sold Packard peddle cars for younger kids. do not know if Packard was part of this or just dealers did this on there own?

Posted on: 7/26 20:49
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Re: Packard Bikes
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Leeedy
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Quote:

sterling wrote:
movie with Packard dealer selling bike to kids of dads that buy a Packard car.
funny wording inplying they sold it. and young one riding the best bike they said. (funny he was pushing bike on right side not riding it)i do not recall the movie as i was just looking at the cars in it. think late 1920s.
it was done in a way it looked like part of the movie but was a ad for Packard cars. it inplyed Packard was supplying them to dealers to sell. the bike in ad was one that looked more like a indain motorbike.(fenders 1/2 covered wheels) two lights and by shade it could be red or any dark color. it never said the name of the bike but with all the chrome and had everything you could get for a bike in 1928ish. it looked high $$$!
kid looked 12 to 15 in age.
seen it two times in my life and ads were left in it just like when seeing it in a movie house. maybe ad was in movie as man buying the Packard was star in movie. it was stars i have only seen in this movie.
i know this is not saying it was a Packard bike but dealers did sell bikes as this ad said so. and Packard was part of the bike. who made them for Packard to sell and what brand was it? was it just a couple years they did this or many years?
i was told by my dad that some dealers sold Packard peddle cars for younger kids. do not know if Packard was part of this or just dealers did this on there own?


Hello. Interesting and imaginative story. We would love to see this movie and perhaps add it to our collection of over 600 original vintage 16mm bicycle films (yes, we have a collection of them too). We have real original vintage bicycle films, not videos, so this is a field of great interest. Especially if there is a movie out there we don't know about with both Packards and bicycles in it! Bring it on!!!

I founded the Berkeley Bicycle Film Festival decades ago and I personally ran the Interbike Vintage Bicycle Movie Festival Theater that took place decades ago in both Long Beach, California And Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (see attached photo of 1994 poster). Today, Interbike is probably the nation's largest bicycle industry trade show. So what is the name of this great movie you refer to?

But please know that this is the umpteenth jillionth time someone has come up with stories like this. These stories have been going on for years and years. It would be nice if just once there was hard evidence included with the stories. I would love to see the movie.

It is very, very easy to prove the kind of thing you claim happened– not in movies or some family relative's memories, but in real life. Just come up with the movie, an ad, or a factory record, or sales program... anything that shows that real, genuine factory Packard Dealers officially sold Packard bicycles. Or even Packard pedal cars (by the way, there were a bunch of them! I once owned a very rare 1930s Packard pedal car that was big enough for four kids and was a dual-cowl phaeton!).

Packard salesmen couldn't sell things that were never in the dealer inventories or factory-authorized sales programs. Unless this was an enterprise of a single dealer. If PMCC was involved, why isn't any of this mentioned in the sales programs in factory dealer publications like Packard News?

We have been collecting on a massive scale since the 1950s. We have over 80,000 original vintage bicycle catalogues, periodicals, books and original photographs going back to the 1860s.

And we also have a huge amount of Packard literature and photos that I personally began collecting in the 1950s when they were still building Packard automobiles. This collection includes many dealer and factory publications. I grew up in Detroit and had relatives who worked for Packard. It is always possible that I've missed a gem like you describe, but where and what is it?

And yes, we have tons of pedal car literature, including from companies that manufactured little Packard pedal (not "peddle") cars. I personally knew people who designed them. I even have photos of pedal cars being developed in clay– just like real automobiles. We've owned a few pedal cars over the years. Surely this should be obvious.

But out of all this, not one shred of even a mention of a Packard dealer selling Packard bicycles or any bicycles or giving them away to sell cars. Or even Packard pedal cars. So? The answer is very simple: show the evidence. Here is anyone's golden opportunity.

As for Indian and Harley-Davidson bicycles... sorry, but none fit the description given here. But I can assure you, we have the world's largest collection of vintage original catalogues, photos and dealer paper on Indian and Harley bicycles too. Show us yours and we'll show you ours. Streamlined Indian bicycles with fenders that covered half the wheel? When? Sounds great, but they were not making such things. Certainly not in 1928 (or even "1928-ish"). I'm attaching the cover of the 1928 Indian Bicycle sales catalogue. It shows the most deluxe model they had that year. It is a typical 28-inch bicycle of the era.

And by the way, since chrome is mentioned in the description, be aware that chrome was just debuting in 1928... and the few bicycles that had it in that era were not of the streamlined variety. The streamlining theme described did not arrive until the 1930s.

I'm also attaching a photo of famous movie star Harold Lloyd (he did a lot of those daredevil scenes, hanging from buildings and flagpoles). Harold is riding his typical American-made 28-inch bicycle here in Palm Springs. His bicycle was brand-new at the time of this photo.

Also attaching a photo of one of our hundreds of original vintage 16mm films (real films, not DVDs) with bicycle themes. This one is from a 1953 network comedy TV show that starred famous Bob Cummings. Bob's big TV show series over the years were My Hero (this one), The Bob Cummings Show, and Love That Bob. Bob was also in the Harold Robbins fictional feature-length automotive movie, The Betsy. We have some of the actual parts from the Betsy and Bethlehem cars used in the movie.

It is always possible back in prewar America to find enterprising dealers who sold whatever it took to get human feet in the door and wallets opening. Some sold bubblegum. But this was NOT a factory-authorized, sponsored or official program having anything whatsoever to do with Packard Motor Car Company. At least not on a company-wide scale. We're not merely guessing on the bicycle stuff.

And just because a pedal car or a bicycle or an electric razor or a piano said Packard on it, didn't mean that Packard Motor Car Company was involved in the sales, marketing or manufacturing of said item.

For the original complete history I wrote on Packard bicycles years ago, please go back and read the article published in The Packard Cormorant magazine. The issue and details are listed earlier in this thread. Also, for answers to your other questions, please go back and read this thread from the beginning.

Thanks for the post.

Attach file:



jpeg  HaroldLloydOnBicycle copy.jpeg (1,189.86 KB)
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jpeg  FrontCVR copy.jpeg (795.50 KB)
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jpeg  BobCummingsBicycleTVshowWM copy 2.jpeg (1,994.50 KB)
1249_62e18f1e26437.jpeg 3573X2993 px

jpeg  InterbikeTheaterPhilaPA1994WM.jpeg (3,009.27 KB)
1249_62e2c98dc9d64.jpeg 3024X4032 px

Posted on: 7/27 8:40
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