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Re: Packard Bikes
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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.

But with a huge number of people relying on bicycles for daily transportation (gas and cars were also rationed and car production halted in 1942), you can see that bicycles were like gold at the time. The police blotter said that bicycle thieves were busy stealing two-wheelers. And 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), 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.

Attach file:



jpg  PoliceSeekStolenPackardBicyclesLancaster1944WM.jpg (54.69 KB)
1249_62ba657911d11.jpg 324X371 px

Posted on: Yesterday 21:28
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