Re: 1951 Schwinn Panther - maybe?
The locking fork suggests it was a more expensive model. I've built several bikes with both types of frames and none of mine had the locking fork. Are there any decals on the frame or chain guard to identify it? The fork looking different than something else you've seen in a picture doesn't mean much since one might have been a springer type and the other not. Depending on the condition of the bike (if it is complete and pretty pristine) then OK, maybe leave it alone, but it is your bike to do with as you want. You want a motorbike? Then put a motor on it. We'll help you.
Regarding the lock I can't help you with either getting it out or with replacing the key. One of the vintage bike sites (Old Roads is one I think)... one of those people may be able to help you.
Looking forward to photos.
Someday when I grow up I will probably lose interest in toys with wheels, but until then...
Last edited by silverbear; 07-09-2013 at 04:16 PM.