1951 Schwinn Panther - maybe?

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by vgirl, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. vgirl

    vgirl New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok so I don't know a lot about vintage bikes but I picked up a bicycle at a local fleamarket for a price I just couldn't refuse. I have been trying to research the bike since my first job is restoration. Everything is coming apart. Bearings replaced. Any non conforming parts being replaced. She needs new pedals and I think the crank sprocket is the wrong size. All in all she's in very decent shape. So first things first. I want to positively id the exact model. I am fairly certain she's a 1951 Schwinn by looking up the serial number and I think a Panther the problem is the Hornet seems to look the same. How do I know the difference? I also have another little issue. The lock that is on the front forks. What exactly does that do? How does it work? There is a key broken in it and it's not seized in there but I can't seem to find anything small enough to pull it out yet. Is that going to cause me a problem? Also there is a number on that lock. Can I get a new key made from that number? Too many questions. Sorry.
     
  2. Dan

    Dan Staff
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Messages:
    12,474
    Likes Received:
    49
    Howdy Vgirl.

    Post pictures if you can. A lot of folks here will have experience and ideas.

    Sounds like a great find!
     
  3. chainmaker

    chainmaker New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Messages:
    2,597
    Likes Received:
    1
    Pictures, lets see some.
     
  4. glennbo

    glennbo New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2010
    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    2
    sounds like you found a really nice bike i would reconsider motorizing it the sprocket that you say is wrong size is prolly a skip tooth sprocket with matching rear wheel coasterbrake that says new departure with a oilcup on the hub is this what you have..if it is leave it original

    glennbo
     
  5. chainmaker

    chainmaker New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Messages:
    2,597
    Likes Received:
    1
    Plus the locking springer, pictures would really help.
     
  6. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Messages:
    8,186
    Likes Received:
    8
    The serial numbers will tell you the year month and day it was stamped, but not the model. If it is 1951 then the question is what frame design does it have... is it the straight bar (commonly referred to as the Panther or does it have a cantilever frame in which case it is not a panther. Both frame types had different models distinguished by color and paint design, decals, more or less expensive shiny do dahs (lights, fender ornaments, etc.).

    Both frame designs are well made and make nice foundations for motorized bikes. Yes, pictures are what makes us happy. Welcome to the forum.
    SB
     
  7. vgirl

    vgirl New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    I will post pics as soon as I am able. The reason I think the sprocket is wrong is because it is actually worn a small spot into the frame from being pedalled. I figured it must be that or maybe the bearings need to be replaced. I don't know anything about skiptooths other than the pics I'ved seen so you guys would be better at telling me that. The thing that confused me most were the forks. The forks are different than the 51 and I've since found a pre-war Schwinn with the same forks so maybe I'm off base. Maybe it's older. I would love to convert it but if I shouldn't I'm down with that too. This is exciting!

    dnut
     
  8. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Messages:
    8,186
    Likes Received:
    8
    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.
    SB
     
    #8 silverbear, Jul 9, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013
  9. mason_man

    mason_man Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    Messages:
    658
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi and welcome to the forum, Wes Pinchot can repair, and make a new key for the locking fork. they went on the springers or truss rods forks, he is in the Chicago area, 847-259-0484.
    You can also check www.trfindley.com/flschwinn_1951_1960/1951_mdls1.html
    for more info of your bike.

    Ray

    PS pics please.
     
    #9 mason_man, Jul 9, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013
  10. chainmaker

    chainmaker New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Messages:
    2,597
    Likes Received:
    1
    My first panther had a worn spot from the cranks being loose. If it has a straight bar right below the top curved bar and a kickstand behind the seat post tube it is most likely a panther with a skip tooth set up.
     
  11. vgirl

    vgirl New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here we go. I don't know if I'm doing this right. Anyway there are no nameplates. The bike has been repainted at some point. I did find the info on the rear hub if it's original. Helps when I take my glasses off. Serial number is H15341 and I can't tell if there's suppose to be another number after for sure because of the paint.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. vgirl

    vgirl New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you everyone for the help so far. Pics are coming pending approval.
     
  13. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Messages:
    8,186
    Likes Received:
    8
    Nice! Yes, that is the staright bar frame which most of us call the Panther. Actually this frame was used for decades and the panther model is probably the most well known as it was a real beauty. But there were others as well including the "motorbike". The differences were in the decals, paint and accessories Give us some more pictures including the seat.

    This is a fine bicycle, comfortable to ride and a treat to look at. The crank and rear hub look original as is the feather chain guard. Many manufacturers changed from the old skip tooth sprocket and chain design to what we use now around the end of WWI. Schwinn waited a few years, into the early to mid 1950's.

    Some will advise you to leave it alone, others to restore it exactly to original and then ones like me who will say you should do what you want. You have to ask yourself then if you would ride it as a fairly heavy single speed bike and get some real use from it or would you be more likely to ride it if it had a motor. Your pick. There's no wrong choice. This is not so rare a bike that it would be a sacrilege to alter it. And you can add an engine without wrecking the bike... so that it could later be returned to how you have found it.

    What a happy conundrum... lucky you!
    SB
     
  14. bigbutterbean

    bigbutterbean New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    2,417
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, its not a skiptooth. From what silverbear said, looks like a Panther. Its in amazing condition for being a 1951. I would guess as someone else suggested that the worn spot on the frame is from the bottom bracket being loose. Those aren't too hard to adjust, but you may want to just take it apart and inspect/grease the entire assembly. The chain looks a little kinked, and after years of sitting around and rusting, I would suggest replacement. As far as motorizing, there is no law against it. Its yours to do with as you wish. If it were mine, I'd be going all out with a big 4 stroke, somewhere in the 79cc to 100cc vicinity, and an in-frame gas tank with fat tires and any vintage accessories I could find that went with that style of bike, such as headlights, luggage rack, etc. But that's just me. Either way its a beautiful bike.
     
  15. vgirl

    vgirl New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    .shft.Thanks silverbear.

    My issue was I don't like messing with anything if it's of any type of historical significance.

    I have a knee condition called patella alta. They are badly worn and need replacing which the surgeon's don't want to do because they say I am too young. I loved bike riding when I was younger but can't anymore. All I'm looking for is a motor that will go fast enough to keep up with friends when they are biking. And I want the safest setup I can come up with. I already fell off my husband's bike when I grazed a curb and broke my elbow. I learned some lessons the hard way. :)

    I have no plans to chop the bike in any way just refurbish add an engine nice big balloon tires and keep it classy and vintage looking. For $50 I just couldn't resist.
     
    #15 vgirl, Jul 9, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013
  16. vgirl

    vgirl New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Do we think it's 1951? The way the trusses attached to the fork made me suspicious. I haven't seen any that attached that way.
     
  17. vgirl

    vgirl New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oh and I forgot. The seat is a new one that I added. I took the other one that was with it and put in on the hubby's bike. It was in good shape but this one is kinder on my buttocks. lol
     
  18. Venice Motor Bikes

    Venice Motor Bikes Custom Builder / Dealer/Los Angeles

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Messages:
    6,169
    Likes Received:
    17
    Post the serial # (& where its stamped on the frame) & I'll tell you what day it was made. :)
     
  19. vgirl

    vgirl New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is the seat that came with the bike

    [​IMG]

    And the seat I replaced it with is a new one

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  20. vgirl

    vgirl New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Serial number is bottom of the frame under the crank. It reads H15341.
     

Share This Page