J.C. Higgins

Discussion in 'Classic Balloon Tire Bicycles 1933-1965' started by SimpleMan, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. #1 Posted Jul 21, 2009
    SimpleMan

    SimpleMan Finally riding a big boys bike

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    I've had no luck trying to date this on my own. Looks like the basic model sold in 48' but the sprocket and forks are different than the pictures I have of a 48'. Seat clamp looks like the war time models in the pictures I've seen. Just curious what you guys think. Kick stand has PAT.APL. stamped on it. Drop out has no provisions for a drop stand. It's almost like a bunch of left over stuff put together. The few places I've checked paint looks original.

    Thanks for any input.

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    #1 SimpleMan, Jul 21, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2010
  2. #2 Posted Jul 21, 2009
    SimpleMan

    SimpleMan Finally riding a big boys bike

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  3. #3 Posted Jul 21, 2009
    RMS37

    RMS37 I live for the CABE

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    Your bike is one of the J.C. Higgins that was built for Sears by Westfield Manufacturing rather than the more common Murray version. You should be able to date the bike accurately by comparing the serial number stamped on the bottom bracket with the Westfield serial number list.
     
  4. #4 Posted Dec 30, 2009
    Schwinndemonium

    Schwinndemonium Finally riding a big boys bike

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    YES!!!,a match!!

    You have the exact same bike that I have, only mine still has all of it's sheet metal yet. I been trying since I got this bike in 2005 to positively identify what year mine was built, also. I believe, but I don't know for sure that these bikes were built before WWII as Elgin bikes, left to sit around until after the war, then they re badged them as JC Higgins after the war, when Sears finally decided to sell these leftover bikes from prewar times. The only thing that I see that is different in between my bike and yours is that the front forks are different,but it looks like in the case of both these bikes, they are the correct original forks, as the patina on the forks matches that of the rest of these bikes, as well as that of the the paint.

    Heres some pics of mine.

    Jim.
     

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    #4 Schwinndemonium, Dec 30, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  5. #5 Posted Dec 30, 2009
    Schwinndemonium

    Schwinndemonium Finally riding a big boys bike

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    Oops!!

    I just got done researching my JC Higgins bike serial # after the gentleman,RMS37 said that this style of bike was manufactured by Westfield Manufacturing, which also built Columbia bicycles. They built the same bikes with JC Higgins badges for Sears. So I found the Columbia/Westfield Manufacturing history site, and they had the serial numbers deciphered there. According to my serial number on my bike,L164687, if I interpret what the tables said, the bike was built in 1947,an early postwar bike. This makes sense, because the rear wheel axle dropouts do not have chain tensioner bolts, as the prewar bikes do. The flat fenderbraces are of the prewar style, though. The overall styling of the bike, though, does strongly suggest that it is a prewar bike, which it is not.

    Jim.
     
  6. #6 Posted Dec 30, 2009
    Adamtinkerer

    Adamtinkerer Cruisin' on my Bluebird

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    Looks like my Elgin, the maroon & tan paint date it to 40-42. They must have found a stash of old fender braces and were using them up! [​IMG]
     
  7. #7 Posted Jan 2, 2010
    all riders

    all riders Guest

    I have one just like the one with all the sheet metal. It is badged as a CYCLONE it is absolutely a columbia/westfield bike as are these others. there will be a letter at the beginning of your serial# and that is the date letter. Mine is an "L" putting it at '47 so count back or forward from there.(K=46 m=48) . The tank is the biggest clue--straight up columbia(superb was there model for this same bike).
     
  8. #8 Posted Jan 3, 2010
    Schwinndemonium

    Schwinndemonium Finally riding a big boys bike

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    1947!

    So, all riders, it looks like we both have bikes that were built in the same year,1947, as the first place letter in my bike's serial number is also an "L". Mine, like I said, is badged as a J.C. Higgins, though. Boy:eek:, Westfield/Columbia must have built bikes for a lot of different businesses, back then, with all the different badging you find on this style of bike from back then. You learn something new every day, in this hobby, and I've been involved with it for over forty years, now!!:)

    Jim.
     
    #8 Schwinndemonium, Jan 3, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2010
  9. #9 Posted Jan 3, 2010
    Strings-n-Spokes

    Strings-n-Spokes I live for the CABE

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    I have two Westfeild badged bikes that are very similar.

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  10. #10 Posted Feb 2, 2013
    cyclebuster

    cyclebuster Finally riding a big boys bike

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    So thats what mine is, a 1947 Westfield. very cool!!
     
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