The Ultimate Sears Spaceliner Reference

Discussion in 'Middleweight Bicycles' started by BrentP, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. #1 Posted Dec 9, 2012
    BrentP

    BrentP Finally riding a big boys bike

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    After a year long research exercise, I have compiled reference information for all of the 44 different Sears Spaceliner models. If anyone has better photos for a specific model please contact me and I will add them to this reference.


    PRODUCTION NOTES

    Spaceliners were designed by renowned industrial designer, Victor Schrekendost, and produced for model years 1964-68 (5 years), by Murray for Sears (debuted in the Fall/Winter catalog in late 1963). It was introduced as the new top middle-weight model when Sears discontinued production of the Flightliner at the end of 1963. Prior to this time, bikes sold by Sears were branded J.C. Higgins, but beginning in 1964 (the year of the first Spaceliner) branding of all bikes was changed to Sears. In 1964 and 1965 they had a straight-tank design which was phased out at the end of 1965 (with the exception of the painted frame models) when the 'Forward Thrust' (7-style tank) design was introduced for the 1966-68 model years (debuted in the Fall/Winter catalog in late 1965).

    The chrome frame Spaceliners can be grouped into three tiers (referred to here as Deluxe, Standard, and Base). Sears also produced painted-frame Spaceliners in addition to their chrome models. The top tier, fully-optioned chrome bikes, are referred to here as 'Deluxe'. The 'Standard' and 'Base' tier chrome bikes are considered mid-range (fewer features), while the painted bikes are the entry-level models. Most of the full-size bikes were also available with an optional 2-speed, kick-back Bendix rear hub, and were assigned a different model number if they came with this feature.

    The painted straight-tank models were the only models produced for all 5 years of Spaceliner production (the chrome, straight-tank models were phased out in late 1965). When the 7-style tank (Forward Thrust) models were introduced for the 1966-68 model years, a painted 7-style tank version was added to the line-up which gave both straight & 7-style tank choices for the painted frame models during those 3 years from 1966-68.

    Bikes came in larger Men's/Women's size (26" wheels and full size frames) or Boy's/Girl's size (24" wheels and smaller frames), but Sears referred to all sizes as either Boy's or Girl's in their catalogs and used the model number to distinguish between sizes.

    Depending on model and year, prices ranged between about $39 for a painted model to $65 for a top-tier Deluxe model.


    THE BIKES

    Serial numbers are found on the rear wheel drop outs. The first three serial number digits (502) are Murray's identification code for Sears. Digits 4-8 of the bike serial number indicate the model number. The final digits are the unique frame identification number.

    In most cases, bikes are grouped into families in the table below (i.e. Deluxe family, Standard family, Base family). Each 'family' usually contains three different models that are identical except for size (26" or 24") and whether or not the 26" version has a 2-speed hub option (such details are noted in the table descriptions). Highlighted model numbers in the table are linked to external reference photos (although the images might be of a single specific model, they are representative of ALL three models within each Deluxe, Standard or Base family). Clicking on the highlighted model numbers will open up a browser window with photos, and in some cases Sears catalog scans, for the appropriate models. There are also additional descriptive details added to the photo pages.


    CHROME 'STRAIGHT-TANK' MODELS (1964 & 1965 Model Years)

    NOTE: To save space, unless otherwise noted all CHROME frame models were equipped with head lights, tear-drop double reflectors on the rear fender, chrome chain ring caps, seat crash bars and painted rear racks. These specifications are common to all chrome frame models and therefore aren't noted below unless modified for a particular model, in which case the modification is noted.

    Men's / Boy's
    46901 (1964-65, 26", Deluxe chrome, Men's, 1-speed, springer fork, tail light, horn)
    46921 (1964-65, 26", Deluxe chrome, Men's, 2-speed, springer fork, tail light, horn)
    46961 (1964-65, 24", Deluxe chrome, Boy's, 1-speed, springer fork, tail light, horn)
    46940 (1964-65, 26", Standard chrome, Men's, 1-speed, front truss bars but no springer fork, 2 rack reflectors instead of tail light, horn)
    46980 (1964-65, 26", Standard chrome, Men's, 2-speed, front truss bars but no springer fork, 2 rack reflectors instead of tail light, horn)
    46960 (1964-65, 24", Standard chrome, Boy's, 1-speed, front truss bars but no springer fork, 2 rack reflectors instead of tail light, horn)
    46306 (1964-65, 26", Base chrome, Men's, 1-speed, no truss bars & no springer fork, no tail light or rack reflectors, no crash bar, no chain ring cap, 1 round fender reflector)

    Women's / Girl's
    46911 (1964-65, 26", Deluxe chrome, Woman's, 1-speed, springer fork, tail light, horn)
    46931 (1964-65, 26", Deluxe chrome, Woman's, 2-speed, springer fork, tail light, horn)
    46971 (1964-65, 24", Deluxe chrome, Girl's, 1-speed, springer fork, tail light, horn)
    46950 (1964-65, 26", Standard chrome, Women's, 1-speed, front truss bars but no springer fork, 2 rack reflectors instead of tail light, horn)
    46990 (1964-65, 26", Standard chrome, Women's, 2-speed, front truss bars but no springer fork, 2 rack reflectors instead of tail light, horn)
    46970 (1964-65, 24", Standard chrome, Girl's, 1-speed, front truss bars but no springer fork, 2 rack reflectors instead of tail light, horn)
    46316 (1964-65, 26", Base chrome, Women's, 1-speed, no truss bars & no springer fork, no tail light or rack reflectors, no crash bar, no chain ring cap, 1 round fender reflector)


    CHROME '7-STYLE' TANK MODELS (1966-68 Model Years)

    Men's / Boy's
    46902 (1966-68, 26", Deluxe chrome, Men's, 1-speed, springer fork, chrome rear rack, top mounted tail light, horn)
    46922 (1966-68, 26", Deluxe chrome, Men's, 2-speed, springer fork, chrome rear rack, top mounted tail light, horn)
    46962 (1966-68, 24", Deluxe chrome, Boy's, 1-speed, springer fork, chrome rear rack, top mounted tail light, horn)
    46942 (1966-68, 26", Standard chrome, Men's, 1-speed, front truss bars but no springer fork, 2 rack reflectors instead of tail light, horn)
    46982 (1966-68, 26", Standard chrome, Men's, 2-speed, front truss bars but no springer fork, 2 rack reflectors instead of tail light, horn)
    46962 (1966-68, 24", Standard chrome, Boy's, 1-speed, front truss bars but no springer fork, 2 rack reflectors instead of tail light, horn)
    46943 (1966-68, 26", Base chrome, Men's, 1-speed, no truss bars & no springer fork, no horn, no tail light or rack reflectors, no crash bar, no chain ring cap, 1 round fender reflector)
    46983 (1966-68, 26", Base chrome, Men's, 2-speed, no truss bars & no springer fork, no horn, no tail light or rack reflectors, no crash bar, no chain ring cap, 1 round fender reflector)
    46963 (1966-68, 24", Base chrome, Boy's, 1-speed, no truss bars & no springer fork, no horn, no tail light or rack reflectors, no crash bar, no chain ring cap, 1 round fender reflector)

    Woman's / Girl's
    46912 (1966-68, 26", Deluxe Women's, 1-speed, springer fork, chrome rear rack, top mounted tail light, horn)
    46932 (1966-68, 26", Deluxe Women's, 2-speed, springer fork, chrome rear rack, top mounted tail light, horn)
    46972 (1966-68, 24", Deluxe Girls's, 1-speed, springer fork, chrome rear rack, top mounted tail light, horn)
    46952 (1966-68, 26", Standard chrome, Women's, 1-speed, front truss bars but no springer fork, 2 rack reflectors instead of tail light, horn)
    46992 (1966-68, 26", Standard chrome, Women's, 2-speed, front truss bars but no springer fork, 2 rack reflectors instead of tail light, horn)
    46972 (1966-68, 24", Standard chrome, Girl's, 1-speed, front truss bars but no springer fork, 2 rack reflectors instead of tail light, horn)
    46953 (1966-68, 26", Base chrome, Women's, 1-speed, no truss bars & no springer fork, no horn, no tail light or rack reflectors, no crash bar, no chain ring cap, 1 round fender reflector)
    46993 (1966-68, 26", Base chrome, Women's, 2-speed, no truss bars & no springer fork, no horn, no tail light or rack reflectors, no crash bar, no chain ring cap, 1 round fender reflector)
    46973 (1966-68, 24", Base chrome, Girl's, 1-speed, no truss bars & no springer fork, no horn, no tail light or rack reflectors, no crash bar, no chain ring cap, 1 round fender reflector)


    PAINTED MODELS

    NOTE: Specifications common to all of the painted models, and therefore not repeated below unless otherwise noted for clarification, are: tear drop double reflector on rear fender, no springer fork, no front truss bars, no horn, no tail light or rack reflectors, no seat crash bar, no chain ring cap. Details that vary by model number are shown below.

    Men's / Boy's
    46303 (1964-68, 26", Straight Tank, Men's, 1-speed, 1 round rear fender reflector in 64-65 was changed to a tear-drop reflector plus 2 rack reflectors in 66-68)
    46343 (1964-68, same specs as 46303, 2-speed)
    46323 (1964-68, 24" with same specs as 46303)
    46305 (1966-68, 26", 7-Tank, Men's, 1-speed, tear-drop reflector, 2 rack reflectors)
    46345 (1966-68, same specs as 46305, 2-speed)
    46325 (1966-68, 24" with same specs as 46305)

    Woman's / Girl's
    46313 (1964-68, 26", Straight Tank, Women's, 1-speed, 1 round rear fender reflector in 64-65 was changed to a tear-drop reflector plus 2 rack reflectors in 66-68)
    46353 (1964-68, 26", same specs as 46313, 2-speed)
    46333 (1964-68, 24" with same specs as 46313)
    46315 (1966-68, 26", 7-Tank, Women's, 1-speed, tear-drop reflector, 2 rack reflectors)
    46355 (1966-68, same specs as 46315, 2-speed)
    46335 (1966-68, 24" with same specs as 46315)

    Copyright 2012
     
    #1 BrentP, Dec 9, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2016
  2. #2 Posted Dec 9, 2012
    jd56

    jd56 Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe

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    Amazing wealth of hard to understand and confusing information.
    Ive been trying to get a handle on these numbers and the massive variations in models for some time.
    Now all I have to do is search "Spaceliner" on the Cabe and along with the photo albums this will be there.
    We middleweight collectors thank you.
    Great work my friend. And you must be exhausted....lol

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
     
  3. #3 Posted Dec 9, 2012
    Gary Mc

    Gary Mc Cruisin' on my Bluebird

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    Amazing work Brent & now a great reference for everyone!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing.
     
  4. #4 Posted Dec 9, 2012
    jpromo

    jpromo Cruisin' on my Bluebird

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    Amazing. Bookmarked. Thank you!
     
  5. #5 Posted Dec 9, 2012
    OldRider

    OldRider Cruisin' on my Bluebird

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    JD56 will love you for this :) Great work!
     
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  6. #6 Posted Dec 9, 2012
    jd56

    jd56 Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe

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    I love you brent:beer::thumbup:

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
     
  7. #7 Posted Dec 12, 2012
    krateman

    krateman Guest

    Terrific work Brent! Thanks from all of us to you!! I hope others who have an archive of knowledge about a specific model or two will do the same thing. I only know a decent amount about Krates. I am far from a storehouse of knowledge like you are about the Spaceliners. They are very cool and so are the other Liners. Step up to the plate, guys, and do the same thing. I know there are gurus here who know a lot about certain models. Much appreciated. Beer to you!
     
  8. #8 Posted Dec 12, 2012
    puddlz

    puddlz Look Ma, No Hands!

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    OK he even has referances for pedals soon, you rock Brent :cool:
     
  9. #9 Posted Dec 24, 2012
    kngtmat

    kngtmat Wore out three sets of tires already!

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    Real good work.
     
  10. #10 Posted Dec 24, 2012
    militarymonark

    militarymonark Moderator
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    this deserves a sticky. Great job and keep editing your post with more information. thanks
     
  11. #11 Posted Dec 24, 2012
    jd56

    jd56 Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe

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    Ditto to that...sticky note is a great idea


    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
     
  12. #12 Posted Dec 30, 2012
    BrentP

    BrentP Finally riding a big boys bike

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    Thanks. I appreciate the comments from everyone. Do I get an "I got 'Stickied' at The Cabe" T-Shirt? ;)

    I'd like to eventually add some information about the different pedals that came on Spaceliners. The big challenge will be to fit it in, as I've maxed out on the character limit (had to do a lot of re-writes to condense things to the point they are now).
     
    #12 BrentP, Dec 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
  13. #13 Posted Feb 9, 2013
    jd56

    jd56 Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe

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    Spaceliner catalog ads?

    BrentP....do you have any Spaceliner catalog ads to post?
    I am compiling in my gallery a number of various catalog pages or advertisements of bikes and their accessories.

    Thanks
    JD
     
  14. #14 Posted Feb 9, 2013
    BrentP

    BrentP Finally riding a big boys bike

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    Yes I do. Should I just post them directly to your gallery?
     
  15. #15 Posted Feb 10, 2013
    jd56

    jd56 Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe

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    Sure or you can post it on the "catalog Challenge" thread and I can copy it from there. Or better yet, throw it on this thread. These ads or cataloging of these are hard to find. Or at least I haven't mastered the search engines on the web,yet.

    Thanks Brent
    John
     
  16. #16 Posted Feb 11, 2013
    BrentP

    BrentP Finally riding a big boys bike

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    Here you go. There are sixteen different catalog scans that I have uploaded to Mediafire. You can download them all from there.

    The link is http://www.mediafire.com/?z05d9j2azq1w2
    NOTE: Make sure you only click on the file download buttons after selecting the file(s) you want to download, and not any of the banner ads. You don't need the optional "download manager" to download the files.

    Cheers,
    Brent
     
    #16 BrentP, Feb 11, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013
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  17. #17 Posted Feb 13, 2013
    JimSchu

    JimSchu On Training Wheels

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    Thanks for posting.
     
  18. #18 Posted May 16, 2013
    Will & Wendy

    Will & Wendy Finally riding a big boys bike

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    Wow!!! Thanks!!!

    WOW!!!
    Thank You Brent!!!

    This is perfect timing for me as I've already bought 3 SpaceLiner's...
    ... (+ a Strato Flite version)...
    ... and I expect I'll end up with 2 or 3 more before it's over with!!!

    Talk Soon!
    Blessings!
    Will,
     
  19. #19 Posted Aug 7, 2013
    MaxGlide

    MaxGlide Wore out three sets of tires already!

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    Technically a Flighltliner but....

    Here is mine that I have on display at my coffee shop for now.... I switch it out with other bikes...

    IMG_2001.jpg IMG_0935.jpg IMG_0936.jpg
     
  20. #20 Posted Dec 4, 2013
    gifarmer

    gifarmer Look Ma, No Hands!

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    Wow, this is some great information, and I found more than I ever expected! My Spaceliner is stamped as a model 46980, with the struts, but it has a taillight on the rack, as I bought it back in 1993. The red paint on the rack matches and looks consistent with the tank, and I have no reason to believe it wasn't sold this way originally, except this exact configuration isn't in your list. Maybe minor upgrades like this were possible from some dealers, who knows.
    Soooo, I clicked on your link for the model 46940 since there is no link for the 46980, and was totally surprised to find a photo of MY BIKE, taken on my driveway! You must have grabbed it from my website.
    Anyway, the bike has a Bendix 2-speed kick-back hub like a 46980 should, and if you look real close you can see the little on/off switch under the luggage rack light. I didn't have a lens in the tail light when the photo was taken, but recently bought a repro lens on eBay and it fit right in there.
    You might want to change the link to be a photo of the 46980 since that is what it is.
     
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