1936-39 Mercury 'Pod' Bikes Observations

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Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
So most of you know I recently purchased one of these which always drives my curiosity to learn more. From what I see there isn't a lot of literature out there and not a lot of these bikes--complete with pod. The following are my observations. Please feel free to correct me and if you have additional literature or a complete bike with pod that would be great too. Serial numbers may help sort some of this as well. This IS NOT a discussion of Mercury bikes in general or Elgin branded similar models. V/r Shawn

1332698

1937 Monopod Bike Owner: Shawn Sweeney @Freqman1

1332711

1938-9? Dual Pod Bike Owner: @Phattiremike

From what I see it looks like these were made from at least the latter part of 1936 into 1939 but I have a feeling maybe not for the entire year. The bike was designed by the leading industrial designer of the time, Count Alexis De Sakhnoffsky, who also designed automobiles for Packard, Cord, and Auburn along with furniture, appliances, clothes and just about everything else. The '36 cat only shows a dual pod bike. They were offer in red with white trim or black with cream trim. The early ('36-sometime in '37) dual pod bikes used a separate horn button on the handle bars. Later bikes had the horn button incorporated into the pod housing. Interestingly the early dual pod bikes could be ordered with or without a speedometer. If no speedo was ordered a faux speedo face was inserted into the speedo opening.

From what I can determine it appears to me the pod bikes utilized a unique frame. The frame on a pod bike has a welded in kickstand mount and has no drop stand 'ears' as found on non-pod bike offerings. The monopod was introduced in 1937 and the ads I've seen show colors offered as either red or blue with white trim. Girls bikes were offered with pods as well. At some point in late '37/early '38 it looks like a dual pod model was offered with a horizontal Lobdell seat was offered.

The dual pod bikes were referred to as the deluxe bikes and the monopod as the semi deluxe from '37 on. The dual pod bikes used wider fenders with special tips, a unique rear spring loaded reflector, and a slightly different paint scheme. I haven't seen a '38 or '39 catalog so I'm not sure what differences exist between the years but I suspect very slight changes. From what I see in the lit all pod bikes originally had hubcaps although I don't believe I've ever seen an original set of these caps. Lastly the only badges I've seen on these bikes are either Mercury or Goodyear badges. I've seen both a Goodyear Wingfoot badge and a Highway Patrol badge. I suspect there may have been some private brands but have never seen one.
 

fordmike65

Riding a '37 Colson Imperial

fordmike65

Riding a '37 Colson Imperial
So most of you know I recently purchased one of these which always drives my curiosity to learn more. From what I see there isn't a lot of literature out there and not a lot of these bikes--complete with pod. The following are my observations. Please feel free to correct me and if you have additional literature or a complete bike with pod that would be great too. Serial numbers may help sort some of this as well. This IS NOT a discussion of Mercury bikes in general or Elgin branded similar models. V/r Shawn

View attachment 1332698
1937 Monopod Bike Owner: Shawn Sweeney @Freqman1

View attachment 1332711
1938-9? Dual Pod Bike Owner: @Phattiremike

From what I see it looks like these were made from at least the latter part of 1936 into 1939 but I have a feeling maybe not for the entire year. The bike was designed by the leading industrial designer of the time, Count Alexis De Sakhnoffsky, who also designed automobiles for Packard, Cord, and Auburn along with furniture, appliances, clothes and just about everything else. The '36 cat only shows a dual pod bike. They were offer in red with white trim or black with cream trim. The early ('36-sometime in '37) dual pod bikes used a separate horn button on the handle bars. Later bikes had the horn button incorporated into the pod housing. Interestingly the early dual pod bikes could be ordered with or without a speedometer. If no speedo was ordered a faux speedo face was inserted into the speedo opening.

From what I can determine it appears to me the pod bikes utilized a unique frame. The frame on a pod bike has a welded in kickstand mount and has no drop stand 'ears' as found on non-pod bike offerings. The monopod was introduced in 1937 and the ads I've seen show colors offered as either red or blue with white trim. Girls bikes were offered with pods as well. At some point in late '37/early '38 it looks like a dual pod model was offered with a horizontal Lobdell seat was offered.

The dual pod bikes were referred to as the deluxe bikes and the monopod as the semi deluxe from '37 on. The dual pod bikes used wider fenders with special tips, a unique rear spring loaded reflector, and a slightly different paint scheme. I haven't seen a '38 or '39 catalog so I'm not sure what differences exist between the years but I suspect very slight changes. From what I see in the lit all pod bikes originally had hubcaps although I don't believe I've ever seen an original set of these caps. Lastly the only badges I've seen on these bikes are either Mercury or Goodyear badges. I've seen both a Goodyear Wingfoot badge and a Highway Patrol badge. I suspect there may have been some private brands but have never seen one.
I've never seen one equipped with aluminum fenders before and find it a bit odd that it didn't come equipped with the fender tips & reflector. It does seem to have the wider rear fender brace tho...Regardless, she's a beauty! Congrats!

Another detail I noticed is that the fender brace rivets are not spaced out towards the edge as normally seen on Mercurys. Maybe due to aluminum being so delicate? Hmmm....

Note: This is not a deluxe equipped POD bike. I added the long reach POD stem at one time.
1609867832353.png
 
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