1940 (?) Elgin just picked up my first pre-war bike!

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jimmythefly

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Don't think that tank came out till 40 and 41 came out with the curved seat stay style frame. Murry built as said ( biggest giveaway is the tank! ), most everything looks OG except seat & pedals, can't see the grips to good and not really sure about the stem & missing light, Great project, just change the seat & pedals and make it a rider!

This site shows what they say is a spring 1939 catalog with the tank in it. (pics below) But the tank shown has a horn in it and the horn button, I'm not clear if a plain tank was offered that year or not. (and lots of other details don't match my bike -I have painted wheels, zero chrome, etc.).

I have read elsewhere that in addition to manufacturing differences and running changes in product spec, that individual Sears locations could order from a larger list of parts and accessories and order/assemble/spec bikes for their sales floor that wouldn't necessarily match catalog descriptions and pictures.
The catalog descriptions and pictures could be off too -I've been tangentially involved in that sort of thing a couple different industries and I'd never presume that the catalog actually showed exactly what really showed up in the shipping carton!

So I could see how a bike with painted rims, no chrome, and a simple tank might be ordered as a budget model, but a step up from the one with no tank at all.
1939_Sears_catalogue_2.jpg

1939_Sears_catalogue_3.jpg
 

mrg

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
In the Elgin/JC Higgins book has both the Fully Equipped Sports Model that is more deluxe with aluminum fenders, chrome rims, horn etc. and the Equipped Standard model ( like yours ) had more paint and seen them both with & without a horn.
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BF2485

Guest
maybe the bike was kept in LA County ? Some sort of bike license or theft prevention identification? I bought a middleweight Schwinn for parts last summer and it had a social security number etched into the frame and stem
 

Archie Sturmer

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Nice bike. Looks like a 1939–D (or SD for Sears); nice enough for its own thread even.
I believe that 1939 was the first year for the curved seat tube mast Elgins.

The rear fender looks to have provisions for the skirt guards often seen on girls bicycles.
If the bike has been worked on, maybe the badge holes were changed as well?
 

mrg

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
I see in that Spring 39 catalog it says "new streamlined tank" on a straight seat stay frame, I'd like to see what's the earliest the curved bar frame shows up in the catalog, in the Elgin book ( reprint of OG catalogs ) 40 S/S still just shows the straight seat stay frame so I'm sticking with the curved seat stay coming out sometime in 40 and mainly used in 41-2 model years.
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razinhellcustomz

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Good to know! I was really wondering about the chainguard, most of them I see in pics are longer and extend back to overlap the seat stay at the dropout. I wondered if it was original or not.

The rear plate is from Juneau Alaska, 1978. And the sticker on the head tube says CITY OF JUNEAU POLICE DEPT. 0052.

0052 is a pretty low number, I presume this is some sort of registration number, but I guess it could be the bike was confiscated and auctioned off or something and the number is just for inventory of any police property. I'll do some digging.

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Going out on a limb here, but what makes you say this bike is from Alaska? That plate looks to be from Juneau Wisconsin and not Alaska.. I could be wrong but this looks like alot of my Wisconsin bike plates from my collection... Really nice Elgin... RideOn...
 
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