1954 Schwinn Hornet Deluxe barn find! with Schwinn Spitfire badge.

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Slick4d4d

Finally riding a big boys bike
My latest find is this December 1954 Schwinn Hornet Deluxe! It has a Schwinn Spitfire head badge I'm not familiar with, and search here didn't pull up much so any help with that would be helpful. I do have the pedals and the grips and the tires hold air so it is rideable. I don't know what I'm going to do with it just yet. I may keep it as a partner to my other 50's Men's bike in the same color or I may part it out and put the chain guard and a few other little parts on my men's bike to make it more complete. What do you guys think?

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GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
1955 model and the first year for the Deluxe Hornet. For some reason Schwinn put the Spitfire badge on the Hornets and I'm not sure why they did that. Years prior Schwinn introduced a special model that was a lost leader and it was used to draw customers into the Dealers. Once they were in the store the Dealers were suppose to romance the buyers and get them to buy a higher priced model. These lost leaders were Z models and had a Spitfire badge. All that might have something to do the Hornets having a Spitfire badge. Here's more info.
 

Slick4d4d

Finally riding a big boys bike
1955 model and the first year for the Deluxe Hornet. For some reason Schwinn put the Spitfire badge on the Hornets and I'm not sure why they did that. Years prior Schwinn introduced a special model that was a lost leader and it was used to draw customers into the Dealers. Once they were in the store the Dealers were suppose to romance the buyers and get them to buy a higher priced model. These lost leaders were Z models and had a Spitfire badge. All that might have something to do the Hornets having a Spitfire badge. Here's more info.
So this bike, with a December 54 serial number, is likely one of the first Deluxe Hornets to roll off the line, and as such there could have been some confusion on what bikes to use the Schwinn Spitfire badge to indicate the cheap version vs the the regular Schwinn badge which were probably supposed to go on the Deluxe Hornets?

What year did the Spitfire become its own bike model, googleing Spitfire brings up bikes with the name on the chain guard and not on the head badge?
 

Rivnut

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Google 'Schwinn catalog scans" and find the Waterford link. Within that link are links to year spreads. Find the spread that covers the year(s) you're interested in and open it. The scans are chronological by year, then each year represented is (I think) in catalog page order. Some years are illustrated; some are pictures.
 

Jeff54

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
So this bike, with a December 54 serial number, is likely one of the first Deluxe Hornets to roll off the line, and as such there could have been some confusion on what bikes to use the Schwinn Spitfire badge to indicate the cheap version vs the the regular Schwinn badge which were probably supposed to go on the Deluxe Hornets?

What year did the Spitfire become its own bike model, googleing Spitfire brings up bikes with the name on the chain guard and not on the head badge?
Although I don't recall seeing a Deluxe with that badge there's plenty Hornets with a Spitfire badge.
 
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