39' Speigel Airman / Monark Speedster


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saladshooter

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Nov 30, 2014
942
2,838
Littleton, CO
#41
I must have been asleep but just realized this bike is probably either a '40 but more likely a '41. The reasons I think this is that the spring fork, badge, and tank graphics are all indicative of a '41 model. I know the 26X was released in '39 with a 'pencil' fork but don't know that I've seen a Speedster with the pencil fork. Thoughts? V/r Shawn
I questioned the year myself. The story goes, that the original owner bought in '39, I'm trying to gather more information about him. But memories fade... Are there only parts that hint to dating Monarks or serial numbers as well?

I would LOVE to know where the ad posted above came from. As my bike matches the ad bike perfectly...
 

Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
Jul 14, 2009
15,040
14,754
Evans, GA
#44
I'm going to correct myself and say I'm almost certain this is a '40. The ad Mark posted does not show up in the Monark book. Speaking of the book the reference I'm using is the 2012 Revision and all page numbers will be from that book. So why do I think this is a '40? As I mentioned before the tank graphic is one thing that points to '40 - '41 although this graphic actually does appear in '39 on at least one model (Model GT 497-top of pg 39).

Most '39s have the serial number punched crudely into the frame tube underneath the crank hanger. From '40 on most are small, uniform numbers on the left rear drop out.

The Model 493 GT is shown directly under that and is what we generally refer to as the 26X. Notice both of these bikes have the 'pencil' spring fork which is a '39 only feature of all Monark models using a spring fork. Another feature peculiar to '39 is the wedge type seat post. Notice from '40 on in the book where all the racks attach to the seat binder. Most '39s use a McCauley nine hole with the universal front mount.

A key thing that points to '40 or later on this bike is the badge. In 1940 the Airman badge changed (see pics below). Also most, but not all, '39s had flat fender braces. The book does not even show a Speedster type model until the '40 Airman Jubilee "Streamline" Specials (pg 41). Lastly the bottom of page 42 shows the "Speedster" but you will notice a lot of '41 only features--namely the guard, fenderlite, and "extra deep crescent fenders".

Lastly I want to publicly apologize to Chad for my initial comment which came across a little snarky. Chad stepped up to the plate, swung, and hit a home run and I commend him. Chad has certainly spent the time, money, and energy on this crown jewel and I'm grateful that this bike was not restored as the hobby would have suffered for it. V/r Shawn

21-2.jpg

1939 Airman Badge

Photo Apr 06, 3 05 45 PM.jpg

1940 Airman Badge
 

saladshooter

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Nov 30, 2014
942
2,838
Littleton, CO
#45
I'm going to correct myself and say I'm almost certain this is a '40. The ad Mark posted does not show up in the Monark book. Speaking of the book the reference I'm using is the 2012 Revision and all page numbers will be from that book. So why do I think this is a '40? As I mentioned before the tank graphic is one thing that points to '40 - '41 although this graphic actually does appear in '39 on at least one model (Model GT 497-top of pg 39).

Most '39s have the serial number punched crudely into the frame tube underneath the crank hanger. From '40 on most are small, uniform numbers on the left rear drop out.

The Model 493 GT is shown directly under that and is what we generally refer to as the 26X. Notice both of these bikes have the 'pencil' spring fork which is a '39 only feature of all Monark models using a spring fork. Another feature peculiar to '39 is the wedge type seat post. Notice from '40 on in the book where all the racks attach to the seat binder. Most '39s use a McCauley nine hole with the universal front mount.

A key thing that points to '40 or later on this bike is the badge. In 1940 the Airman badge changed (see pics below). Also most, but not all, '39s had flat fender braces. The book does not even show a Speedster type model until the '40 Airman Jubilee "Streamline" Specials (pg 41). Lastly the bottom of page 42 shows the "Speedster" but you will notice a lot of '41 only features--namely the guard, fenderlite, and "extra deep crescent fenders".

Lastly I want to publicly apologize to Chad for my initial comment which came across a little snarky. Chad stepped up to the plate, swung, and hit a home run and I commend him. Chad has certainly spent the time, money, and energy on this crown jewel and I'm grateful that this bike was not restored as the hobby would have suffered for it. V/r Shawn

View attachment 716826
1939 Airman Badge

View attachment 716827
1940 Airman Badge
My SN is under the crank hanger "78998".
IMG_20171129_164226.jpg

@mrg said that the ad came from page 45 of 121 of the Monark book printed in Oct of 2002. I have the 2012 version. It's almost like the editor of the book replaced the Speedster picture on page 45 with the Five-Bar on the newer book since up till now the bike "never really existed". So why reference it in the new book?

Does anyone know who compiled the original book?

Thank you Shawn for the information, this bike definitely is the crown Jewel in my collection.

Chad
 

mrg

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Aug 9, 2010
2,402
6,132
socal
#46
my book has 5 unnumbered pages in the beginning with descriptions then 12 pages with photographs of Monarks then all the rest of the pages are red paper?, the one in the pic (obviously not a 38) is on page 2, I don't see anything about what finish the rims had but both in this thread have painted ( mine had chrome script square Lobdell's with nipple bumps and Schwinn script front hub when I got it) so my have to switch mine when I find OG black ones, as far as your tires a set of faded WW with those black rims/bike would look great and the came on it OG. but I think bikehorders need black walls with those white rims. I have only seen 4 of these bikes total in 35 yrs. including the pic of the repainted one in the book, oh ya, mine is badged as Monark.
857FA750-3FCB-478E-A7D3-5113EAF38198.jpeg
049ECCC4-EB9E-45CE-84CA-70AF0E52F154.jpeg
A2849F35-5D29-4548-AED0-F7A3BF7BA3D3.jpeg
 

Autocycleplane

I live for the CABE
Jan 6, 2010
1,518
3,637
San Francisco Bay, CA, United States
#48
my book has 5 unnumbered pages in the beginning with descriptions then 12 pages with photographs of Monarks then all the rest of the pages are red paper?, the one in the pic (obviously not a 38) is on page 2, I don't see anything about what finish the rims had but both in this thread have painted ( mine had chrome script square Lobdell's with nipple bumps and Schwinn script front hub when I got it) so my have to switch mine when I find OG black ones, as far as your tires a set of faded WW with those black rims/bike would look great and the came on it OG. but I think bikehorders need black walls with those white rims. I have only seen 4 of these bikes total in 35 yrs. including the pic of the repainted one in the book, oh ya, mine is badged as Monark. View attachment 717046 View attachment 717047 View attachment 717045
Not to speak poorly about those no longer with us, but seeing the author of that book would make me question any information in it that wasn't reprinted directly from the period. You pointed out the obvious 38 mislabel, and the "copywritten" prewar Schwinn list this author generated is full of problems. With so few examples out there I sympathize with those of you valiantly trying to determine fact from folklore now.
 
Likes: mrg

mrg

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Aug 9, 2010
2,402
6,132
socal
#49
Determine fact from folklore, I've noticed the same problems with most of the bike books like many pic of supposed OG bikes with new or repo parts, mis-lableing model or year etc, so as you said unless its a reprint of the original ( which also aren't 100% reliable ) take it with a grain of salt!, and determining fact from folklore on these bikes there's not much of either!
 
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