Hey there everyone. I am going to look at this Manta Ray after work today. These are the only pictures I got of it. Is it a total basket case? (I have not seen too many 3 speed Manta Rays (guessing this shifter is wrong too) and am having a hard time finding a black one for compassion as well.) He said he has had the bike since 1980 and that everything works as it should. Any info on what is wrong/missing, and an approximate value or fair price to pay would be much appreciated. Thanks all!
To the OP, the value is up to you in a way, how bad do you want a Manta ray? As we've discussed its probably a real 'Ray but has been redone and has some new parts. Its a cool bike regardless but if you're just looking for a 24" cruiser to bop around, a Speedster would likely be a less expensive starting point.
If the price is right and you just want a cool easy riding Schwinn ,go for it . But if you are looking for authentic Manta Ray keep looking. The bars, brake handles, stem, calipers, fenders,chainguard and frame appear to be from a Manta (the later repainted black) the rest of it will need to be sourced at considerable expense.
Thanks everyone for the info. I ended up getting the bike (at a wonderful price! i ended up knowing the seller, and we agreed it was a clone.....buuuuut after further inspection...). After bringing it home, I have noticed some intriguing things. 1. The paint is original (has the original stickers from where it was purchased in Savannah Georgia in 1972. 2. The serial number dates it to January, 1972. 3. After reviewing many of the parts, they appear to be original Manta Ray parts as well (sissy bar, even the white knobs on the bottom of bar, Schwinn approved brake, grips are Schwinn approved, . Could this have been a factory Black custom Manta Ray coaster brake (and someone later added the Bendix 3 speed?). Here are a couple more photos...(ps: I have the original fenders, just haven't put them back on yet). I didn't really understand the above comment about the speedster frame similarities/differences. Thanks again for all of the input and help. Cheers!
Be careful what you are getting into here.. Even though this has been repainted black there are many things wrong with it. One of the first things I look for is whether or not it has the correct wheels, mag sprocket, fenders, seat, and of course the shifter is incorrect. The seat and the shifter will cost you dearly to make correct.
Thanks for the photo and info. I actually have a shifter (would need the rear hub of course) but plan on putting it on there eventually. And yes, the seat seems to be ghostly (aka hard as heck to find and quite costly). At any rate, this is a super cool clone, I enjoy it, and I suppose in the grand scheme of things, all that matters. Cheers and happy riding!
About a year ago I met a co worker who collects balloners. When I told him I have a 24" Speedster he told me I could convert this to a Manta. Its been over 40 years since I owned one but told him I think the speedster is stretched/longer. Then saw the post here ... thought maybe it could be. 383camino pointed out the rear struts have a radius, while the speedsters are straight. So I looked at the picture of mine and sure enough. Something else, the mantas end parallel with the top bar the speedsters don't. Can you tell us what the wheelbase is? Its 39" on a speedster