A MercuryWatha??

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Balooney

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Just picked this one up a while back. The numbers say it is a 1948 Murray build. It has a Hiawatha badge and this creates some questions for me. I have never seen a Hiawatha with this format. Everything about the bike says Mercury. It is the exact bike that is shown in the 1949 Mercury brochure. It was missing the tank so I added one from a Higgins. I am not a fan of rust, scratches, dents or bad paint so I plan to repaint and re-script but I am not sure what to make it? I am very much tempted to re-badge it to Mercury. I can only assume that someone at some time added/swapped parts etc? I probably will not repaint to exact specs so true originality won't be a factor for me. I know it still has a few incorrect parts such as the seat, front light and 1 wheel. What would you do???
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Balooney

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Thanks for the reply. I have done a lot of searching and have not found any others with a Hiawatha badge.....so I am not sure they exist! All I have found are the Mercurys. Murray is close but it looks like one difference is in the chain guard. The chromed grooves are on both the top and the bottom on the Murrays....it looks like they are only on the bottom half on the Mercurys.
 

Archie Sturmer

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Nice bike.
It looks like a Murray because it is (or was built by them). Perhaps in the ~1950’s Murray dropped the “Mercury” label for something else more aeronautical (perhaps not foreseeing the Mercury space program).

Murray had at least two patents for the springer; not sure if it had to do with the number of springs, (bikes sold via Sears had only one).
The earlier patent had the short truss rods (see 1949 ad); but the later designs appear to have eliminated them.

Perhaps posting serial numbers pictures might be helpful as Murray was known to have re-used the alphabet in later years, such as 1956-V\M(?).

https://thecabe.com/forum/threads/murray-hiawatha-project-reduced-trades-welcome.170881/

The pre-war Murray Mercury “Pacemaker” was a true classic. Very early post-war there may have been a few leftovers(?) of the nice Pacemaker style chain guards, but the post-war Mercury and Murray badged bicycles were essentially the same, and the Sears version too. https://thecabe.com/forum/threads/noted-differences-in-mercury-pacemaker-run-39-41.63271/
 
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Archie Sturmer

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
1948-M; and the seat post clamp is the early post war style also. The “20” may reflect the basic model number, but might explain why it did not have a tank; yet has a 1951-53 patent no. 2,660,455 springer.

Some might frown upon refurbishing or ratrod-ing any older bikes, but Murray did build many bicycles that are essentially the same as this one for about ten plus years. https://thecabe.com/forum/threads/mercury-pacemaker-chain-guard.193540/

I believe that beach cruisers look good in black, and the hard-to-find deep fenders look nice - perhaps in a contrasting silver tone of sorts(?).
 
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mrg

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Looks like a OG Murry built Hiawatha to me, Murry supplied Gambles with bikes in many different years, seems like they were always a secondary supplier behind Shelby, CWC or whoever so not as many examples out there and sometimes didn't make it into the catalog. Yours has a 2nd gen springer, the ad you posted has a gen 1, Murry's own version was badged Mercury. oh ya, M-O-M is 1956.
 
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Balooney

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Thank you so much for the info! I hadn't noticed the difference in the springers! Geez! I was just looking at the rack, tank, chain guard. Thanks for the heads up. I will just wing it from here..... might just leave the Hiawatha badge on it and add some Hiawatha script to the tank. Only you guys would know!! Since I am confident that nothing was original I have already started the repaint. Black of course!!!! Black and Cream!! Might not be original but I am sure it will look very nice anyway.
 
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