Anybody know when in '83 the Chicago Schwinn plant closed?

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jpromo

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
May 26, 2011
3,881
Plymouth, Michigan
I just picked up a pair of Chicago-built Sidewinders dated BU and DU for Feb and April '83. The badges are both 1xx3 Which puts them somewhere towards the middle of the year. When did it officially halt production? Because they seem pretty late.

No pictures yet and I can get the exact badge dates. Thanks!
 

jpromo

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
May 26, 2011
3,881
Plymouth, Michigan
So far the latest Chicago built bikes I've documented were frames built in April '83 and bikes built June 2nd '83: http://www.schwinnbikeforum.com/index.php?topic=6188.msg156800#msg156800

Your DU Sidewinder also has a frame built in April '83, what is the badge number on that bike (post a pic if you can)? I'd be interested to see if it was later than 1533 (June 2nd '83).
Interesting! I'll snap a picture sometime tomorrow and post it up for you. I think the BU was something like 1003 but I didn't look at the other one. Thanks for the info.
 

jpromo

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
May 26, 2011
3,881
Plymouth, Michigan
Well, it looks like mine was assembled a few days after that. 1573 June 6th. Fascinating.

Both bicycles are basically in identical condition and have likely been together their whole life.

z53wdxb-1.jpg


SAs1zqs-1.jpg
 

GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Sep 2, 2012
12,006
Central Arizona
Nice pair. Are you planning on selling them?
 

Metacortex

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Sep 22, 2012
889
The Matrix
Well, it looks like mine was assembled a few days after that. 1573 June 6th. Fascinating.
Very fascinating! Thanks for posting the info and pics. So far that makes this the latest Chicago-built Schwinn that I know of, built on Monday June 6th 1983. It seems they were furiously assembling bikes at that time, which had to be right before the Chicago plant closed for good.

Can you post the full frame serial of that bike? I'd like to see where it compared numerically to the two DU Continentals I mentioned previously.

If anybody thinks they have a later Chicago-built bike, please post the frame and badge numbers along with some pics!
 
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jpromo

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
May 26, 2011
3,881
Plymouth, Michigan
Very fascinating! Thanks for posting the info and pics. So far that makes this the latest Chicago-built Schwinn that I know of, built on Monday June 6th 1983. It seems they were furiously assembling bikes at that time, which had to be right before the Chicago plant closed for good.

Can you post the full frame serial of that bike? I'd like to see where it compared numerically to the two DU Continentals I mentioned previously.

If anybody thinks they have a later Chicago-built bike, please post the frame and badge numbers along with some pics!
xXseTpl-1.jpg
 

jpromo

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
May 26, 2011
3,881
Plymouth, Michigan
Nice pair. Are you planning on selling them?
I was figuring I'd sell at least one of them. They've done everything together but I have but one butt to ride with. Don't ask why there's a tandem then; I'm still trying to figure that one out.

They look a lot like my 1983 Sierra, even the same color.
Indeed they do! I thought the MTB style Sierra was the successor to the Sidewinder but I guess they had some overlap time. I didn't know any had been made in Chicago either before moving to Chro-mo and eastern origins.
 

Metacortex

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Sep 22, 2012
889
The Matrix
Thanks for posting the frame serial. Now we know that April '83 number (DU522349) is some 3,517 units apart (later) than the latest '83 Continental I've recorded, and it was built into a bike 6 days later than that Continental as well.

The '83 Sierra was the (downgraded) successor to the King Sting, both the Sierra and Sidewinder appeared in the '83 Schwinn BMX Catalog. That year a Sierra was basically a Sidewinder with upgraded alloy rims, cantilever brakes, an alloy stem and better pedals.

Both models continued for '84 and were then obviously no longer built in Chicago. In '84 the Sierra was a completely new bike from the ground up and was probably built in China, while the Sidewinder appeared unchanged from the previous year and unless they were all leftover '83 models it would have been made by Murray alongside the Continental and Varsity in Lawrenceburg TN using the electro-forging equipment and tooling originally from Chicago.
 
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rideahiggins

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Feb 24, 2011
2,040
Wolcottville Indiana
A friend of mine picked up a Schwinn Continental serial number GU502008 (July 83) with a badge date of 3403 ( DEC 6th). The badge is gold colored, the bike is black and I think it had gold lettering. I don't have any pics of it.
 

Metacortex

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Sep 22, 2012
889
The Matrix
A friend of mine picked up a Schwinn Continental serial number GU502008 (July 83) with a badge date of 3403 ( DEC 6th).
That is almost certainly a Murray model, built by Murray for Schwinn in Lawrenceburg TN. Murray continued building the Continental, Varsity and a few other EF models for Schwinn in mid-'83 through '85. You can tell the Murray built frames by inspecting the bottom bracket area, which lacks the seam on the bottom of the housing as well as the slag rings on the chainstays.
 

rideahiggins

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Feb 24, 2011
2,040
Wolcottville Indiana
So if it would be a Murray built bike would that make it more desirable?
 

Metacortex

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Sep 22, 2012
889
The Matrix
So if it would be a Murray built bike would that make it more desirable?
I'd say that makes it far less desirable than the Chicago built '83 models, and those aren't really worth all that much either. For reference $163 is the most I've ever seen paid for one of the last Chicago-built '83 Continentals: http://www.ebay.com/itm/261285759625
 
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eyolf

On Training Wheels
Jun 20, 2012
9
Resurecting old thread

I found an old sidewinder today for $10; I'm interested in it for the rims for another project so the price was OK.

My frame dates to Nov. of 1982, and the tag number 0873 probably means march 28 of 1983. A few places on the intertubes suggest an '83 Sidewinder was spec'd with low-end parts, while the Sierra got higher-level stuff. My frame clearly says "Sidewinder" but I found the bike with all Sierra-spec parts. In my mind that's a little like finding a stamp printed with the wrong ink color....it happens, but its a mistake that usually doesnt leave the factory.

Unfortunately, the bike has spend some time outside in the weather and has apparently fell victim to errant deck or siding stain splatters so its not a good example for conservation. As a parts donor it will be fine.
 
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