Barn-Find 1952 Schwinn Hornet value?

Most Recent BUY IT NOW Items Listed on eBay
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture

Bike from the Dead

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Some people hope you’ll offer it for sale super cheap so they can swoop it up! If bolts break, theres lots more to replace with! Hardware is cheap , don’t feel bad tearing it down!
Hey, don't we all wish we could get old bikes like this for cheap? I mean heck, that's exactly how I got this bike! Yeah, I figured if I could live with any broken parts, it'd be nuts and bolts. I can just replace those with a quick trip to Lowe's or Home Depot. Thanks!
Most will agree easily $300 if not more, and that’s still a great deal!!!
Well, if I end up selling it, I'd be pretty stoked to get $300! Problem is that I really want to build this bike for myself, and I just might've come up with some ideas that'll make it even easier for me to fall in love with it. Once I can mock up some parts and get a good look at everything, I think I'll know for sure whether I want to keep this Schwinn or sell/trade it. Thanks!
 

Bike from the Dead

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Yup clean it and ride it or try the OA — I use Citric Acid on chrome.
Thanks! I've already tested some rubbing compound on it, and it really helps to breathe some life back into the original paint without ruining the natural patina. I've had enough folks on both here and Rat Rod Bikes tell me to just build this bike how I want, so I'm going to mock up a few ideas and see what I like best.
 

Bike from the Dead

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Redo or leave original.Spaghetti sauce or spaghetti gravy,etc.Some arguments will never be resolved.You're damned if you do and damned if you dont
Yeah. Like a lot of folks here basically said, "they can tell me to do 'X' or 'Y,' but in the end, it's my bike, and I should do what makes me happy." Selling/trading bikes makes me happy, but building and customizing bikes makes me even happier. So with that being said, I'm going to mock up some parts, test some ideas, and see what makes me happy to own this bike.
 

razinhellcustomz

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Okay, I've received a lot of valuable input about whether I should customize this bike or not, but something I'd appreciate your help on, as it's a key factor in whether I keep and customize this bike or not, is what my Schwinn is worth. I'm not ruling out the possibility of selling or trading this bike, especially if I can replace it with a guilt-free canvas, so based on what I have and what I don't have, how much would you say this bike is worth?
Hey Austin, as a parts bike being how it is not complete, I would say $150-$175 range.. As a complete bike i would say $250-$300.00 range.. It;s your call. P.S. don't listen to GFormy... Good luck.. Razin..
 

Bike from the Dead

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Okay, I've got a little progress to report on the Hornet. I tried using some rubbing compound on the front fender, and it really helps clean up the gunk and even a bit of the rust as well. So odds are if I want this bike to look a little nicer without ruining the patina, this'll be the way I go.
20220101_125136-jpg.jpg

20220101_125317-jpg.jpg

20220101_125839-jpg.jpg

20220101_130014-jpg.jpg


Here's the reason why I tested the rubbing compound on the front fender: it's pretty mangled. I'd like to try and save the front fender if I can, but it's pretty banged up.
20220101_141814-jpg.jpg


I actually started taking this bike apart a few weeks ago, back when the weather was still relatively warm. Here's how it looked when I started. I had already removed the rear rack at this point, but I need to let some other parts soak in PB Blaster for a bit before I really began taking this bike apart.
20220101_141413-jpg.jpg


Turns out that rack preserved some of the original luster of the paint on the rear fender. I guess this was originally a darker red, like a crimson red. Pretty cool!
20220101_141730-jpg.jpg


This is as far as I've been able to get. I haven't attempted to remove the rear fender just yet, but that's the least of my concerns right now. I cannot for the life of me get the handlebar stem to break free of the fork, even though the bolt that holds the lock nut in place is already out. No matter how much I try to turn the handlebars in the opposite direction of the fork, no matter how much I've hit it with PB Blaster, a heat gun, and a propane torch, it just won't budge. I can't even get the front fender to come off, as the bolt that holds it in place has also become malleable, and I don't know how to remove it without the head snapping off. I really want to save the fork if I can, and I don't want to have to drill and tap that bolt out if I can help it. I did receive a tip earlier on how to use ATF and acetone to free up parts, but I've never tried it before, and I don't know if I might've already messed up by using a torch on the handlebar stem.
20220103_185432-jpg.jpg

20220103_172034-jpg.jpg


Here are some parts I want to mockup on the Hornet. Since this is supposed to be a "barn find board tracker," I figured I could get away with using parts that are a little too far gone to shine back up. I have this rat trap springer fork and these handlebars I pulled off another bike, and I think I could make them work on this bike.
20220101_141913-jpg.jpg


I also have these rusty chrome wheels that I wasn't sure what to do with, as the chrome plating has flaked off substantially, especially on the rear wheel. I think they could work just fine on this bike.
20220101_141954-jpg.jpg

20220101_142001-jpg.jpg


Here's my rough idea of what I want to do with this bike. Everything's liable to change, but I think this would be enough to help me fall in love with this bike without making too many changes. I also came up with a project name for this bike: The Ratical Rustin' Hornet!
bftd_ratical_rustin_hornet_postable-jpg.jpg

20220101_141740-jpg.jpg


So, that's where I'm at on this Hornet. At this point, I think I'm going to keep it, but I'd really like to figure out how to disassemble the rest of the bike without damaging anything. Also, does anyone know how to remove those reflective stickers without removing the paint underneath? I tried removing one of the stickers on the rear fender with the heat gun, but that didn't go so well. I basically just melted the sticker, and what bits I could remove took some of the paint with it. Any advice on how to remove the stickers and disassemble the bike would be much appreciated!
 

razinhellcustomz

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Okay, I've got a little progress to report on the Hornet. I tried using some rubbing compound on the front fender, and it really helps clean up the gunk and even a bit of the rust as well. So odds are if I want this bike to look a little nicer without ruining the patina, this'll be the way I go.
View attachment 1553186
View attachment 1553187
View attachment 1553188
View attachment 1553189

Here's the reason why I tested the rubbing compound on the front fender: it's pretty mangled. I'd like to try and save the front fender if I can, but it's pretty banged up.
View attachment 1553190

I actually started taking this bike apart a few weeks ago, back when the weather was still relatively warm. Here's how it looked when I started. I had already removed the rear rack at this point, but I need to let some other parts soak in PB Blaster for a bit before I really began taking this bike apart.
View attachment 1553191

Turns out that rack preserved some of the original luster of the paint on the rear fender. I guess this was originally a darker red, like a crimson red. Pretty cool!
View attachment 1553192

This is as far as I've been able to get. I haven't attempted to remove the rear fender just yet, but that's the least of my concerns right now. I cannot for the life of me get the handlebar stem to break free of the fork, even though the bolt that holds the lock nut in place is already out. No matter how much I try to turn the handlebars in the opposite direction of the fork, no matter how much I've hit it with PB Blaster, a heat gun, and a propane torch, it just won't budge. I can't even get the front fender to come off, as the bolt that holds it in place has also become malleable, and I don't know how to remove it without the head snapping off. I really want to save the fork if I can, and I don't want to have to drill and tap that bolt out if I can help it. I did receive a tip earlier on how to use ATF and acetone to free up parts, but I've never tried it before, and I don't know if I might've already messed up by using a torch on the handlebar stem.
View attachment 1553193
View attachment 1553194

Here are some parts I want to mockup on the Hornet. Since this is supposed to be a "barn find board tracker," I figured I could get away with using parts that are a little too far gone to shine back up. I have this rat trap springer fork and these handlebars I pulled off another bike, and I think I could make them work on this bike.
View attachment 1553195

I also have these rusty chrome wheels that I wasn't sure what to do with, as the chrome plating has flaked off substantially, especially on the rear wheel. I think they could work just fine on this bike.
View attachment 1553196
View attachment 1553197

Here's my rough idea of what I want to do with this bike. Everything's liable to change, but I think this would be enough to help me fall in love with this bike without making too many changes. I also came up with a project name for this bike: The Ratical Rustin' Hornet!
View attachment 1553198
View attachment 1553199

So, that's where I'm at on this Hornet. At this point, I think I'm going to keep it, but I'd really like to figure out how to disassemble the rest of the bike without damaging anything. Also, does anyone know how to remove those reflective stickers without removing the paint underneath? I tried removing one of the stickers on the rear fender with the heat gun, but that didn't go so well. I basically just melted the sticker, and what bits I could remove took some of the paint with it. Any advice on how to remove the stickers and disassemble the bike would be much appreciated!
Hey Austin, Theirs some stuff called Krud Kutter graffiti remover that might work for the old decals.. Saw some on fee bay and was going to get some for a Flightliner project i'm working on... On the fork stem, thread the stem bolt back into the wedge and give it a couple taps with a hammer and it should come loose.. Lemme know if this worked.. Looking good so far.. Good luck.. Razin..
 

Bike from the Dead

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Hey Austin, Theirs some stuff called Krud Kutter graffiti remover that might work for the old decals.. Saw some on fee bay and was going to get some for a Flightliner project i'm working on... On the fork stem, thread the stem bolt back into the wedge and give it a couple taps with a hammer and it should come loose.. Lemme know if this worked.. Looking good so far.. Good luck.. Razin..
I think I've seen that stuff at Home Depot before. I'll have to pick up some next time I'm there.

As for the stem, already tried that. All that happened was that I possibly wedged the cone nut or whatever you call it down into the fork further than it was before. I also tried wacking it from underneath with a rubber mallet. No dice.
 

Bike from the Dead

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Been going back-and-forth on this Hornet for a while now. On one hand, I think this bike would make a good barn-find board track bike, but on the other hand, that's not really how I want to build this straight bar. It doesn't help that I recently bought another cheaper, rustier Schwinn straight bar that would look even better as a rat rod board track bike. Problem with that Schwinn is that the frame has been damaged and poorly repaired at some point, and I don't know if it's able to be saved in its current form.
1559895

1559896


Here's how I was thinking of putting this Schwinn together. I'd want to add some dropout extensions to push the rear wheel out about as far as the front wheel, but this is the general vibe I'm going for. I like how this looks, as it'd allow me to use some parts that are a little too far gone for a clean, "proper" build. The only issue is that the frame is not as straight as I'd like.
1559898

1559899

1559900

1559901


Here's where the issue really shows. The rear tire fits evenly between the chain stays, but it's off to one side on the seat stays. You can also see from this angle just how crooked the wheel is compared to the frame. I don't know if just the dropouts are bent, or if it's the whole rear triangle that's out of shape. Either way, it doesn't look good.
1559902

1559903

1559904

1559905


There's also a lot more brazing/welding on the seat stays than normal, which leads me to believe the frame was hastily repaired after getting damaged. I could be wrong though.
1559906

1559907
1559908

1559909

1559910

1559912

1559913


I'd really like to build this rusty blue Schwinn up the way I had initially planned for the rusty red Hornet, but I don't know if it can be repaired without altering the patina too much. It's worth noting that I had also bought this even rustier Schwinn (as in completely rusted stuck) at the same time and place as the blue one pictured above. It's pretty rough, but the frame at least looks straight. I figure if I can bust everything loose and power wash the crud that's covering the frame, this would make another great rat bike, especially with what's left of the original paint. It looks like it used to be a Black Phantom or one of Schwinn's other high-end models at one point, which is pretty cool.
1559938

1559939


Why did I bring up these other 2 rustier Schwinns? Well, if I'm able to salvage the blue straight bar and Black Phantom and build them up as a pair of rat rod bikes, it doesn't make sense to me to build the nicer, straighter Schwinn Hornet as a third rat rod bike, at least not in my opinion. I have neither enough space nor enough bikes in my collection for identical or identically-built bikes. So here's what I'm thinking: I'll hold onto the red Hornet until the next bicycle swap meet in Springfield, Missouri, which hopefully should be happening again this May. That's the one bicycle swap meet that's closest to my home, even though it's still a 3-hour drive away. I'll bring the Hornet with me, along with whatever else I have to sell/trade. If I don't see another Schwinn straight bar, or if no one is willing to trade another bike I'd want in exchange for the Hornet, then I'm just going to build the Hornet the way I really want. That means the paint's getting stripped and repainted however I see fit. So that's the plan for the Hornet right now.
 
Top