Hawthorne Lite Wate

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99 bikes

Look Ma, No Hands!
Dec 22, 2017
52
49
Washington, United States
Hello. Just excited to share a really interesting and original Wards "Lite Wate" bike I recently acquired. This is a CWC made bike.

Overall the bike is in amazing original condition, though I think it originally had a 2sp ND rear hub, different grips, and the saddle is just there until I find a correct one. Tires and tubes seem to be original as well.

I'm not sure if it's early 40's or post war. My gut tells me it's pre, but i've been wrong before.

Any info would be great!

Cheers.

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Oilit

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 30, 2015
830
Concord NC
Nice bike! These CWC light-weights don't turn up that often, but I know they were offered pre-war as well as post-war up until about 1954, when AMF evidently dropped them in favor of imported "Royal Master" light-weights built by Hercules in England. Just from the style of serial number, it's either pre-war or early post-war, but an early post-war bike might still carry some leftover black-out parts. My gut agrees with your gut.
 

3-speeder

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 26, 2017
469
Lansing, MI, United States
Wow! That bike is too cool! I love it. Those box pin stripes are popping! Never seen one like it.
 
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Oilit

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 30, 2015
830
Concord NC
I just checked Phil Marshall's list and it shows the first two series (serial numbers centered on the bottom bracket with no other markings) used "J" twice, in 1941 and again in late 1946 / early 1947, so that leaves you right where you started.

@Freqman1 has some good tips on his personal web page for telling the pre-war bikes from post-war, but I don't know if all these features were the same on the lightweights.
 
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99 bikes

Look Ma, No Hands!
Dec 22, 2017
52
49
Washington, United States
Thank you for the excellent information. I'm still scratching my head about pre vs post war, either way it is a very nice original bike and I plan to start a gentle rebuild very soon, which I will post photos of.
 
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s1b

Finally riding a big boys bike
Nov 8, 2011
448
I would say with those adjustable drop outs it’s prewar.
 

Oilit

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 30, 2015
830
Concord NC
If you haven't already, you might want to post it in the CWC serial number thread, some people might see it that wouldn't think to look here.
 

99 bikes

Look Ma, No Hands!
Dec 22, 2017
52
49
Washington, United States
Thanks Oilit, I just posted on the CWC serial number page.

I spent a few minutes dusting the bike last night and noticed shiny metal under the a spot of flaking paint on the rear fender. Magnet confirmed steel, but it looks like it could have been chromed before paint?

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Oilit

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 30, 2015
830
Concord NC
I'm not sure. I've got a 1953 Roadmaster that's straight and original, but the paint is flaking off in several places and shows some kind of aluminum primer.

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Dave Stromberger

I'm Afraid I Can't Let You Do That
Staff member
System Administrator
May 20, 2006
2,129
50
Cheney, WA
Thanks Oilit, I just posted on the CWC serial number page.

I spent a few minutes dusting the bike last night and noticed shiny metal under the a spot of flaking paint on the rear fender. Magnet confirmed steel, but it looks like it could have been chromed before paint?

IMG_1276.jpg
I remember seeing this too, but I think it's just bare virgin steel, no primer under the paint.
 

Dave Stromberger

I'm Afraid I Can't Let You Do That
Staff member
System Administrator
May 20, 2006
2,129
50
Cheney, WA
I'm not sure. I've got a 1953 Roadmaster that's straight and original, but the paint is flaking off in several places and shows some kind of aluminum primer.

IMG_2890.JPG
This would be the undercoating that makes the "candy" red on your bike glow like it does. Sometimes they used gold instead of silver. BTW, is that a Flying Falcon?
 

Oilit

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 30, 2015
830
Concord NC
@Dave Stromberger, Good eye! I bought this on EBay out of Toledo OH, but the seller said he picked it up at an estate sale, so I don't know the history. Do you know when these came out? I'd heard 1954, but this one has "53Cw" under the crank. Maybe a mid-year introduction?

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Oilit

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 30, 2015
830
Concord NC
@99 bikes, I just noticed that you don't have a good picture of your rear hub. A lot of those coaster brake hubs can't be dated, but some can. If you've got a good picture, it might be worth posting.
 
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Oilit

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 30, 2015
830
Concord NC
@99 bikes, There's another feature you can check, the early CWC's had the rear axle plates bead welded into the chain stays, later they were spot-welded. I don't know the year they changed over, but I think it was pre-war, so spot welds could be either, but bead welds would point to a pre-war bike.
 
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