Huffman: Firestone Supreme Streamline Help Needed Please!

Discussion in 'Project Rides' started by New Mexico Brant, Aug 31, 2017.

  1. #1 Posted Aug 31, 2017

    Wore out three sets of tires already!

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    The below Huffman built Firestone Fleetwood Supreme arrived in Santa Fe a few days ago; thank you Brady @Clark58mx ! I have been working on removing three layers of paint (green, burgundy, cherry red) to get it back to the original which is: Opalescent Maroon with white head tube and decorative elements. I still have much more to do; the fine detailing always takes the longest with paint removal... The chain guard had its original chrome finish under the paint. Some of the below photos show the frame with an original paint 1940 Huffman Zephyr 3-rib tank I was trying out just for kicks.

    I am trying to determine dating of the bicycle and have some questions for our CABE community. I am guessing late 1937. Unfortunately the fork has a period braze repair at the crown so the date code cannot be read. The rear hub has a G3 date code(3rd Qtr 1937) but the rims have been swapped out so maybe the hubs have been as well. In spring 1938 Opalescent Maroon was an offered color for this model and the Wald #3 stem is illustrated as being used instead of the "putter stem." The bike shown in the advertisement also sports a kickstand which the below bike has but holes for a drop stand are also present. The rear drop stand mounting holes show paint wear so I believe the kickstand was added later and likely was not original to the bike.

    My questions:
    Does anyone have any original 1937 literature for this bike?
    I would be interested in knowing if the Opalescent Maroon color was available in 1937?
    When do kick stands show up on these bikes and what model kick stand was used?
    Did Firestone ever sell this model with a chrome chain guard or was this swapped out or upgraded? Does anyone know what color the Delta torpedo light should be painted for this model (were they painted to match the frame color)?
    What are the correct grips for Huffman built Firestone bikes?

    I still need a few things to finish the bike: correct pedals: Persons Streamline, a 1937/38 Zephyr 3-rib tank, possibly a drop stand and clip, and proper grips. If anyone has the correct 9 hole rack with the book strap holes in original Opalescent Maroon paint I would glady purchase it or would trade; I have one in OG paint: National Blue, and another in black. Any help with these would be appreciated.

    Thank you for all your help answering the questions so I can get this bicycle in proper running order.

    Kindly,

    Brant Mackley

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    #1 New Mexico Brant, Aug 31, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
  2. #2 Posted Aug 31, 2017

    Riding a '37 Colson Imperial

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  3. #3 Posted Aug 31, 2017

    I live for the CABE

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    Holy crap! Nice work bud, I know from experience paint removal sucks but you killin it.
     
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  4. #4 Posted Aug 31, 2017

    Riding an Alexander Rocket Bike

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    Nice Work !!!!

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  5. #5 Posted Aug 31, 2017

    Wore out three sets of tires already!

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    Your doing a great job.
     
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  6. #6 Posted Aug 31, 2017

    I live for the CABE

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    The last ad is 37 with maroon listed

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  7. #7 Posted Aug 31, 2017

    Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline

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    A note concerning the ad on pg 20 shown above; I have never seen a Firestone bike with the SS frame (curved seat stays) as shown in this ad. I believe the only way to tell a '37 Fleetwood from a '38 is the fork crown--either by numbers (if present) but primarily from the shape of the top of the crown. Kinda hard to see in the pic of the black bike ('38) but there the top of the crown is shaped differently and the standoffs have something of a ridge on them compared to the '37 model (blue fork). I actually started to right a monograph on these but, at the time, wasn't getting very far because bikes like Marty's and the one's John has acquired weren't known yet. Maybe a good winter project! V/r Shawn

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    #7 Freqman1, Aug 31, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
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  8. #8 Posted Aug 31, 2017

    Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe

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    37Fleetwood is your man on this project.
    He's probably done more research into these models than anyone since they were built.
    Come to think of it, he probably knows more about these bikes than the guys that were building them back then.
    I don't think the chainguards were ever offered in chrome, but who knows, and I'm pretty sure that the torpedo light was aluminum. So no paint on that part.
    The side stand that was spec'd on the 38 models was the Jiffy deluxe. So not out of the question to have one of those on a late 37.
    Same goes for the Wald #3 stem.
    The opal maroon is an unusual color. Cool to find that underneath the over coat.
    its looking good so far.
     
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  9. #9 Posted Aug 31, 2017

    Wore out three sets of tires already!

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    Where in the ad on page 20 does it reference being a Firestone?
     
  10. #10 Posted Aug 31, 2017

    Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline

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    Guard and paint scheme identify this as a Firestone bike. Also if you look at the text concerning the compass (which was supposedly a Firestone exclusive) it says "Firestone". V/r Shawn
     
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  11. #11 Posted Aug 31, 2017

    Wore out three sets of tires already!

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    The fork has the crown profile of the 1937 per the image Shawn posted. I was able to remove some paint on the fork and the original is also the Opalescent Maroon. The bad and the ugly is the paint burn on both sides (from the repair that occurred) and total loss of paint where the fork legs meet the crown. I quit with over-paint removal on the fork to return later but I have my doubts that that anything can be saved under the burn. If anyone has suggestions on how to handle this area I am "all ears!"

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  12. #12 Posted Aug 31, 2017

    Wore out three sets of tires already!

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    Thank you everyone for their input, information, and kind words!
     
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  13. #13 Posted Aug 31, 2017

    I live for the CABE

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    Great work brant!!!
     
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  14. #14 Posted Aug 31, 2017

    Wore out three sets of tires already!

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    Thank you Marty! Those aluminum torpedos are tricky to secure and pricy, ugh! I was so happy to find one this year at Memory Lane for my 37 girls Super Streamline.

    What is interesting with the ads/catalog pages John posted, especially the first and last, the copy states at the end: "all accessories are rust resisting chrome" or "all accessories are chrome plated." Then shown in the small boxes are the tank, chain guard, putter stem, torpedo light, and luggage rack illustrated in white. Is it being implied these parts may upgraded to chrome so a kid could customize his bike or are the Mad Men just highlighting the bicycle's features? It would be fun to see an entire catalog to see if clarification exists within.

    Does anyone own one of the Firestone exclusive handlebar compasses? They look sweet, I would have loved to have one of those as a kid!
     
  15. #15 Posted Aug 31, 2017

    Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline

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    I believe John has a compass. I believe the ads were just highlighting the parts. Generally speaking the Firestone bikes were plainer than the Huffman line products. V/r Shawn
     
  16. #16 Posted Aug 31, 2017

    Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe

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    The compass offered in the Firestone catalog was made by Hull.
    They were/are? a well know maker of compasses for marine and automobile use, so not too hard to find, but that bicycle specific compass is just about impossible to find, but one lucky collector here is SoCal did manage to find one.
    Totally bad ass accessory!
     
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  17. #17 Posted Aug 31, 2017

    Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline

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    I've been looking for four years now! You can find the Hull boat or car ones all day long but I've yet to see a bicycle one. V/r Shawn
     
  18. #18 Posted Aug 31, 2017

    Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe

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    It's interesting that your chain guard was cut to resemble the profile of a Firestone Twin Flex, because as John pointed out in another thread about this bike, that it does appear that it started out life as a genuine Fleetwood Supreme guard, and most likely original to this bike.
    Are you sure that the guard was chrome plated?
    If so, that may have been done when the guard was modified.
     
  19. #19 Posted Aug 31, 2017

    Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe

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    image.jpeg (I meant to quote Shawn about the hunt for a Hull bicycle compass, but it didn't take for some reason.)
    I did find one that was made to mount on the deck of a speed boat, that looks to be the same egg shape as the bicycle model, but the pedestal is only about an inch long and has a mounting flange with two small wood screw holes.
    The handlebar clamp and pedestal for the bicycle compass looks a lot like the Magna handlebar mirror, so my plan was to combine the two and try and put one together.
    Although, I'll still always be on the hunt for the genuine original that was offered in the Firestone catalog.
     
    #19 cyclingday, Aug 31, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
  20. #20 Posted Aug 31, 2017

    Wore out three sets of tires already!

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    Ok, Bicycle CSI reporting with all the forensic news! The guard is definitely chrome-plated over a copper(?) under-plating. I believe the said trimmed corner occurred sometime later as the cut seems a bit home-style. Interestingly the down bar guard bracket retains some of the original Opalescent Maroon paint over a cadmium plating (this bracket was also painted with the cherry red and green but not the dark burgundy; there is some original paint remaining on the rear of the guard (see images). There is also evidence of burning/heat exposure mostly to the rear of the guard. The surface has also been abraded, my guess to add in the adhesion of the green paint.

    So, here is what I think happened:
    -The guard started out chromed in the Huffman factory.
    -It was painted Opalescent Maroon to satisfy the Firestone order.
    -The bike was getting shabby and maybe the chrome was showing through on the guard so the bike was painted cherry red. Before the paint-job the guard was hit with the torch to remove most of the OG paint and leave the chrome exposed.
    -The bike was painted burgundy red, the guard was left in its chrome finish.
    -The guard was abraded/wire brushed and then completely painted the dark green color.
    Anyway, I wish we knew the true history. Brady bought the bike from the son or grandson of the original owner.

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    #20 New Mexico Brant, Aug 31, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
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