Huffman: Firestone Supreme Streamline Help Needed Please!


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stezell

I live for the CABE
May 8, 2014
1,090
937
Clarksville, TN, United States
#22
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

View attachment 668754 View attachment 668753 View attachment 668752 View attachment 668750 View attachment 668751
Looking good Brantley, nice looking bike!
 

New Mexico Brant

I live for the CABE
Jul 6, 2016
1,115
2,640
48
Santa Fe, New Mexico
www.BrantMackley.com
#27
Nice forensic work, Brant!
Thanks Marty for posting the Hull Compass advertisement.

I have been corrected about my chain guard theory. Apparently there has never been an original Firestone guard found in chrome. It has been suggested the guard was stamped from "pre-plated" metal sheeting. Has anyone else seen an original Firestone guard with a similar treatment? The below girls bike, in original paint, has plating exposed on its' guard. The difference: chrome was an option on the crow's beak guard; possibly it was painted over at the factory to satisfy an order?

IMG_6999.JPG
IMG_6999.JPG
 

Dan Shabel

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jun 17, 2017
132
235
St. Louis
#29
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

View attachment 668754 View attachment 668753 View attachment 668752 View attachment 668750 View attachment 668751


Please explain how you removed the other layers of paint, but left the original pain in such nice shape! Thanks in advance!
 

New Mexico Brant

I live for the CABE
Jul 6, 2016
1,115
2,640
48
Santa Fe, New Mexico
www.BrantMackley.com
#31
Please explain how you removed the other layers of paint, but left the original pain in such nice shape! Thanks in advance!
I used "Everclear" grain alcohol on the removal. Everclear is available in different proofs depending on your state; in New Mexico it is 190 proof. It doesn't work with all paint binders; I have used Goof-off and acetone as well depending on the paint. Denatured alcohol should work the same at the Everclear but they add toxic stuff so you can't drink it; I have noticed a haze residue with denatured alcohol on art pieces so I stopped using it years ago. With the alcohol, you can add small amounts of water to cut-it if its "too hot" and removing your base coat you are trying to save. With this bike the maroon is pretty stable but the original white decorative elements are very fragile.

I work small areas at a time with small pieces of cotton cloth ( 3 by 3 inches, folding in half and then large postage stamp size for the final removal): t-shirt for the removal of the top layers of paint, terry-cloth towel for the final layer. You want the cloth pieces to be wet but not dripping. Sometimes it will take many seconds for the overpaint binders to "relax" and start coming off so you should not give up if you do not see results immediately. Try test spots with to see what solvent works best. Once the cloth is covered in paint discard it immediately and use a new one. Be very careful with pin stripes as they are typically very fragile and hard to save. Once down to final over-layer I use the smaller cloth pieces and just wipe usually once pulling away from the exposed original paint; discard cloth with removed pigments and use a new one every sweep!

With some bikes you can remove most of the overpaint rather quickly but the final layer and detail cleaning will take hours to do well. Patience and working small areas cannot be stressed enough! With this bike the green and cherry red overpaint is adhering to any bare metal spots better than areas were the original paint is intact. I still have a lot of work that needs to be done at these spots. I have experience removing overpaint off antique furniture and art objects but I am stilling learning on bikes. Any input from others would be appreciated.

Good luck!
 

Dan Shabel

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jun 17, 2017
132
235
St. Louis
#32
I used "Everclear" grain alcohol on the removal. Everclear is available in different proofs depending on your state; in New Mexico it is 190 proof. It doesn't work with all paint binders; I have used Goof-off and acetone as well depending on the paint. Denatured alcohol should work the same at the Everclear but they add toxic stuff so you can't drink it; I have noticed a haze residue with denatured alcohol on art pieces so I stopped using it years ago. With the alcohol, you can add small amounts of water to cut-it if its "too hot" and removing your base coat you are trying to save. With this bike the maroon is pretty stable but the original white decorative elements are very fragile.

I work small areas at a time with small pieces of cotton cloth ( 3 by 3 inches, folding in half and then large postage stamp size for the final removal): t-shirt for the removal of the top layers of paint, terry-cloth towel for the final layer. You want the cloth pieces to be wet but not dripping. Sometimes it will take many seconds for the overpaint binders to "relax" and start coming off so you should not give up if you do not see results immediately. Try test spots with to see what solvent works best. Once the cloth is covered in paint discard it immediately and use a new one. Be very careful with pin stripes as they are typically very fragile and hard to save. Once down to final over-layer I use the smaller cloth pieces and just wipe usually once pulling away from the exposed original paint; discard cloth with removed pigments and use a new one every sweep!

With some bikes you can remove most of the overpaint rather quickly but the final layer and detail cleaning will take hours to do well. Patience and working small areas cannot be stressed enough! With this bike the green and cherry red overpaint is adhering to any bare metal spots better than areas were the original paint is intact. I still have a lot of work that needs to be done at these spots. I have experience removing overpaint off antique furniture and art objects but I am stilling learning on bikes. Any input from others would be appreciated.

Good luck!

It scares me to think I drank that stuff in high school, and now I'm going to use it to remove paint!
 

Dan Shabel

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jun 17, 2017
132
235
St. Louis
#33
Thanks Marty for posting the Hull Compass advertisement.

I have been corrected about my chain guard theory. Apparently there has never been an original Firestone guard found in chrome. It has been suggested the guard was stamped from "pre-plated" metal sheeting. Has anyone else seen an original Firestone guard with a similar treatment? The below girls bike, in original paint, has plating exposed on its' guard. The difference: chrome was an option on the crow's beak guard; possibly it was painted over at the factory to satisfy an order?

View attachment 672176 View attachment 672176

Cool looking house!
 

Clark58mx

Finally riding a big boys bike
Oct 30, 2016
370
778
25
Brookfield, United States
#34
Hello Brant. Brady here. I just found this thread. The frameset is looking great. Love the original paint. I'm glad I sold it to you. The Firestones are awesome looking bikes. I got the bike off of the original owners son. His dad had this bike, and he rode a mid 50s Schwinn. I asked him if it had a Tank at one time, but he couldn't remember. The son was probably in his 50s. The bike came out of New Castle, PA.
 

Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
Jul 14, 2009
15,095
14,824
Evans, GA
#36
Great looking bikes but none of those are Firestone's. For those looking to find out more about Huffman built bikes including Firestone, National, Dayton, Airflyte, etc... I suggest you pick up a copy of the book Scott published earlier this year. It contains a wealth of information about these bikes. V/r Shawn
http://www.ebay.com/itm/All-NEW-HUF...988737?hash=item440b28a341:g:DV8AAOSw3YJZOtuD
 
Last edited:

Rides4Fun

Finally riding a big boys bike
Feb 19, 2017
262
294
55
Front Royal, Virginia
#37
Wow, can't belive it's the same bike! Your magic is unbelievable. Thank you very much for sharing your tips. I haven't taken on a project like that before and hope to use your techniques one day. I learned a lot from your post!
 

Marc's Classic Chrome

Finally riding a big boys bike
May 16, 2017
176
178
47
Hawley, United States
#38
I just found this thread as well. AMAZING work!!!!

I am going to run to the liquor store and try it out. I wonder what they will think carrying out a couple bottles? Jungle Juice????

Thanks for the Post. I was a lot of fun to follow.
 

cyclingday

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Feb 24, 2008
4,997
12,474
Compton, United States
#39
Just to add to the Firestone bicycle compass narrative, this little gem got listed right here on the Cabe this week.
I have been looking for one of these for about ten years now, and this is the first one I've seen.
The sales ad listed it as a Holy Grail accessory item, and not for the faint of wallet.
In fact, this little guy practically cost more than the bike it's bolted on to!
I know!
Pretty crazy, but what are you going to do, wait another ten years?
One of the things that I found interesting, was that it was shown with a 1942 Sears catalog page that listed it as an Elgin accessory.
The earlier ads 1937/38 listed it as being exclusively developed by Firestone.
Interesting that it showed up in the Sears catalog during the war years.
My guess is, these were being surplused to move the remaining stock during the war years.
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
Pretty cool acquisition, and you got to love that rush you get, when something so elusive pops up in your field of view.
It's like, BAM!
I'll take it!
Now how much is it going to cost?
Lol!
 

Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
Jul 14, 2009
15,095
14,824
Evans, GA
#40
Just to add to the Firestone bicycle compass narrative, this little gem got listed right here on the Cabe this week.
I have been looking for one of these for about ten years now, and this is the first one I've seen.
The sales ad listed it as a Holy Grail accessory item, and not for the faint of wallet.
In fact, this little guy practically cost more than the bike it's bolted on to!
I know!
Pretty crazy, but what are you going to do, wait another ten years?
One of the things that I found interesting, was that it was shown with a 1942 Sears catalog page that listed it as an Elgin accessory.
The earlier ads 1937/38 listed it as being exclusively developed by Firestone.
Interesting that it showed up in the Sears catalog during the war years.
My guess is, these were being surplused to move the remaining stock during the war years. View attachment 791713 View attachment 791714 Pretty cool acquisition, and you got to love that rush you get, when something so elusive pops up in your field of view.
It's like, BAM!
I'll take it!
Now how much is it going to cost?
Lol!
Were you able to get it to display correctly? I'd like to see a pic of it mounted. V/r Shawn
 

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