Iowa State Patrol 1971 Talking Bike - $5000 - $5000 (Clive)
bicycle type: other
brake type: coaster
electric assist: none
frame size: 20" Wheel
handlebar type: riser
make / manufacturer: Schwinn
model name / number: 1971 Gray Ghost
suspension: none (rigid)
wheel size: 20 in
Schwinn 1971 IHP Gray Ghost 1-Spd (One of a Kind) The Last Official Surviving "IHP Mike the Talking Bike" in the world.
In the early l 970's the Iowa State Patrol Maintained a fleet of 13 custom made Schwinn Gray Ghosts bikes , (one for each of the IHP's 13 patrol districts) complete with public address system , siren, revolving red light and battery operated tape recorder.
This bike was called "Mike the Talking Bike" Mike was kind of a puppet show in which a pre recorded script between the bike (Mike) and a Iowa State Trooper was played though the on board public address system . The Trooper used Mike and a flip chart to promote bicycle safety to elementary schools through out the State of Iowa. Many along time Iowa natives will recognize that the voice of Mike the Talking Bike was that of the late Duane Elliott of the long running WHO-13 (NBC) TV program called " The Floppy Show.
Mike was also used at health fairs and was on display at the Iowa State Fair Hall of Justice for many years. After complaints of back injuries among the Troopers when loading and unloading their Mikes in to patrol cars, all of the 13 Mike the Talking Bikes were to be retired from service in the l 980's. and replaced with smaller 16" wheeled, lighter, non-talking red Schwinn Gremlin Bikes. ( See Group Photo with Troopers)
In 1992 a total of 12 of the 13 Mike the Talking Bikes were decommissioned and dismantled , but with the Patrol's permission one and only one of the original Mike the Talking Bikes was preserved . The last surviving Mike was on display at Barr Bike for many years but has been in storage for the last 20 years . This bike has been featured in "Stingrays II" hardback book and is a highly collectible. In 2002 Mike was valued at over $9,000 and listed on E-Bay with a reserve of $12,000. This Mike is 100% original and includes the original four cassettes audio tapes with IHP Post markings, AC charging adapter, and a framed Iowa State Patrol Certificate of Appreciation signed by the Colonel of the Iowa State Patrol at the time.
The bike has never been ridden outside and has a few small scratches and some fading from the 1970's usage. Last time we had the bike powered up, all the electronics worked including the tape player, siren, red revolving light and P.A. The owner of the bike is moving and does not have the room to store this piece at his new home.
If you are seriously interested in owning his part of American Bicycle or Iowa Law Enforcement history for your collection, this bike is the real deal. This a a piece of history that can be researched and further complemented by finding or recreating other parts of this 1971 presentation.