Newbie - Westfield Questions re: Women's Westfield Serial No. K 2 WL96768


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LIVERPOOLREDS69

On Training Wheels
Jul 28, 2019
2
5
49
Massachusetts
#1
Hello Cabers! First post here. I have a few antique bikes, but just acquired this amazing Westfield Columbia "Sports Tourist" women's model in all it's dusty, un-renovated, original glory. I think she's so beautiful.

I followed some of the prior threads posted about Westfield Columbia serial numbers, but wasn't able to figure out which year this particular model was manufactured. The serial number. So, below the crank hanger there's the K and then a 2 stamped, and below it is stamped WL96768.

If I followed the posts earlier, the K stands for November, and the 2 means February. Beyond that, not sure what the rest signifies.

Perhaps somebody could help me figure out the manufacture date? I'd appreciate it. I will likely put this bike up for sale once I can gather the details about it. Thanks in advance!

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Mercian

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jul 1, 2016
457
725
52
France
#2
Hi,

Very nice, It's a wartime Westfield.

The numbers are K2 W196768. The K2 means the frame was made in February 1943 (K - 43, 2 - Feb.).

The W is specific to Westfield bikes built during the war for civilians, and issued under ration (you had to justify your part in the war effort to get permission to buy one) as opposed to military bikes.

W196768 was the number stamped when the bike was built up. This is a Jan 1944 number (1943 finished on W195136) , which is a little odd. Either the frame was stored on a shelf for 11 months whilst the military contracts were built up, or it says K12, frame built Dec 1943 (I agree, it looks like K2 from your photo, and wartime frames often have anomalies). If you check, please don't scrape the paint off!

Being a wartime bike, from new it was not fitted with a chainguard, or a headbadge (the W in the serial identified Westfield). The rubber on the pedals was replaced with wood, and a lot of the chromed parts are black instead (they are sometimes known as Blackout bikes because of this)/

It actually looks pretty complete, the saddles are quite difficult to find in good condition. Are the tyres marked 'War Tire'?

You can see a bit more about dating Westfields from this link, especially the post on December 8th 2016.

https://thecabe.com/forum/threads/westfield-frame-numbers-1933-1945.100743/

Please ask if I can help further.

Best Regards,

Adrian

PS, just noticed the brake strap is not bolted to the rear hub and frame. Don't ride it like that, please fix it first or there will be an accident.
 
Last edited:

LIVERPOOLREDS69

On Training Wheels
Jul 28, 2019
2
5
49
Massachusetts
#3
Hi,

Very nice, It's a wartime Westfield.

The numbers are K2 W196768. The K2 means the frame was made in February 1943 (K - 43, 2 - Feb.).

The W is specific to Westfield bikes built during the war for civilians, and issued under ration (you had to justify your part in the war effort to get permission to buy one) as opposed to military bikes.

W196768 was the number stamped when the bike was built up. This is a Jan 1944 number (1943 finished on W195136) , which is a little odd. Either the frame was stored on a shelf for 11 months whilst the military contracts were built up, or it says K12, frame built Dec 1943 (I agree, it looks like K2 from your photo, and wartime frames often have anomalies). If you check, please don't scrape the paint off!

Being a wartime bike, from new it was not fitted with a chainguard, or a headbadge (the W in the serial identified Westfield). The rubber on the pedals was replaced with wood, and a lot of the chromed parts are black instead (they are sometimes known as Blackout bikes because of this)/

It actually looks pretty complete, the saddles are quite difficult to find in good condition. Are the tyres marked 'War Tire'?

You can see a bit more about dating Westfields from this link, especially the post on December 8th 2016.

https://thecabe.com/forum/threads/westfield-frame-numbers-1933-1945.100743/

Please ask if I can help further.

Best Regards,

Adrian

PS, just noticed the brake strap is not bolted to the rear hub and frame. Don't ride it like that, please fix it first or there will be an accident.
Adrian,

Wow. Thank you. I really appreciate your response. You have an amazing wealth of knowledge, and the level of detail you provided is incredible. This bike has quite an interesting history! I took a look at the serial numbers again. It does look like the 2 could be a 12 (the 1 is incredibly faint, but right next to the 2). That makes more sense.

The tires (tyres) do not have "war time" on them. They were manufactured by Good Year. I've attached a few photos.

I cannot thank you enough. I know you don't provide valuations or guesstimates (I've seen a couple of your responses indicating as much), which I completely understand. So, how would one go about arriving at an accurate, fair valuation? I would like this bicycle to get into the hands of a proper collector; in other words, someone who will appreciate this awesome piece of history.

Thanks again.

Terry

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Mercian

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jul 1, 2016
457
725
52
France
#4
Hi Terry,

Thank you for your very kind comments (-:, and the additional photos. It happens to be a period I'm very interested in, so I can easily talk about it for (too) long.

I'm pretty sure those are the original tires too. And, yes, K12 would make a lot more sense.

To have seen that I don't do valuations, you've obviously been looking round CABE yourself to try to figure out what you have, and I appreciate that.

Value is difficult. It's not worth as much As I would like it to be, since I think these wartime bikes are historically significant to the US, but because they don't have all the whistles and bells of pre and postwar bikes, they are not as popular. Also, it's a ladies bike, which are generally worth less than the men's version (but try telling that to Rosie the Riveter) (-:

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This very nice ladies Huffman from the same date sold for less than $200. (this has wartime tires marked V for victory also). I have seen mens ones selling in the $300-$400region depending on condition etc.

https://thecabe.com/forum/threads/1944-huffman-ladies.136546/

Many of these bikes get broken for spares.

So, either try on the sales section of CABE with a reasonable price, or try EBAY, which will establish the market rate.

Either way, I hope this helps, I wish you luck, and I hope it stays in one piece.

Best Regards,

Adrian
 

piercer_99

I live for the CABE
Dec 27, 2015
1,272
4,431
59
Sanger, TX
#5
your bicycle is really nice.

Sadly, as has been said by Adrian, it won't make you rich. Purely a basic women's roadster, so not a big market right off the bat. Shipping will add to the cost of it, which will likely make it even less attractive. With all of that in mind, if it was local to me, I would not have a problem spending 100.00 usd on it, but I would be hesitant to go much further.

Someone could buy it to tear it down and sell off the parts, which would be a travesty in my opinion. It would be a great machine to clean up and ride, as it was originally meant to do.
 

piercer_99

I live for the CABE
Dec 27, 2015
1,272
4,431
59
Sanger, TX
#7
I'd love to own that bike, I just could not justify the shipping expense.

It would hold it's place in the regular riding rotation of bikes. Just from looking at the photos, you can see it would clean up very well, a good coat of wax on it and it would be beautiful.

The colours and graphics on it are great.

I also agree that it is more likely a K 12, December 1942. It would pair well with our 1941 Elgin deluxe sport.

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