Newbie would like more information on new Hiawatha bike.

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John V

On Training Wheels
Oct 11, 2019
9
59
AZ
Hello everyone!

I love things from the 40's and 50's.. Cars, advertisements, license plates, Leave it to Beaver, etc. I stumbled across a Hiawatha tank bike for sale while I was looking for a bike for my daughter on craigslist. I could not believe how beautiful the bike was and I had to go see it right away. It had only been listed for a few hours. I normally research things to ridiculous levels before making a purchase. In this case, I did not. I may have got a great deal or I may have overpaid. I really do not care too much because the price was reasonable for something I would have a great time riding and would make me smile every time I looked at it. (beauty is in the eye of the beholder).
I have done what I can to search for information, but it is not easy to find. I am looking form help from the forum.
I would like to know how to best refer to this model. Is it a "Horn Tank"?
What year was it manufactured?
What kind of value does a bike like this usually have?
I have included many photos to help.
Thanks gang!!

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Krakatoa

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Oct 12, 2016
3,705
Warren, RI, United States
Postwar Cleveland Welding Built bicycle for Gambles Department Stores. Restored but not to original spec. At least headlight is incorrect.
 

Oilit

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 30, 2015
784
Concord NC
And the "53Cw" on the bottom bracket is CWC's code for 1953. The chrome is really clean on that one, I'm guessing it was re-done, so somebody put some money into that bike at one time.
 

John V

On Training Wheels
Oct 11, 2019
9
59
AZ
The seller thought it to be from 1947. Is there any way to tell for sure?

What would an original headlight look like?
 

John V

On Training Wheels
Oct 11, 2019
9
59
AZ
So 1953 is the year then. Thank you Oilit!

The chrome is really clean. There is not a spot on the bike that looks like it needs attention.
 
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John V

On Training Wheels
Oct 11, 2019
9
59
AZ
When referring to the bike, what should I call it? Is there a name or model that would convey what this is?
 

Oilit

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 30, 2015
784
Concord NC

Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
Jul 14, 2009
17,783
Evans, GA
Actually this is more the equivalent of the Western Flyer Super. Like was stated above the bike was made by the Cleveland Welding Co. (CWC) and made in 1953 as indicated by the serial number. I've never seen an ad for one of these but likely called a "Deluxe Tank Bike" or something similar. This is a refurbished bike and not a restoration. The light, seat, and paint are not correct but it is a nice looking bike that should be enjoyed. V/r Shawn
 

Archie Sturmer

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jun 13, 2018
931
Los Angeles, CA, USA
1953 Cleveland Welding (or CWC or AMF/CWC)-built Men's/Boy's Tall-tank model, beach cruiser.
When referring to the bike, what should I call it? Is there a name or model that would convey what this is?
Some might call it a straight bar/tube model, but there are a lot of other references like that, (and to other straight tubes).
The model was so classic that very-close reproductions were made later.
Note that the re-chromed Gambles' Hiawatha badge reads "Shelby" (another manufacturer).
I believe most AMF/CWC bikes have 2+7/8" badge holes (measure); and Shelby's could have been shorter.
There are threads on the Shelby>Gambles>AMF/CWC connection on this site.
 
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Harley Mclemore

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 14, 2013
347
Antioch California
i would call it a super hiawatha. because its almost identical to a western flyer super

Sent from my Pixel 3a XL using Tapatalk
 

John V

On Training Wheels
Oct 11, 2019
9
59
AZ
I am confused by the "SHEL" on the badge.
Was this original to the bike, or did someone just put the badge on their as a replacement?
I just measured it and it is 2 7/8 inch tall.
 

John V

On Training Wheels
Oct 11, 2019
9
59
AZ
I think it is a 1953 Chippewa by Hiawatha with an original cost of $69.95. I wish I had the correct headlight.

If you have one let me know!!

Thanks

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Gambles 1953 Christmas catalog - page 22 - Bike A is the Hiawatha Chippewa
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John V

On Training Wheels
Oct 11, 2019
9
59
AZ
I did not see the "SHEL" on the badge either. It was not until Archie Sturmer mentioned it, that I saw it.
If you look at the chrome badge it is above the "th" in Hiawatha... It is in the bottom rays that extend from the headdress.
 

Oilit

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 30, 2015
784
Concord NC

Archie Sturmer

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jun 13, 2018
931
Los Angeles, CA, USA
confused by the "SHEL" on the badge?
Where was the subject 1953 Gambles Hiawatha Chippewa built?
A. Cleveland OH, because all CWC bikes must have been built in Cleveland;
B. Little Rock AR, because AMF moved production in ~1956;
C. Miami OH, not to be confused with Miami Florida;
D. Minnesota, by a Scandinavian who anglicized the spelling of his name, "Kjel";
E. Shelby OH, because Bert Gamble, then owner of Shelby, made it happen that way?
There are threads on the Shelby > Gambles > AMF/CWC connection on this site.
https://shelbycyclehistory.org/2017/11/26/shelby-bicycle-industry-timeline/
https://shelbycyclehistory.org/
 
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