National Bicycle History Archive of America
Hello...For many years I have wondered why my Fleetwood wasn’t
two-toned like the others.
It appears that the white paint has been removed. There is still some evidence of it.
Unfortunately I also found out that the chain guard is incorrect.
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In response to the long list of folks making claims and counter-claims and stating what is and isn't correct, I will make this one post. I do this because I can see this being argued into the ground and those arguments on here are usually followed by or accompanied by insults that imply that real facts are the myths... and the myths are only believable if uttered/posted by big shooters on this site. And there is no way to win with actual facts, especially against large numbers who will drink the Kool-Aid... only as long as that Kool-Aid comes from an approved source.
There are those who will merely read this and WHILE reading, already be formulating their comeback zinger argument. All of which will never result in raising anyone's knowledge level. But this apparently does not matter.
So. I can only say that the things being stated here in this thread are largely in error. Even when I am quoted, it is in error. For instance, I never owned Huffman-made streamliners from a "rental fleet." But I did indeed own more of these bicycles than any single human being breathing today. I believe the green one with original paint was once one of mine. As were others. This is a fact.
And I still own more literature and original papers on these bicycles than anyone. I also restored one long years, LONG YEARS before anyone else ever did. So, no matter who may troll this, I know a few things about these bicycles.
A few points to consider...
1.) The notion that a Huffman streamliner is either a Firestone (with straight bars) or a Dayton/Huffman/Snell/etc.etc.etc.etc. (with bent bars) is a complete fallacy.
2.) A few illustrations out of Firestone consumer catalogues is NOT the be-all, end-all of information about these bicycles. For that, you need the DEALER BOOKS and dealer letters. And promotional model info. And you need this information not just from Firestone, but from all of the retailers and wholesale-distributors who handled these bicycles. NONE of the folks making proclamations on here have gathered such information or they would not be making the proclamations made here.
3.) There were dozens and dozens of various brands that these bicycles were retailed under. NOT just Firestone. And there were sale/promotional models.
4.) The reference to these bicycles of "Super Streamline" was indeed used IN and OUTside of Huffman as a generic term for models with this frame... bent bars or not. Think of the term as you might with "J.C. Higgins "jet-flow."
5.) The "ashtray' name given to the factory accessory speedometer housing was not something that a "we" dreamed up. It was a "me" name... not a "we" name.
6.) There were dozens and dozens of variations of models sold using these frames. Nobody (including me) has ever tracked down and compiled and compared all that were sold and the details of each incarnation.
7.) There were numerous front sprockets for these bicycles. Not just what people think today. The one most people default to is what I always called the "flying bananas" but it certainly was not the only one.
8.) I was the first to display any of these bicycles at major museums. My special Firestone Fleetwood "Stainless Edition" with original stainless steel fenders, twin headlights, speedometer, etc. was displayed in the 1980s at Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Robert Huffman (who I visited with many times and interviewed) came to visit the exhibition and was very much impressed by my bicycle. So much so that he wrote a note to the museum curator to thank me. Yes. I still have the note.
Nobody knows? It's a mystery? If it makes everyone happy to believe such things, then be my guest!
I am including a shot of the Firestone bicycle dealer book binder (which is full).
Also including an image of just a few of the "super streamline" frames I had in the 1970s-1980s. If you insist... and because none of you ever interviewed people in the companies (Firestone and Huffman) who were there when these bicycles were new. If you look really close, you may even notice a frame with an original stainless steel rear fender still attached. And yes, there were W-D models of these bicycles WITH stainless steel fenders (no, the fork was not original). And more.
Finally a photo of my Firestone Fleetwood special edition with some of my other bicycles taken during setting up for an exhibit at L.A. County Museum of Art. The exhibit was part of a show entitled "The Machine Age."
Facts on old bicycle DIY forums are often like pouring gasoline on an ashtray. But... it is what it is.
Now. Have at it, arguers...
National Bicycle History Archive of America