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I am still not sure. I wonder though, if 1942 bikes were made from parts on hand, would they have had the serial code stamp of whatever year the frame was made?Nice bike; nice hardcover book.
Did you ever figure out if the bike was stamped “SE” (1940) or “SG” (1942)?
The “S” stamp with the date code on Murray bikes may be found on those Murray-built bikes sold by Sears, which just happens to start with the same letter “S”.
Leon, I appreciate your knowledge. Do you know of any corresponding color charts that go with the catalog color destinations?Hello...
Forget the "books."
What you actually have is an Elgin war-restricted model. PERIOD. Not a Victory model... and this is not debatable. This history ought to be clear after all these years. But unfortunately it is anything but clear. The hobby and even the industry have hopelessly confused "war-restricted" with "Victory model". At least one brand of bicycles actually referred to its entire line of 1942 bicycles as "Victory" bicycles.
Here is what actually happened... and this is not an opinion, it is a fact.
• At the end of 1941 the federal War Board and other federal entities realized that transportation would be a critical issue during World War II. Therefore the federal government devised strict specifications by which bicycles could be made. The reason was to ensure continued manufacture, but with maximum savings on materials such as steel, brass, copper, aluminum and rubber. All of these materials would be in critical need by the military. Victory bicycles (built to the federal specification) would use the least of these materials possible.
Furthermore, with many workforce adults expected to be riding bicycles to manufacturing plants, etc. the plan was to make bicycles as light as possible and as devoid of things as horn tanks, lights, knee-action forks, rear carriers, fat tires, etc. So the Victory model specification meant lightweight diamond frames, skinny tires & wheels, basic coaster brake. In short, none of these were balloon-tire bicycles.
• The federal edict for Victory bicycles was sent to everyone in the bicycle industry and went into effect in the spring of 1942. National Bicycle History Archive of America, of course, has the full edict and related mailings today. IN the original mailers. Much of the special edict was published in American Bicyclist & Motorcyclist trade magazine at the time it was devised.
• Officially as of spring of 1942, only two bicycle manufacturers (Huffman and Westfield) were allowed to continue making bicycles. The bicycles made were of Victory specification. Manufacture of balloon models ceased except for those assembled out of parts that already existed as of spring of 1942 (yes, some companies stocked up parts in anticipation).
• Restrictions were very severe at the beginning of WW2 and were gradually eased during the course of the war. To buy a bicycle at all, one had to be engaged in work producing war materials or for government or military. A buyer needed to have a government-issued ration ticket that allowed purchase.
• Companies other than the two federally authorized were assigned war-related manufacturing projects and things would remain so for the extent of the war. NBHAA has original correspondence from various American bicycle companies such as Iver-Johnson, Colson, Murray-Ohio, Arnold, Schwinn & Co, Delta Electric and others indicating that they were engaged in making items for the war
• Using store mail-order catalogues as the standard of what was and was not sold is a blind alley and a very, very bad way of knowing what actually was sold. We have the in-store information used by management and even it has anomolies. Balloon tire bicycles shown in wartime mail-order catalogues like Sears, Roebuck or Montgomery Ward were mostly marketing department projections of what MIGHT be available. But what you could actually buy at the stores might be wildly different. With few exceptions, balloon models were only sold as long as parts existed. In the case of manufacturers like Arnold, Schwinn & Company (ASC), the images in their catalogues were largely stamped "No longer available" or some similar wording. ASC did get a limited authorization to assemble a limited number of Cycletrucks– primarily out of existing parts.
• There were certain balloon models made strictly for the military. These were made beginning in 1941 and some continued through the war. Some of the early balloon-tire models made for the military during 1941-1942 were made by Cleveland Welding Company (yes... NBHAA has original glossy photos).
Sears Elgin war-restricted models still had balloon tires. Some even had accessories. Our unmolested Murray-built Elgin original (see attachment below) has the electric tail light and horn. We have owned it since the beginning of the 1970s. Rather than a brass headbadge, our war-restricted Elgin has the name painted on.
Every few years, somebody walks out of the mists and invents yet another term. But originally (once upon a time long before the internet) it was clearly understood which was which.
So. In the USA from 1942 to 1945 there were actual Victory model bicycles... and war-restricted model bicycles. Two different things.
National Bicycle History Archive of America
View attachment 1935284
I think that's been answered in this thread ... now you're about to get us all reprimanded once again!I got this Elgin in early 1980’s from original owner in Oakland Calif. Found matching ladies model a little later. Both Murray built. 1940 I believe. Both have the 4 stars on fork. Does the big V on head badge make it a Victory bike?
View attachment 1935793
View attachment 1935794
Duh-duh-duhhhhh. You are certainly in no position to state what I am saying. But it sure makes it difficult to learn anything new with your head stuck so deep in the sand! If you like it that way, fine. That's your business.So your saying the reprinted catalog pic are not out of a real Sears catalog?, looks the same as the "real 42 Sears catalog", I'd rather thumb thru the reprints and save damage/ware to the og, any pics of original would help all of us here but all I see is criticism Oh ya, any page # differences ( pages added ) in the Sears/Hawthorn catalog reprint book is due to it being Revised by "The Classic and Bicycle Exchange" ( The CABE! ) our host!
You asked... and this will be my last response on this matter since it has degenerated into yet one more infantile argument and insults so notorious on these troll havens.Leon, I appreciate your knowledge. Do you know of any corresponding color charts that go with the catalog color destinations?
Examples Maroon 417 and Light Brown 121
Since the original paint isn't salvageable I'd like to match and repaint this as close as possible to original colors.
Also, if 1942 Elgin bikes were made from parts on hand, would they have had the serial code stamp of whatever year the frame was made?