Restored 20 years ago Bluebird OC CL


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tripple3

Riding Miles; Collecting Smiles
Sep 25, 2012
7,123
38,806
Beach Cities, CA 92708
#1
Not mine: https://orangecounty.craigslist.org/bik/d/dana-pointelgin-bluebird/6783102595.html
1937 1/2 Elgin Bluebird - $18000 (Dana Point)
bicycle type: cruiser
frame size: 62
make / manufacturer: Sears Elgin
model name / number: Bluebird
wheel size: 26 in
1937 1/2 Elgin Bluebird
I've owned for over 40 yrs.
Yes, I have the peddle not shown.
Light in horn not working but can be hooked up. Some minor body work, this paint is 35 yrs old
Serious only please
$18,000.
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5760rj

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Sep 19, 2017
706
488
92027
#5
I'm no Bluebird expert by any means, but the price seems at least 5 grand (or more) too high based on what we've seen sell here on the CABE and ebay in the past year.
beautiful craftsmanship and style, real art, one of the first items on my list to buy after I win the powerball......wonderful color too.......
 
Likes: Phattiremike

bobcycles

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Sep 30, 2006
3,835
5,258
13
so cal beaches
#6
I would bet that was a Bailey restored saddle on the bike. Although I think his craftsmanship
was outstanding... he used the 'veg tan" leather which is one of the oldest methods of
tanning leather. Although I do like the looks of veg tan leather...which is typically soaked
so that it can be 'formed' to the contours of an object or seat pan, the inherent problems
with the process is the soaking. The leather on bicycle seats at least has a tendency to
'rot' or decay from the inside out, the side of the leather that comes in contact with the seat
padding etc. I have seen a number of Jim Baileys saddles that have had the 'cracking from
within' occur. bummer. You are looking at the result of the process when it goes south. One thing
to keep in mind... there's really no way to avoid restoring a skirted saddle, like this Blue Bird one, going this route.
the side skirting needs to be formed using veg tan leather and soaking. Thorough drying once covered is key to avoid the
potential for what you're seeing in the pix, but still no guarantee. I wonder what the methods
used on the original saddles done at Troxel back in the day were.
Looks like a nice bike...price is bonkers

any chance i can get ALLSTATE USA tires on this bike in lieu of the Chinese 10 dollar ones?
 

rustjunkie

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 11, 2012
13,146
17,673
Monrovia, CA 91016
www.rustjunkies.com
#8
yes, the leather on that saddle is damaged.
However, from my experience, learning from and interaction with leather workers, reading books and articles on leather working in general and wet forming in particular, I do not believe the damage was caused by submerging or insufficient/incorrect drying.
Do your own research and make your own conclusion.
 

morton

I live for the CABE
Nov 9, 2007
1,560
1,930
York, United States
#11
Maybe I just don't know enough about the high dollar bike market, but "Light in horn not working but can be hooked up"?

Gee, If I was trying to sell a bike for 18,000 large I would at least "hook up the light in horn".

Reminds me of the craigs list ads I see frequently like; just needs air in the tires, or needs a $2 part to fix, easy fix, etc.
 

Balloonatic

I live for the CABE
May 26, 2011
1,038
2,245
Altadena, CA
#12
For that price, I'd want to see an original fender ornament, the correct triple-step rims with the correct, plain ND hubs, the seat recovered, some vintage whitewalls, the correct pencil stand, original grips (or at least original grip rings) and confirmation that all the rare bits (buttons, headlight lens, eyebrow trim, horn, etc) are original and not reproductions.

In its current configuration, my guess is it would struggle to sell for $9-11K if offered on ebay with no reserve and $9.99 opening bid.

Good luck to the seller though, if this bike sells for $18K, I'm over the moon about the possible value of my bike!
 

2jakes

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Sep 1, 2010
6,947
5,237
Elysium Fields
#15
For that price, I'd want to see an original fender ornament, the correct triple-step rims with the correct, plain ND hubs, the seat recovered, some vintage whitewalls, the correct pencil stand, original grips (or at least original grip rings) and confirmation that all the rare bits (buttons, headlight lens, eyebrow trim, horn, etc) are original and not reproductions.

In its current configuration, my guess is it would struggle to sell for $9-11K if offered on ebay with no reserve and $9.99 opening bid.

Good luck to the seller though, if this bike sells for $18K, I'm over the moon about the possible value of my bike!
I'm not sure that paint is 35 years old.
 
Likes: Balloonatic

Balloonatic

I live for the CABE
May 26, 2011
1,038
2,245
Altadena, CA
#16
If it were my bike to sell I'd rather start high and negotiate down rather than
have it sell in 5 min because I priced it too cheap. Much harder to go up in price.
We all want to get as much as possible for our stuff, At least I do!
Definitely! Agreed 100%... but if it were my bike;, before putting a cat-ass high price on it like that I'm sure to offer the best for that money as I possibly can.... I'd get some proper whitewalls on there, even if they're postwar Allstates, fix that seat, and get horn/lights working, and make sure as many parts are orig./correct as possible... get it as pristine as possible, then hold my head up high and ask the moon, nothing to apologize for. To get top money, you need top product. Just sayin'.
 
Likes: 2jakes

2jakes

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Sep 1, 2010
6,947
5,237
Elysium Fields
#17
To get top money, you need top product

This holds true in Baseball, Comics and other
hobbies.
The better condition the better results.
Here you have a valuable bicycle.
To offer such price in this condition
is not reasonsble.
Do as Balloonatic suggested.
 
Likes: Balloonatic

2jakes

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Sep 1, 2010
6,947
5,237
Elysium Fields
#19
Like the Aerocycle only so many were made and just a few exist which make them rare and valuable.
I prefer Sears "Zepellin" which made the bluebird.
 

Balloonatic

I live for the CABE
May 26, 2011
1,038
2,245
Altadena, CA
#20
I could never (and still can't) understand all the hype behind these "Bluebirds"..............................Pete in Fitchburg
There is no "hype" behind the Elgin Bluebird to understand... anymore than there is hype behind the popularity of the Porsche 356, or Ferrari 250 GTO, or any other desirable, valuable, vintage machine. When (some) people see the Elgin Bluebird, it elicits a visceral reaction... at least it does for me. It's so stunningly beautiful, so unusual, and so over the top in design, especially for the times in which it debuted, I simply wanted it the moment I first laid eyes on one. That same scenario has played out for countless collectors for years... that's not hype, my friend, that's instant devotion to a thing of beauty. This thing has ceased being an object of usefulness, and has become art.... art you can ride! Even if you don't appreciate the innovative, sultry art deco design of the Bluebird, it's chocked full of technical advances not seen on other bikes in 1935, or since. There are many reasons why the Bluebird is so coveted, sought after, and the #1 bike to get at the top of many collector's lists.... the least of which is hype. Not everyone understands or likes Picasso's paintings, but that's the nature of art, you don't have to understand it or like it - just don't be confounded why so many others do.

The hype I don't understand is why people want to look at, or are interested in a single thing Kim Kardashian, or her family does. Now THAT is hype... no substance, no artistry, just pure hype.
 
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