Restored and Road Ready- Just Completed My 1917-18 Ward's Deluxe Flyer Project- Before and After Photos

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The Carolina Rambler

Finally riding a big boys bike
Good evening everybody, hope you are doing well! I have been wanting to share with you a project I've been working to complete for the last 2 years, and a few days ago, I got it all done and road ready. This is a 1917-18 Montgomery Ward's Deluxe Flyer bicycle. I was turned on to this project here on the CABE, when it went up for sale in Michigan, and I ultimately bought it and restored it. A number of the parts used in the restoration, I obtained from fellow CABEr's, so thank you to everyone who had a part in this!

This model was one of the most deluxe and expensive bicycles available at the time, and with a catalog price of $34-$39, in today's money is equivalent to about $725. So it is definitely deluxe. The restoration took at least 150 hours to complete, probably more, over the course of 2 years. Many parts were missing, sections of the frame required re-tubing due to rust out, and in order to keep within budget, I used parts that all required substantial restoration, so it just took a stupid amount of time and work, but it was worth it. The bike retains its original frame, badge, toolbox tank, rear fender, seat post, handlebar stem, and some other parts. Any parts that were missing, I ensured were replaced with the correct parts, buy and large as were shown in the catalog, such as the luggage rack. Even all of the screws are old style, with square nuts. The wheels are genuine, 100+ year old maple wood tubular tire rims, straitened and reconditioned, with brand new tubular tires. I have installed a 1910s Corbin Coaster hub, and each wheel took me probably 25 hours to complete. The teeth on that hub were heavily worn and curved likes shark's teeth, so I had to grind those down by hand which was mind numbing. The seat required at least 15 hours to reupholster, but it retains its original cushion, and to rebuild and complete the toolbox tank was probably 30 from start to finish. This bike appears to have been sitting out in the woods for decades, so some of the nuts and bolt took no less than a month, working on and off, to remove without causing damage to stuff. I'm just glad its all over now and I now have a nice fun bike that I can ride around town on. I'll even be riding it to our local cruise in here this weekend. This bike is surprisingly fast, and not too heavy either, maybe only 30 or 40 pounds, so with its high gearing can achieve nearly 20 miles per hour on level ground. It even climbs hills surprisingly well, so I was pretty impressed, but boy you can tell it's 100 years old when you go down a hill and get up some speed, everything starts swaying and moving and you better hold on tight! Thank you very much for reading, and for any comments or questions you may have!

After Restoration
1629159347637.png


Here is the bike before restoration, once I got all of the missing parts for it cobbled together
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Before
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After
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Before
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After
1629159955029.png


Before

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After
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The bottom bracket is one of those parts I mentioned that took a month to remove
1629160496152.png

1918 Catalog Advertisement- (Pulled from a previous CABE Thread)
1629161227619.png


This bicycle is now the 3rd frame-off restoration I have completed. Below are the previous 2
1629161002278.png
 
Last edited:

Hukah

Finally riding a big boys bike
What a great resto.
That’s a cool looking bike and IMHO worth your efforts.
Good evening everybody, hope you are doing well! I have been wanting to share with you a project I've been working to complete for the last 2 years, and a few days ago, I got it all done and road ready. This is a 1917-18 Montgomery Ward's Deluxe Flyer bicycle. I was turned on to this project here on the CABE, when it went up for sale in Michigan, and I ultimately bought it and restored it. A number of the parts used in the restoration, I obtained from fellow CABEr's, so thank you to everyone who had a part in this!

This model was one of the most deluxe and expensive bicycles available at the time, and with a catalog price of $34-$39, in today's money is equivalent to about $725. So it is definitely deluxe. The restoration took at least 150 hours to complete, probably more, over the course of 2 years. Many parts were missing, sections of the frame required re-tubing due to rust out, and in order to keep within budget, I used parts that all required substantial restoration, so it just took a stupid amount of time and work, but it was worth it. The bike retains its original frame, badge, toolbox tank, rear fender, seat post, handlebar stem, and some other parts. Any parts that were missing, I ensured were replaced with the correct parts, buy and large as were shown in the catalog, such as the luggage rack. Even all of the screws are old style, with square nuts. The wheels are genuine, 100+ year old maple wood tubular tire rims, straitened and reconditioned, with brand new tubular tires. I have installed a 1910s Corbin Coaster hub, and each wheel took me probably 25 hours to complete. The teeth on that hub were heavily worn and curved likes shark's teeth, so I had to grind those down by hand which was mind numbing. The seat required at least 15 hours to reupholster, but it retains its original cushion, and to rebuild and complete the toolbox tank was probably 30 from start to finish. This bike appears to have been sitting out in the woods for decades, so some of the nuts and bolt took no less than a month, working on and off, to remove without causing damage to stuff. I'm just glad its all over now and I now have a nice fun bike that I can ride around town on. I'll even be riding it to our local cruise in here this weekend. This bike is surprisingly fast, and not too heavy either, maybe only 30 or 40 pounds, so with its high gearing can achieve nearly 20 miles per hour on level ground. It even climbs hills surprisingly well, so I was pretty impressed, but boy you can tell it's 100 years old when you go down a hill and get up some speed, everything starts swaying and moving and you better hold on tight! Thank you very much for reading, and for any comments or questions you may have!

After Restoration
View attachment 1463721

Here is the bike before restoration, once I got all of the missing parts for it cobbled together
View attachment 1463722

Before
View attachment 1463725

After
View attachment 1463727

Before
View attachment 1463728

After
View attachment 1463730

Before

View attachment 1463731

After
View attachment 1463732

View attachment 1463733

The bottom bracket is one of those parts I mentioned that took a month to remove
View attachment 1463734
1918 Catalog Advertisement- (Pulled from a previous CABE Thread)
View attachment 1463759

This bicycle is now the 3rd frame-off restoration I have completed. Below are the previous 2
View attachment 1463758
.
 

The Carolina Rambler

Finally riding a big boys bike
I am curious . Was that an actual color that was used in that time period ?
That's a good question. I took a few liberties with the paint on this bike, and combined attributes from images in the 1917 and 1918 catalogs, as well as some personal preferences. From what I could tell from traces of original paint on the frame, it was indeed an orange bike when it was new, and there have been have been a couple others of this model that have popped up over the years, where the owner reported some old orange paint. The shade of orange, appears to have been pretty close to this shade that I chose; it was a little hard to tell given fading and weathing. As for the secondary color, it was cream, and this can be seen in the 1918 catalog image. I've already got several bikes that had cream as a secondary color, and I saw some other teen era bikes that were orange, and had this garnet paint as the secondary color, and really liked the look of it, so that was ultimately the combination I used, with red pinstriping. As for the stencil shapes of the secondary color, I based those largely off of that which is shown in the 1917 catalog image, as well as the traces that could be seen still on the bike. It took a while to decide exactly how to do it up, and in such a way that still allowed for some personalization, without deviating too far from a period correct appearance. Thank You!
 
Last edited:

cyclingday

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Congrats on getting that one over the finish line.
Most guys would’ve given up on that seized bottom bracket.
I remember the fits you were going through on that one.
At that time, I would’ve never imagined that you’d end up, with the bicycle you have now.
I’m sure, if that bike could talk, it would say thanks, for the oil and paint.
It sure is fun to take that first ride on something that obviously looks like it hadn’t been ridden in decades.
Well done!
 
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