Schwinn King Sting and Sidewinder!???

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RustyHornet

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Is everyone here really drinking thier own cool aid? It is a well known fact that if you had the money you could have any schwinn done in any color way you wanted. Also even the dealer changes the regular Ashtabula blade forks for bmx styles on the cruisers late 70s. So there is no gospel in the absolute sense! It is the best kind of American company, like mopar, Ford or gm or yore if you have the cash you can have it you’re way.
I had a Schwinn road bike once that left the factory in a color that was not offered on it. It was custom built at the factory by the man whom it was for. It was his retirement gift from Schwinn and he put special components and requested it be painted a special color. It was verified by Schwinn
and several documents. It could and absolutely did happen!

Those saying otherwise are just closing their minds off to learning more than they already know…

I looked closer and did some more research on this bike in question (which I’m the only one on here besides the owner who has laid my own eyes and hands on it), the build date according to the badge states 9/24/81, Sidewinder didn’t show up in the catalog till ‘82 as we all know. How early was too early? Why do all the white ones have the factory seat tube decal and yellow safety sticker on the down tube, but not have a sidewinder decal? Why? Why does every white one look that way? Why are all the white ones, that I’ve seen and been able to read the badge number on, built in August or September of ‘81?

I’m here to learn. I’m here to try and disprove this anomaly. I have an ‘83 frame dated (head badge is gone so don’t know build date) Sidewinder. Crank is dated ‘81. It’s Chestnut Brown as the catalog states was the brown color available for ‘83, but it has ‘82 decals on it according to the catalog, Sierra brown being the stated brown color for ‘82.
 

RustyHornet

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Oh and my road bike with the custom color wasn’t a high end bike………..

“Believe what you want……………”
 

Xlobsterman

I live for the CABE
I had a Schwinn road bike once that left the factory in a color that was not offered on it. It was custom built at the factory by the man whom it was for. It was his retirement gift from Schwinn and he put special components and requested it be painted a special color. It was verified by Schwinn
and several documents. It could and absolutely did happen!

I am sure a few bikes were custom built at the factory by the employees, for themselves! I would have done the same thing if I worked there!

I built lots of custom bikes during the years I worked at the Schwinn dealer, and we were one of the premier shops in my area for custom bikes, specifically the Spitfires and Cruisers!
 

Xlobsterman

I live for the CABE
Ahh there in lies the rub. It goes back to a thread about the "truth" and my statement that the "truth" is what an individual believes.

1485741
 

RustyHornet

Wore out three sets of tires already!
So, getting back to what this thread is about which is learning about these early Sidewinder’s. We have now enough evidence to dig deeper in this. We know of 2 early white sidewinders that we can see the build dates on and they are built a month apart from each other in August and September of 1981. I do not know when the catalog was officially released for 1982.

I have not found anyone to verify the claim of the silver paint turning white, yet. I do find it odd for that to be the case though. Like @birdzgarage I also have experience in the restoration world, I was born in a body shop and for the last 12 years I have been professionally restoring and preserving classic cars. I do have one factory white Schwinn frame, it is a 1961 however, that is every bit if not worse than the white frame in question here. I too was thrown off by the patina on this one in question originally, to me Schwinn paint doesn’t crack like this one has, but damn if my heavy patina white frame doesn’t show the same appearance

Let’s look at what we do know, for those who are interested in learning about this time in Schwinn’s history… We have two bikes that appear to have left the factory in white, I reference these two because we have one in hand and the other we have good online pictures of and can read the date. Both have their special blue Schwinn seat tube decal and the yellow downtube safety decal. However, both do not have any indication of ever having a “sidewinder” decal or any marking relating to the name “sidewinder”.

At the time based on what I can find Schwinn did not offer another frame that was built or configured like these. So, if these bikes were white, what were they? Having been in the car business since birth, I know it’s common for manufactures to release new models during the previous model year, but how soon is too soon? August is early, but 3rd week in September is getting closer.

Why would anyone purchase a new bike, completely disassemble it, that’s the only way you are gonna get white overspray in the frame, then put it back together and then walk back into the Schwinn dealer to purchase a set of factory decals and stickers, of which one is a safety sticker? Seems odd to me, hence why we are trying to learn rather than just speculate based on what the catalog says.

So the idea was brought up about the “disappearing pigment act of 1981”, a possible special dealer order or a prototype. So where do we go from here? We reach out to those who might know more than us, not those working in a dealer at the time, higher than that.

I reached out to Richard Schwinn, co-owner of Waterford Cycle now. To ask him his thoughts and see what could have gone on back in those days. Here is what he said:


Thanks for your email. I don't have any particular insight as to the styling deviation. In 1981, all sorts of crazy things were going on at Schwinn, but I was working outside of the Schwinn world. It could have been a special run for one of the regional distributors or some kind of prototype. Schwinn had a serious inventory problem, so it doesn't surprise me that they used a crank for this model, with was an early low-end mountain bike.

Sorry I can't be more help,

Richard”

I then asked him if it was possible or common for dealers to order special colors.

“Dealers wouldn't be able to get a special color, but a regional distributor might. Richard”

I am going to continue to research this because I am interested and want to learn, I hope soon I’ll be able to lay my eyes and hands on this frame in question to examine it closer. I hope all of you are interested in learning more about these potentially white sidewinders.
 
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RustyHornet

Wore out three sets of tires already!
And so far the only truth that has been presented as it relates to this topic was by myself in the form of documentation direct from Schwinn! And for some reason, some people can't handle that truth?
You are correct, we shall completely disregard the truth that the frame and build dates tell us. Absolutely disregard that and go solely on what you and the catalog say, because you were the only one to witness each of these built and were there in the engineering and design rooms. Thank you, your highness!
 

birdzgarage

cruisin my 80s bmx bikes
Look carefully at the pic with the yellow decal.that is a smudge in the paint from installing the decal wet.schwinn baked the paint in an oven.and if you really look good on a big screen,you can see silver paint under the white.white was put directly over the brown primer.the silver second coat was only used on the candy type colors.its a repainted silver bike that didnt have all its pant sanded.im not arguing that there isnt the possibility of a employee done white frame, but the one in question is for sure not factory applied white paint.too many indicators of repaint.i personally own a white 80 cruiser frame for comparison.the white when chipped directly reveals brown primer.the automotive type white paint that schwinn then doesnt deteriorate in that way.too flaky and showing way too much rust thru for a factory applied paint job in the early 80s.ivehad ab have some pretty weathered schwinn frames and they just dont age like that in this amount of time.if you compare it directly to a factory paint bike side by side, im sure most of you will see what im seeing.much respect to everyone in the thread.not trying to be a dick.just giving my contribution to the thread.no loss or gain for me here.
 
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