Sears Spaceliner questions

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Suddenly it’s 1960!

Look Ma, No Hands!
Hi,I know that there were other versions of the first style of the Murray built Sears Spaceliner,such Murray’s Astro-Flite,Solar Flite,Western Flyers Cosmic Flyer,JC Penney’s Foremost etc. but I was wondering if the second version (66-68) the “Foward Thrust” tank style was a Sears only bike. I’ve never seen one marketed under another brand.

I was also wondering if anyone here has production numbers for the two deluxe chrome frame versions.
Is the “Forward Thrust” deluxe model considered the rarer of the two? I seem to see the early version much more frequently. I love them both and want to own both styles. Also was the sleek “jetsons” style oval chain guard seen on the “Forward Thrust” bikes ever used on late production first style chrome deluxe versions? I definetly feel that was the best looking chain guard of the two and much more modernistic than the more traditional looking earlier version. My last question would be regarding the saddles used on the two different models. I’ve seen the “Forward Thrust” models with the earlier style black Troxel saddle with the silver trim and crash rail,but have also seen several with a black “pleated” style seat. Are both correct or should they all have Troxel seats?

Thanks in advance for any light members may shed on this.
 
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BrentP

Finally riding a big boys bike
Both the Forward Thrust and straight tank Spaceliner designs were Sears specific. There are other variations of straight-tank bikes that are similar in style to the straight-tank Spaceliner, of course, but they all vary in different ways. The Forward Thrust style, however, was specifically designed by Victor Schrekendost for the Sears Spaceliner.

When you ask about "production numbers" are you referring to the model number (they are listed in the Spaceliner Reference 'sticky').

Nobody knows how many Spaceliners were produced over the years, but it's a reasonable assumption that the chrome straight-tank versions are more rare (in terms of production numbers, at least) than the Forward Thrust style because they were only made for two years while the Forward Thrust style was made for three. There may 'appear' to be fewer of the Forward Thrust style bikes around because the tank was plastic and could break, and when that happened people would simply remove the tank. That's probably why there are so many Spaceliners online that are completely missing their tanks. When you look at it from the perspective of 'survivors' versus 'production numbers', however, perhaps intact Forward Thrust models are more rare because so many of them have damaged and missing tanks. It's anyone's guess.

Regarding the saddles, the Forward Thrust models were never sold with the older style smooth Troxel saddle with silver trim. They were pleated (or dimpled in a few cases). If you see one with the silver trimmed saddle from the earlier straight-tank bikes, it's because it was swapped.
 
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schwinnbikebobb

I live for the CABE
I have a 66 Sportcrest model that I posted about recently but still can not find any info or even a pic of one. Where were these sold?

006.JPG


018.JPG
 

Suddenly it’s 1960!

Look Ma, No Hands!
Brent,thanks so much for shedding light on my Spaceliner questions. I love the “Space Bikes” and think the Sears version of the “straight tank” was better than the other makers versions. The tank,dashboard and headlight treatment were by far the best looking as well as the rear rack/ tail light design. Even the name “spaceliner” was the best. I admit Astro-Flite and the others were also cool and futuristic sounding too.

I assumed the “Forward Thrust” was a Sears exclusive but wasn’t sure. Thanks for clearing it up.
I was referring to the numbers produced as you correctly thought. That makes sense that there would appear to be straight tank models out there because the tanks broke and are missing from so many of the Forward Thrust models. I see them listed all the time without tanks. I wasn’t sure though if perhaps the early version sold better even though it was in production for a shorter time. I appreciate you clearing up the mystery of the seat too. Now I know that they did originally come with the pleated style plain black seat from the factory.

I would like to get one of each style of the men’s deluxe chrome models. It’s difficult to decide which model I like best because they are both stunning and beautiful in different ways. I like the boomerang shape of the Forward Thrust models,it’s very dynamic and futuristic,but I also love the sleek looks of the “straight tank” models and the headlight design.

Too bad Sears didn’t have the Forward Thrust tanks made of metal so more would have survived. I’m sure it was a cost saving measure. What material were they made of? Styrene? You’d think someone would be reproducing them these days.
 
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Suddenly it’s 1960!

Look Ma, No Hands!
I have a 66 Sportcrest model that I posted about recently but still can not find any info or even a pic of one. Where were these sold?

View attachment 1369497

View attachment 1369499
That’s a neat space bike. I’ve never heard of the “Sportcrest” name. It looks the same as a Murray Astro-Flite though.

Edit- I did some searching online and on another forum someone asked the same question and a member gave this reply-

“I had a Sportcrest 20 inch bike as a kid in the 60's. It was I believe mainly a department store brand. Mine came from Kaufmann's Department Store in the Pittsburgh area. Probably an average quialty bike from that era.”
 

Suddenly it’s 1960!

Look Ma, No Hands!
Another “space bike” question I had was did any Cosmic Flyers get a springer front end? I’ve never seen a photo of one with it so I’ve always wondered
 

schwinnbikebobb

I live for the CABE
Thank you for the info! Gives me a place to start. I also had never heard of Sportcrest. Since it appears to be a 66 and the awesome reference shows the Forward Thrust starting in 66 were these left over Murrays or did they continue to sell the straight tank bikes to non Sears stores after 65. Dunno.
 

Suddenly it’s 1960!

Look Ma, No Hands!
Thank you for the info! Gives me a place to start. I also had never heard of Sportcrest. Since it appears to be a 66 and the awesome reference shows the Forward Thrust starting in 66 were these left over Murrays or did they continue to sell the straight tank bikes to non Sears stores after 65. Dunno.

You’re welcome. Nice find! I don’t see any nice ones like locally. If you find anything more out I’d be interested to learn more about it too.
According to what Brent said the Forward Thrust tank style was a Sears exclusive and designed specifically for them. There wasn’t a murray,western flyer or other branded version of the Forward Thrust style.
 
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schwinnman67

Finally riding a big boys bike
Hi,I know that there were other versions of the first style of the Murray built Sears Spaceliner,such Murray’s Astro-Flite,Solar Flite,Western Flyers Cosmic Flyer,JC Penney’s Foremost etc. but I was wondering if the second version (66-68) the “Foward Thrust” tank style was a Sears only bike. I’ve never seen one marketed under another brand.

They were also made for BF Goodrich. Here is my BF Goodrich Challenger Vigilante

2020 09-13a BF Goodrich Challenger Vigilante.JPG
 
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