When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.

The Old West (Late 1950s/Early 1960s AMF-built Western Flyer Sonic Flyer)

Most Recent BUY IT NOW Items Listed on eBay
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture

Bike from the Dead

Wore out three sets of tires already!
I didn't get much sleep at all last night, and as a result, I had almost zero energy for the whole day. Figures that I'd come down with a bad case of insomnia the night before I planned to throw this bike together. Thankfully, I did make a little progress this evening. I spent a few hours manually cleaning up the frame with some rubbing compound, and I was surprised by how much of a difference it made! My phone camera didn't do the best job capturing it, but a lot of the duller parts of the frame managed to shine right up!





As nice as the frame looks now, I think there's still a lot of potential left in the old paint. I was going to try and get this bike reassembled before this weekend, but having given it some thought, I think I'll slow down and take some extra time cleaning up the paint on this bike before I reassemble it. I'm thinking about getting a couple attachments for my drill that might allow me to shine up this bike even better than I can by hand. Better to do this part right once before reassembly than to do it over another time.

Bike from the Dead

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Question for the more experienced bicycle buffers: is there a more effective way to buff out the paint on this old bike than using rubbing compound and a bunch of old socks to cut through the oxidization? I thought about getting some drill-mounted mini buffing wheels and cones, but I'm not sure if I'll get any better results than what I already have, or if what I'm doing now, combined with the condition of the paint is as good as I can expect it to get. Also, I'm worried about rubbing away the paint, as I've seen in a few spots that the harder I hit it, the more the paint "faded." What are your thoughts on it?

Bike from the Dead

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Time to get out of the "Page 2 Slacker" status!

Okay, so not much has happened with this bike lately, but I did spend some time shining up some parts with rubbing compound and #0000 steel wool last Thursday and earlier today. (It just turned to 12am as I typed this. You know what time it is? It's tomorrow!)

I'm more or less done cleaning the front fender and chain guard, and I made good progress on the rear fender today as well. Something I decided to try was using a mix of rubbing compound and steel wool to gently scrape this red paint that spilled on these parts. I found that rubbing compound and a sock could both remove the rust and some spilled paint off the pinstripes on the front fender, so I decided to test and see if fine steel wool could work too. Turns out, it works great as long as you're careful! I didn't get all the spilled paint off the parts, but I'm pretty happy with how much better they look now.

Sorry I didn't take more/better photos. I was just focused on making progress after stalling for a bit.








Truth be told, I've been a tad slower on the bike stuff this time around mostly because I'm spending more time working on my art and learning how to share it on social media. I haven't had the best luck finding work, so I'm working on my own designs to hopefully sell them and start earning some money. Progress has been slow, but I'm figuring out how to better manage my time, set deadlines, use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to ink and color my sketches, share stuff on social media, and just plain draw more often. Maybe I'll even share some of what I'm working on here, if for no other reason than to keep me from falling back onto Page 2 again when I don't have any bike progress to report.

My art's not the only thing I've been working on in the background though. Ever since I put my Class 2 build on the backburner, I've been itching to build something custom out of the parts I have in stock. As nice as this Western Flyer will be once it's all back together, it doesn't satisfy that creative urge I have to make something that's my own design. I need a wild custom bike project to help balance out this conservative restoration project. As luck would have it, I have everything (or most everything) I need to build 2 custom Schwinns!

First is this 1952 Schwinn straight bar I got at the Haysville, KS bicycle swap meet earlier this year. Odds are this'll just be a quick and easy build, as I just plan to wire-brush it down to bare metal, give it a satin clear coat, and throw on most if not all the parts I had on my previous 1952 Schwinn straight bar I built last year. I'll probably do a few other things to differentiate it from the last one, but overall, it'll be a near-identical build on a new frame.


Next, for a trip on the wilder side, I'm building this 1958 Schwinn cantilever frame I got from another bike friend up in Missouri. The main reason I'm throwing this bike together is because I want to learn how to spray paint a bike. I've done spray clear coats before, but not an actual paintjob. I want to practice masking off designs with tape and paper or whatever to achieve some fun effects, and this bike is the perfect guilt-free canvas for me to experiment with. The one real caveat I have for this build is that I can only use parts that I already have in stock. I can't afford to buy more parts right now other than maybe the odd tube and tire, but I'm willing to allow myself to buy a few cans of spray paint for this project. I've already decided on the stance and most of the parts I want to use for this build, but there are still a few things I need to figure out, especially the paint scheme.

As much as I'd like to swap out my Class 2 BMX build for one of these Schwinns, I'm just going to stick them in their own threads outside the Build Off.

Well, that's all the progress to report for now! With any luck, I'll be done shining up parts for this Western Flyer by the end of the week, but we'll see!

Robert Troub

I live for the CABE
Finally making some more progress. I just got the new pedals for The Old West just earlier this week, and they look just right for the bike.
View attachment 1383497

View attachment 1383498

View attachment 1383499
Couple problems, though.
1. I want to remove the rust from the pedals, especially the threads, but I don't know how I can do that without affecting the red stripes, the plastic, or the bearings.
2. The bearings need to be serviced, especially on the right pedal. How would you go about cleaning up the bearings and reapplying grease to them? I don't know how to take these apart, or if it's even possible, so any advice on how to make these pedals functional again would be much appreciated.

I'm going to try and wash these pedals sometime this week, and figure out the next step for the wheels. My goal here is to try and get this bike riding again, if not completely finished, by April 21st, my Grandpa's birthday, since he's the one who gifted the bike to me.

Stay tuned! More to come!
Clean them on a wire wheel.....

Bike from the Dead

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Okay, this year has not gone at all like I expected. I thought I'd be knocking out bike projects left and right, only to instead switch gears completely and get back into working more seriously on my art, especially on the commercial side. Not a bad trade-off, but I still want to keep making progress on my bikes. Fortunately, I have some (belated) progress to report on The Old West, as well as an update on what else I've been working on these past few months.

Back on October 7th, I was back at the USA BMX Headquarters & Museum for the 2nd Annual Vintage Nationals to check out the scene, hang out with some friends, and cruise around on my favorite bike, Shoestring. While I was there, I met another guy, Dusty, who just so happened to have an AMF-built Western Flyer of his own! His was more on the wild, custom, BMX klunker-side of things than what I'm aiming for with my bike, but it was super cool none the less!






Well, Dusty and I got talking, and it turned out he didn't need the original rear wheel that came with his bike (which I needed,) and I had a couple of parts that I didn't need (that he needed.) So I traded a rear basket and an AMF-specific rear rack for a rear wheel. Dusty'll use the parts I gave him on his Western Flyer, and I'll use the wheel he gave me on my Western Flyer. (I didn't get a photo of the wheel I got from Dusty, unfortunately. I'll probably show it later.)


About a month later, I was in Dewey, OK for a swap meet. I didn't find anything at the swap meet I wanted to take home with me, but while I was in town, I picked up this AMF-built Pilot bike for $20 from someone off Facebook Marketplace.

This bike is a near-perfect parts donor for The Old West, as it has the correct wheels, handlebars, handlebar stem, bearings, bearing cups and other hardware I need to get Grandpa's bike back in action! I took it all apart a week ago so I'd have all the parts I need ready to go.

I'd like to get to work on this bike again soon, but it might have to wait until after the holidays, and after I finish another project I've been working on during this time... but that's a story for the next post.

Bike from the Dead

Wore out three sets of tires already!
For the past year, I'd been working on Shrunken_Head_Pedaler's award for his bike Hellion that he built for the 2022 Rat Rod Bikes Build Off on ratrodbikes.com.

Well, it took way longer to finish than I wanted, but I managed to get it done at last back in October. Shrunken_Head_Pedaler was super cool to work with during the whole thing, and I'm genuinely thankful for his patience and feedback throughout the whole process of illustrating his bike. It was a challenge illustrating Hellion properly, but I'm glad I did it. Drawing David's bike has got me charged to draw more bikes in the hopes of putting them on stickers, t-shirts, and anything else I could throw a bike design on!

In fact, whenever I wasn't working on David's art or any of my more commercial stuff, I was whipping up multiple concepts for custom bikes I'd like to build sometime out of all the donor frames I've accumulated over the years. These 2 pages are but a mere fraction of all the bike sketches I've drawn this year. I'm hoping that I'll get some time next year to really start knocking out some custom bike builds based on some of these sketches, but that all depends on how fast I can knock out this next project I've got in the works...


Bike from the Dead

Wore out three sets of tires already!
And now for the big project I've been working on since about August of this year. After getting back in the swing of working on my art again, I decided to try making something tangible with my art that I could sell. After discussing it with my family and friends, I decided the best starting point for selling my art would be to make a children's coloring book to sell at my dad's shop, Gasoline Alley Classics Inc. in Sapulpa, Oklahoma. Dad doesn't have a lot of stuff for kids in his shop right now, so we figured that with my cartoony style, I could make a series of coloring and activity books for kids who are travelling Route 66 with their families. I'll also make some sticker packs using the same designs in the coloring books, but that's for later.

First things first, I had to figure out what the subject of the coloring book would be. I like drawing classic and custom cars, so the theme for this first coloring book will be all '50s Rod and Custom cars. Once that was decided, I had to figure out the art direction for the coloring book. That's where these first 2 pages come in. Most of the designs on the left were about figuring out how "custom" the custom cars would be, as well as deciding how much detail I should or shouldn't pack into a coloring book for young kids. The designs on the right were all about exploring different art styles, though I ultimately stuck close to the style of the 7th Mercury lead sled on the left page. Still, I never toss out ideas, and I'll certainly come back to those other sketches at a later date. (Especially #15; I want that design on a T-shirt!)

Now onto the cars that will be in the final coloring book. One of the earliest cars I worked on was a '50s-era T-Bucket Ford. As you can see, I went through multiple designs before landing on #10, and even that one will need some refinement down the road. I'm used to adding a lot of detail to my illustrations, so it's kind of a challenge to take a "less is more" approach to my art, given that this art is supposed to be colored in with crayons and markers by 5-year-olds. Still, it's a fun creative problem to solve, and it's satisfying when I figure it out!

Some designs feel like they're right, until you come back to them at a later date. That's what happened with most of these designs for '32, and '33/'34 Ford hot rods. I liked them at first, until I looked at them again a few weeks later and realized I could do better, especially after drawing other cars.

Some cars are... admitted tougher for me to draw than others, for whatever reason. This '40 Ford Coupe proved particularly difficult to draw just right, so much so that as a way to vent, I drew the 7th '40 Ford the way I'd rather draw one, as a radically chopped, channeled, fenderless hot rod unlike anything else I've seen before. Obviously, it's not making the cut for this coloring book, but I like this sketch too much to do nothing with it later.

Sometimes all it takes is one more try before you get it right. I just changed the angle I drew the car, lifted it off the ground, and gave it a '39 Mercury grill, and it worked!

Another iconic lead sled: a 1951 "shoebox" Chevy fastback.

It wouldn't be a '50s Rod and Custom coloring book without some finned '50s classics! I wanted to draw 2 of my favorite finned '50s Mopars, the 1957/8 Plymouth and the 1957/8 Desoto. The Plymouth is kind of special to my neck of the woods, given the 1957 Plymouth Belvedere time capsule "Miss Belvedere" that was buried then unearthed here in Tulsa, Oklahoma. That said, the 1958 Plymouth Fury tends to be a slightly more popular version of the same car, (and in my opinion, a slightly better-looking one too) most likely due to a certain Stephen King book and film that featured the car. So to avoid making this Plymouth one version or the other, I drew it from the side and removed the side trim, that way it could be whichever year or trim level of the car the colorist wants.

I also made it a little less obvious if the Desoto was a 1957 or 1958, though the rear bumper is off a 1957 model based on the exhaust tips.

The next car I drew for the coloring book was a 1956 Oldsmobile, a popular choice for lead sleds back in the day. I made this one a 4-door, partly because I own a 4-door 1964 Mercury Comet, and because I found some period photos of 1955-1957 4-door Oldsmobiles built as custom lead sleds. Even back in the 1950s, there were folks out there who loved themselves a good 4-door!

Another personal favorite of mine: a 1949-1950 Shoebox Ford, chopped, channeled, and slammed to the ground. This one took a few tries to get the roof just right.

#19 was the final design for the custom '49-'51 Mercury lead sled that started this project.

Remember how I said it sometimes takes one more try before you get it right? Well that's how it panned out with this '33/'34 Ford coupe and '32 Ford roadster.


I wanted one more hot rod to help balance out the large amount of customs that'll feature in this coloring book. It's still 5/7, but it's close enough. I chose a '37 Chevy, as it had a cool body style, and it'd help balance out the amount of Fords in the coloring book. Admittedly, it was very tempting to draw this one as a slammed-down lead sled, but I stuck with it, as difficult as it was to draw this car this way.

And last but not least, one more Mopar to round out the customs. This time I picked a 1939 Dodge coupe, as I'd seen a few cool examples of these cars chopped and dropped. I may need to tweak this one further, as I removed the vents in the hood to simplify it, but I may need to add that back as it's part of the look of these cars.

Sometimes you got to try all the methods to find out which one works best for you. That's what happened with the next stage of my '50s Rod & Custom coloring book.

I tried cleaning up my line art using Photoshop and my Cintiq tablet, only to quit after 5 minutes when I realized I'd spend more time using the eraser tool than the brush tool. I then tried tracing over my sketches in Adobe Illustrator, which yielded quick results, but made my art look kind of bland and soulless. What I found worked best for me was to tape a piece of copy paper over my Cintiq tablet, and directly trace over the original sketch (or in this case, the earlier vector trace) with a fine line Crayola marker. Now the lines look crisp and clear, but they still look hand-drawn! I'll polish everything in Photoshop to really make this designs nice, but for now, this is a good start.


I also wanted to embolden some of the lines to make my designs pop a bit more, while leaving the detail lines thinner, sort of like how some of my favorite cartoon characters were drawn over 20 years ago. That worked well for the Plymouth shown below, but once I got to more detailed drawings like the Desoto and '32 Ford, it became trickier to figure out which lines to embolden, as well as just how many detail lines there needed to be. At this moment, I'm back at the start of the inking phase, trying to find a solid art direction that'll work for all 12 designs that I plan to put into this coloring book. Hopefully I'll figure out this next step after I spend some time experimenting on it this week.

So that's what I've been up to as of late. It's been a series of challenges between making this coloring book and learning how to use Instagram to help promote my work, but I'm determined to figure it out as I go, because I can't think of any other way I'd like to earn a living than by doing something I love.


I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Wow! You have been busy. I took multiple classes in junior high and high school drafting, but that looks like a lot more fun. Isometrics the vanishing point drawings are my favorite

Bike from the Dead

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Wow! You have been busy. I took multiple classes in junior high and high school drafting, but that looks like a lot more fun. Isometrics the vanishing point drawings are my favorite
Thanks! I've taken multiple classes on illustration, animation and graphic design, especially in high school and college, but drawing cartoons was always my passion. Isometric and vanishing point art is super cool! Personally, I take a lot of inspiration from '90s and early 2000s cartoons like Dexter's Laboratory, Invader Zim, Transformers Animated and many others, as well as artists like Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, Ian Roussel, Dr. Seuss, and even Dav Pilkey. Anything to do with cartoons, cars, and cartoons about cars has always been right up my alley!


Old fat tired rider
Love your drawings! Especially the preliminaries. Your sketches are finished pieces to me. Maybe not for a coloring book, but just to look at. Takes me back about 60 years to junior high.
Last edited: