To PART or NOT to PART... that is the question?! 1936-37 Silver King M1

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Balloonatic

I live for the CABE
May 26, 2011
1,157
Altadena, CA
I have here a nice, original, un-restored '36-37 Silver King M1 24" aluminum bike. I want to sell it, but I have a dilemma; should I part it out or sell it as a complete bike?

To max out, it makes more sense to part it out - the individual parts values conservatively add up to several hundred more than I think the bike as a whole will bring. But, if I part it out there is the time and expense of taking it apart and packing and shipping many individual parts. And it may be a while before all the parts sell. And on the moral side, I may draw the ire of purists who hate to see a nice original bike parted out.

SO, please feel free to comment; I'm asking y'all - if you owned this bike as it sits and wanted to sell it; would you part it out, or sell as a complete bike? And why?

There are some great parts on this bike that seem to be very desirable and high priced: the mens aluminum, slow bulge handlebars (straight with no cracks), those beautiful, original plating triple stepped 24" rims, (36 spoke) with the early, cast hi-low fins (Mars rings) front hub, and those matching Mansfield Champion white walls, in gorg original condition, the rack (which was recently added) and that straight chain guard... it even has the 24" butterfly stand, and the cast aluminum lit tail light with original lens. (Try finding even a repro of that lens is proving very difficult no less an original 30s lens intact condition.)

The only replaced parts on the bike are the grips, rack, and rubber mudguard, all else is original "as found" crust. Battery tube still has most of the original Delta decal, and nice Delta handlebar horn button. No cracks or frame damage either, and no real corrosion, the bike is a rider, although admittedly I have not ridden it. Fenders are also straight and could be improved easily. Headlight is missing a lens but is complete inside and likely works.

Thanks in advance for your participation in this poll of sorts... lemme know your thoughts? To part or not to part, that is the question... outrageous fortune or sea of troubles? (Shakespeare anyone?)

Balloonatic O-O


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Boris

Fat tired old rider
Feb 16, 2008
12,304
Portland, OR 97206
I see no moral issue, just a practical one: offer it intact, and use the time saved to work more deals :)

if no one steps up, the parting option will always be on the table.
I agree! In an ideal world, someone who is trying to piece one of these together might see this and say, "Why don't I just save myself the headache of trying to find all the parts I'm looking for, and just buy this one. I can always sell the one I'm working on". But then there's always the guy that's going to tell you that he's going to do just that, then turns around and parts it himself. Always a crap shoot on who's going to do what with your old bike once you've sold it.
 

Nickinator

Riding my '38 Deluxe Bluebird
Jul 21, 2011
5,662
Mpls, MN
For me I would sell it complete with my pride intact. Unless a major flaw in the frame was found that compromises the whole bike (such as a really bad weld, bend, crack or massive dent. I know from experience it's hard to part out something but you have to remind yourself how rare the bike really is.

If in the case you do part it out though. Sadly I would like a part off of it which I will pm you about.

Best of luck, Nick.
 

Andrew Gorman

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 15, 2008
2,889
Pasadena (Hastings Ranch), United States
Whole bikes are a hard sell. If you can't get rid of it locally intact, part it out. Rack, hornlight battery tube, tail light and kickstand are worth more than the whole bike together. For everyone who wants to pay top dollar for a complete machine, there are dozens who just need that one part. And you can sell what remains as a rat rod or "project". Sell off what you can and buy what you want to play with. Old bikes are livestock, not beloved pets. Unless you really like this particular one and want to curate it into eternity. Harsh, but I have a tiny apartment.
 

redline1968

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Oct 16, 2008
5,241
Seattle, United States
I have had that thought too...I think it depends on how bad you need the money.
 
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Balloonatic

I live for the CABE
May 26, 2011
1,157
Altadena, CA
@fordmike65, I'm gonna take a flyer here and assume you mean I should not part and sell it complete?

I agree with all the comments so far. I don't "need" the money and my time at this point in my life is more valuable to me all the time.

@Boris, you're quite right, there's no controlling what happens to the bike once it leaves my hands, and I'm not trying to here, it's fine with me whatever anyone wants to do with it once it's theirs.

@1motime, I LOVE "don't let the ghosts out"... love it.

@mrg, I won't be parting any of my cars anytime soon, but I will be selling my one owner, original paint, Nomad soon if you know anyone who wants only the most original, regal turquoise & India ivory barn find, survivor '55 Nomad in the country. ;o)

SO, if I go with the consensus here and sell the bike complete, as it sits, who here has an idea for what an appropriate asking/selling price is? Take a look at the photos and tell me what your asking price would be and or/your taking price if it were yours? What I have into it is irrelevant because I want to know a price it will actually sell for, I don't have any concerns about recouping my investment. Please tell me your opinions & thoughts... I'm asking?
 
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Balloonatic

I live for the CABE
May 26, 2011
1,157
Altadena, CA
Depends on what you have into it. If I had it and built it from parts I would probably part it to get my investment back. If I had it and payed a reasonable price for the complete bike I would pass it along for a reasonable price.
Precisely my new problem, what is a reasonable price in today's market?
 
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olderthandirt

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jun 15, 2012
491
pilot mt n.c.
i see both sides of the issue and am currently trying to finish up a couple of early bikes 1895/1899 and i know how hard parts are to come by . i would list it for sale as a complete bike price it a few hundred high ,<4 0r 5 ?> you can always come down and most people expect it also put <obo > see what offers you get , tell people in your add that if it dosen't sell you will part it out ! start taking offers on the parts when you are at or near your asking price <your real price > then take your best offer either as a whole bike of from people who have committed to buy parts .keep a list of people who have offered to purchase parts and the time and date of the offer . contact them a day or two before you consider parting do not price the parts ,take offers you might be surprised what folks will offer .
 
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vincev

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Nov 2, 2008
12,991
crown point<indiana
Its always a shame to part a nice survivor.If you are really hard up for money or just in the hobbyto make a few bucks then it will get parted.if you are a collector and not a flipper it will stay safe. I hope somebody wants it as a whole bike.
 
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John G04

I live for the CABE
Oct 17, 2016
1,547
57
Bethlehem, PA, United States
I think that bike is in the league of its so nice that most people who want a silverking or are currently piecing one together will drop there current project and buy this one. Super nice condition and i bet it rides good too! I think bikes that are in “meh” condition get parted because someone is already building a similar bike to be nicer than the one they are getting the parts off of. I say don’t part, its too nice.
 

49autocycledeluxe

I live for the CABE
May 29, 2017
1,310
59
fremont california
it doesn't really matter. you want to sell the bike. someone will part it out down the line, then the bikes built with those parts will get parted out, my two old bikes are built from someone else's parted out bikes and they will get parted out if I ever sell them.

it's the "cycle" of life.:)
 
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