Trying to identify my childhood Flightliner


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Levine

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Dec 8, 2017
17
1
64
Marina Del Rey
#1
I'm new to these boards and the vintage bike world. Like some of the other old guys around here I'm trying to identify a childhood bike.

I'm pretty sure it's a '61 or 2. My main question is about the front end. I've found three slightly different styles of springer from that era. It's very difficult to tell from the photo, but I'm 99.9% sure that the front end on that bike is like the one in the second photo. Does anyone know what that front end is called?

If anyone knows of a bike like the one in the pic, painted or chrome, I'd love to have a shot at it, but even finding that front end on its own would be helpful.

Thank you - this is an AMAZING site!
 

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AndyA

Look Ma, No Hands!
Nov 24, 2017
41
58
70
bergen county
#2
According to the catalog reprint, what you had there was a 1960 Deluxe Flightliner. The bike was "Fully Equipped .. Torsion spring-action fork gives you smoothest ride ever!" My 12-year old self rode the cheaper model, the "Equipped Flightliner." I managed to find one of those, as shown in the attached pic.
jchiggins 2.jpg
 
Likes: Adamtinkerer

Levine

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Dec 8, 2017
17
1
64
Marina Del Rey
#3
Wow - thanks. One thing... mine had the light switch and horn button. Did the Deluxe have the horn switch that year and the Fully Equipped didn't? I could swear I got that bike in '61 or 2.
 

AndyA

Look Ma, No Hands!
Nov 24, 2017
41
58
70
bergen county
#4
J.C. Higgins 1960 models (according to catalog reprint):
  • Standard Model - Flo-bar Design (no tank, no rear rack) $36.88
  • Equipped Model - Conventional frame (older style tank and rear rack, headlight on front fender) $42.95
  • Equipped Flightliner - Flo-bar Design (twin headlight in tank, streamlined rear rack with louvers*) $48.45
  • Deluxe Flightliner - Fully Equipped (same as previous plus electric horn in tank, chrome fenders, twin tail lights, reflector pedals, crash rail on saddle, and torsion spring-action fork) $58.45 with coaster brake, $66.95 with Bendix 2-speed hub
I conclude that my dad didn't have the extra $10 to upgrade to the Deluxe Flightliner. Well, as I recall, I didn't keep up with changing the batteries for the headlight, so the batteries for the tail lights and horn wouldn't have gotten changed either. Imagine the weight of all those D batteries.

The 1961 deluxe Flightliner had the same springer fork as 1960, but the frame was chrome-plated instead of painted. Looks like the small photo you attached is one of those. The 1962 Deluxe Flightliner also had a chrome frame but only had truss bars in lieu of the springer.

I wanted to attach the catalog pages, but I can't get my Mac to link to my printer to scan those just now.

Smooth riding, Andy

* The louvers can come in handy when your coaster brake is running hot.
 
Likes: Oilit

Levine

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Dec 8, 2017
17
1
64
Marina Del Rey
#5
J.C. Higgins 1960 models (according to catalog reprint):
  • Standard Model - Flo-bar Design (no tank, no rear rack) $36.88
  • Equipped Model - Conventional frame (older style tank and rear rack, headlight on front fender) $42.95
  • Equipped Flightliner - Flo-bar Design (twin headlight in tank, streamlined rear rack with louvers*) $48.45
  • Deluxe Flightliner - Fully Equipped (same as previous plus electric horn in tank, chrome fenders, twin tail lights, reflector pedals, crash rail on saddle, and torsion spring-action fork) $58.45 with coaster brake, $66.95 with Bendix 2-speed hub
I conclude that my dad didn't have the extra $10 to upgrade to the Deluxe Flightliner. Well, as I recall, I didn't keep up with changing the batteries for the headlight, so the batteries for the tail lights and horn wouldn't have gotten changed either. Imagine the weight of all those D batteries.

The 1961 deluxe Flightliner had the same springer fork as 1960, but the frame was chrome-plated instead of painted. Looks like the small photo you attached is one of those. The 1962 Deluxe Flightliner also had a chrome frame but only had truss bars in lieu of the springer.

I wanted to attach the catalog pages, but I can't get my Mac to link to my printer to scan those just now.

Smooth riding, Andy

* The louvers can come in handy when your coaster brake is running hot.
 

Levine

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Dec 8, 2017
17
1
64
Marina Del Rey
#7
Thanks so much for the help getting my bearings in the vintage bike world.
These are a Spaceliner and two Flightliner front ends. I wouldn't mind knowing which year was which, but even better would be if anyone knows if they all have a different name or designation. The ones on the left and in the center seem to be identical except for the extra rack/bar thing on the center one - thanks!

upload_2017-12-22_8-52-12.png
 

Kramai88

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 24, 2016
318
981
62
Minooka IL
#8
49cd4c301a0962bed15776a660690b50.jpg
I could get you close but not quite there


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

AndyA

Look Ma, No Hands!
Nov 24, 2017
41
58
70
bergen county
#9
OK, back to the catalog. Levine's three photos left to right are 1) 1964 or 1965 girls' Deluxe Spaceliner. Turquoise color indicates girls' model. Tank style indicates 1964 or 1965. 2) 1961 boys' Deluxe Flightliner. Identifiers are chrome frame, red tank, and springer fork. However, catalog does nor show the truss bars. This may be an inaccuracy in the catalog or a fork that has been changed out. 3) 1962 boys' Deluxe Flightliner. Identifiers are chrome frame, red tank, and truss bars (no springer).

Kramai's photo of entire bike shows a 1961 or 1962 Regular Flightliner. Identifier is chrome fenders. I can't see the rear very well but, 1961 had a reflector on the rear fender and 1962 had two reflectors on the rear of the luggage rack. Note that the saddle is not original.

For the straight poop on Spaceliners, see the sticky thread at the top of this forum.
 
Likes: Levine

Levine

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Dec 8, 2017
17
1
64
Marina Del Rey
#10
I'm thinking about putting a rat trap on a flightliner frame. This is probably a dumb question, but... are all the configurations of front forks/springers interchangeable on any Space/Flightliner frame, boys and/or girls? Trying to figure out if I can
OK, back to the catalog. Levine's three photos left to right are 1) 1964 or 1965 girls' Deluxe Spaceliner. Turquoise color indicates girls' model. Tank style indicates 1964 or 1965. 2) 1961 boys' Deluxe Flightliner. Identifiers are chrome frame, red tank, and springer fork. However, catalog does nor show the truss bars. This may be an inaccuracy in the catalog or a fork that has been changed out. 3) 1962 boys' Deluxe Flightliner. Identifiers are chrome frame, red tank, and truss bars (no springer).

Kramai's photo of entire bike shows a 1961 or 1962 Regular Flightliner. Identifier is chrome fenders. I can't see the rear very well but, 1961 had a reflector on the rear fender and 1962 had two reflectors on the rear of the luggage rack. Note that the saddle is not original.

For the straight poop on Spaceliners, see the sticky thread at the top of this forum.
OK, back to the catalog. Levine's three photos left to right are 1) 1964 or 1965 girls' Deluxe Spaceliner. Turquoise color indicates girls' model. Tank style indicates 1964 or 1965. 2) 1961 boys' Deluxe Flightliner. Identifiers are chrome frame, red tank, and springer fork. However, catalog does nor show the truss bars. This may be an inaccuracy in the catalog or a fork that has been changed out. 3) 1962 boys' Deluxe Flightliner. Identifiers are chrome frame, red tank, and truss bars (no springer).

Kramai's photo of entire bike shows a 1961 or 1962 Regular Flightliner. Identifier is chrome fenders. I can't see the rear very well but, 1961 had a reflector on the rear fender and 1962 had two reflectors on the rear of the luggage rack. Note that the saddle is not original.

For the straight poop on Spaceliners, see the sticky thread at the top of this forum.
 

The K-CODE Kid

Look Ma, No Hands!
Dec 29, 2016
26
50
56
Bellevue, WA
#11
I'm thinking about putting a rat trap on a flightliner frame. This is probably a dumb question, but... are all the configurations of front forks/springers interchangeable on any Space/Flightliner frame, boys and/or girls? Trying to figure out if I can
This should help. Girls is a 1964 Spaceliner and Boys is a 1961 Flighliner. I have other pics if you need/want them.
61and64.jpg
 
Likes: Adamtinkerer

Junkhunter

Finally riding a big boys bike
Apr 5, 2015
393
317
New Haven, CT
#12
Those are some nice bikes. I've been looking for the right ladies Spaceliner for a while to go with my mens. I wouldn't mind seeing a pic of the Ford in the garage either.
 
Likes: bikemonkey

Adamtinkerer

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Sep 8, 2008
3,401
453
Western North carolina
#13
I'm thinking about putting a rat trap on a flightliner frame. This is probably a dumb question, but... are all the configurations of front forks/springers interchangeable on any Space/Flightliner frame, boys and/or girls? Trying to figure out if I can
Yes, they're the same, aside from the teal or red accents, which are just sprayed on.
 
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