Was There Really A 1949 Model Phantom?


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GTs58

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Sep 2, 2012
8,451
5,990
Central Arizona
#1
Or is there a model year misconception due to the 1949 serial numbers associated to the bike? Was the Phantom actually released and sold in 1949? If so, when, and is there any Schwinn literature stating a release date for the Phantom?
Any hard facts on this would be appreciated!
 

GTs58

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Sep 2, 2012
8,451
5,990
Central Arizona
#4
Didn't they come out around Xmas of 49?
I think you are correct. No facts yet proving there were Phantoms produced for the 1949 model year.

It seems that everyone believes there were actually1949 model Phantoms due to the fact they had a late 4th quarter 1949 serial number. Schwinn's model year changeover usually started with bikes wearing November and later serial numbers, and in some cases slightly earlier than November. The 1950 Phantom apparently had an early release or debut in late 49 for Christmas sales and technically they were not a 1949 model. The earliest real Phantom serial number I've personally come across had a very late October stamping. If anyone has some info that would verify a legitimate 1949 model Phantom please share it.

A couple brand new models that had an early release, and I'm sure there were a few more.
1954 Jaguar ballooner
1957 Jaguar middleweight
 

WES PINCHOT

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Aug 16, 2006
2,656
1,175
CHICAGO AREA
#6
I think you are correct. No facts yet proving there were Phantoms produced for the 1949 model year.

It seems that everyone believes there were actually1949 model Phantoms due to the fact they had a late 4th quarter 1949 serial number. Schwinn's model year changeover usually started with bikes wearing November and later serial numbers, and in some cases slightly earlier than November. The 1950 Phantom apparently had an early release or debut in late 49 for Christmas sales and technically they were not a 1949 model. The earliest real Phantom serial number I've personally come across had a very late October stamping. If anyone has some info that would verify a legitimate 1949 model Phantom please share it.

A couple brand new models that had an early release, and I'm sure there were a few more.
1954 Jaguar ballooner
1957 Jaguar middleweight
AS A TEEN BACK IN THE DAY, I HEARD THAT THE 1949 MODELS CAME OUT IN THE FALL
OF THE YEAR. SO THE BLACK PHANTOM WOULD HAVE COME OUT BY DEC. OF '48 FOR
CHRISTMAS.

AND THE 1950 RED AND GREEN PHANTOMS LIKE WISE CAME OUT IN THE
FALL OF 1949, I HAD A RED PHANTOM SERIAL NUMBER DATED LATE '49, THAT
COULD HAVE COME OUT FOR CHRISTMAS.

I DON'T HAVE THE RED PHANTOM ANYMORE, BUT THE NEW OWNER A CABER
HAS IT AND CAN CONFIRM THE SERIAL NUMBER DATE. ANY ONE WITH AN
EARLY BLACK PHANTOM CAN YOU CHECK OUT THE SERIAL NUMBER.

ANOTHER INTERESTING FACT. THE FIRST PHANTOMS HAD A MESINGER
B-1 STYLE NOT THE DEEP SKIRTED PHANTOM SEAT WE ALL KNOW.
I HAVE SEEN IT IN SCHWINN ADS.

THE EARLY PHANTOMS DID NOT HAVE A DECAL 'BLACK PHANTOM' ON THE
CHAINGUARD. THE EARLY RED PHANTOM DID NOT HAVE THE 'PHANTOM'
DECAL EITHER.

AND THE PHANTOM STYLE REAR CARRIER TAIL/BREAK LIGHT WAS AVAILABLE
AS AN OPTION ON THE I948 B 607 AUTOCYCLE.
I HAVE SEEN AN EARLY AD FOR IT.
 
Last edited:

GTs58

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Sep 2, 2012
8,451
5,990
Central Arizona
#7
I have SN S300146. Probably November 2nd or 3rd 1949. No Phantom decal on the guard.
I can imagine a few reasons why the first batch or two didn't have a guard decal. Not every Schwinn during this time was named or had a name decal on the guard. The first production Corvette 5 speeds had proto decals so it seems the decaling decision on this new mid year model was a WTF do we do situation.
 

GTs58

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Sep 2, 2012
8,451
5,990
Central Arizona
#8
AS A TEEN BACK IN THE DAY, I HEARD THAT THE 1949 MODELS CAME OUT IN THE FALL
OF THE YEAR. SO THE BLACK PHANTOM WOULD HAVE COME OUT BY DEC. OF * ('48) FOR
CHRISTMAS.
.
I definitely would not call a new model being released in the fall of 1949 a 1949 model. That would be nuts in any type of product line. If it was released in June July then it could be considered a NEW 1949 model. Years ago all the American car manufactures had their new model year cars on the lots in Sept but they were not considered that years new models. The 57 middleweight Jaguar was also released early but nobody considers those as a 1956 model.

* Error on the year.
 

petritl

I live for the CABE
Aug 15, 2012
1,092
1,247
48
Washington, IL
#9
I definitely would not call a new model being released in the fall of 1949 a 1949 model. That would be nuts in any type of product line. If it was released in June July then it could be considered a NEW 1949 model. Years ago all the American car manufactures had their new model year cars on the lots in Sept but they were not considered that years new models. The 57 middleweight Jaguar was also released early but nobody considers those as a 1956 model.

* Error on the year.
Sounds similar to the 1964.5 Ford Mustang debate.
 

bulldog1935

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jan 21, 2013
3,503
4,653
downtown Bulverde, Texas
#10
FWIW, my old Raleigh frame s/n dated May '76, and purchased in the fall of '76, is outfitted and cataloged as a '77 model.
My International frame dated Aug '74, is definitely a '75 model.
 
Last edited:

WES PINCHOT

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Aug 16, 2006
2,656
1,175
CHICAGO AREA
#11
I definitely would not call a new model being released in the fall of 1949 a 1949 model. That would be nuts in any type of product line. If it was released in June July then it could be considered a NEW 1949 model. Years ago all the American car manufactures had their new model year cars on the lots in Sept but they were not considered that years new models. The 57 middleweight Jaguar was also released early but nobody considers those as a 1956 model.

* Error on the year.
NOT MY " * "!
HOW DID YOU INSERT " * " IN MY POST?
AS A TEEN BACK IN THE DAY, I HEARD THAT THE 1949 MODELS CAME OUT IN THE FALL
OF THE YEAR. SO THE '1949' BLACK PHANTOM WOULD HAVE COME OUT IN DEC. OF '48 FOR
CHRISTMAS.
 

Saving Tempest

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Feb 6, 2012
3,251
1,466
52
Earth (Middle)
#12
Sounds similar to the 1964.5 Ford Mustang debate.
It WAS a half year model, just like replacement season on TV.

PS I had a fellow high school rock bandmate who bought an actual '65. He got drunk and tore it in half across two large combines at the farm equipment dealer next to the high school. Survived by not being belted and lying down before impact.

It took getting kicked out of a law firm and an alcoholic girlfriend leaving him as well before anything changed.
 
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Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
Jul 14, 2009
15,798
16,064
Evans, GA
#13
Based on what I've been able to gather I'm inclined to think it may have been a late summer/early fall release. In Geoff's Heavy weight book it shows a partial hardware co. ad dated April 19, 1948 and is showing the Deluxe Autocycle as the top offering. Of course the 'comic book' catalog of 1949 does not depict the Phantom either. What makes me wonder though is the appearance of the 'Phantom' style rack with light on the '48 B6 which I believe was painted the main color of the bike. In 1949 this rack was offered again offered on the B6 (with white light) in addition to the non-rivet Phantom style seat. Lastly in the ad I posted of the '50 Phantom (which I believe really shows a '49 bike) it does not say anything about the Phantom being a 'new' model. You would think if it was introduced in '50 there would be a lot of hoopla over it? Ok nothing definitive but nuggets for thought. I would really like to see a '49 dealer sheet to see what was offered. V/r Shawn
 

GTs58

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Sep 2, 2012
8,451
5,990
Central Arizona
#15
11/10/1949 ------------------ F321358 ---------------- F326178
Cool, looks like your BB shell was the last one stamped that day.
 

Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
Jul 14, 2009
15,798
16,064
Evans, GA
#18
Just my opinion. That red 49 could be the most valuable Phantom on the planet. Unless there actually is a blue 55 boys somewhere in decent condition.
There is a blue boys bike but only about a condition 5. There is also a black bike still in the shipping box. V/r Shawn
 

GTs58

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Sep 2, 2012
8,451
5,990
Central Arizona
#20
Here is a May 23, and April 18,1949 Schwinn list for Salt Lake Hardware Co and absolutely no mention of a Phantom. Guess there were no actual 1949 Phantoms, just 1950 models with late 49 serial numbers. This is the only 1949 list I can find.

$(KGrHqJ,!rYFDrDUBGMOBRHpEKqiMw~~60_57.jpg

$(KGrHqF,!jUFDmsRSGWbBRHpEUN-ww~~60_57.jpg


$(KGrHqNHJF!FENhud5dgBRHpEc87ew~~60_57.jpg


$T2eC16V,!zQE9s3ssWGRBRHpEm1p6g~~60_57.jpg
 

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