WINGBAR - Silver King vs. Wards Duralium Silver Streak?


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Balloonatic

I live for the CABE
May 26, 2011
1,063
2,344
Altadena, CA
#1
I recently acquired a 1937 (or maybe '38?) M-137 "Wingbar" Silver King, it's my first prewar Monark. I do own two postwar Hextubes, but aside from my Gumby Green, '50s Firestone Super Cruiser (sold a few years ago), I don't have any experience with Monarks, especially the prewar bikes like the Wingbar, 26X, Flocycle, etc.

The bike on its way to me is badged "Wards Hawthorne" which has prompted me to look into the difference between Monark Silver King wingbars, and Wards Duralium Silver Streak bikes? I can see from the ads that the Wards bike doesn't have a rack?

Does anyone know any other details that differentiate the two bikes besides head badge and rack (or no rack)?

I'll admit, I'm a bit confused as to why Monark would "private label" that bike to Wards, it was a very unique and identifiable bike design, one would think they would want to sell their brand, is anyone here privy to info. on how/why Wards was able to offer this bike under their own badge?

Please forgive me if this topic has been covered before... links are welcome.

Thanks!

Silver King Wig Bar.jpg


Wards Wing Bar.jpg
 

bike

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Feb 26, 2007
5,677
2,693
Bicycleland
#4
I have had silverking wingbars with 3 different stems- also look at the drawing of the SK centerstand- not!
 

Balloonatic

I live for the CABE
May 26, 2011
1,063
2,344
Altadena, CA
#5
From what I can tell the Wards bike was slightly stripped-down, or the down market model; it came stock with no rack and standard looking gooseneck (it might be a "putter" type, I can't tell from the image), and a horn button mounted on the bars next to it, this probably reduced the price by a few dollars.

In the Wards catalog on the next page it shows the gooseneck-speedo as an upgrade as well as the chain guard with the holes in it - they are listed under "dress up your bike". Rack is also an option whereas it looks like the Silver King model came stock with the rack, and maybe came with the "winged" gooseneck standard. Blown up, the ad looks like the Silver King model has little horizontal wings on the neck... either way it looks like the gooseneck-speedo was an upgrade sold separately. I'm looking for an ad for the 1938 Silver King M137, I'm wondering if it shows the gooseneck-speedo as standard equipment?
 
Last edited:

Glenn Rhein

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jan 24, 2016
843
1,663
63
New york
#7
Can’t go by the pictures in book.
One picture says new electric tail light and it shows a picture of a reflector.
 
Likes: Balloonatic

Balloonatic

I live for the CABE
May 26, 2011
1,063
2,344
Altadena, CA
#11
Thanks for the catalog pages Marty! Looks like the only difference between 37 and 38 is the stem. I have not seen the speedo stem in any ads or catalog pages, yet I see it on many M137s and Silver Streaks?

@cyclingday, got any ads or catalog entries showing that speedo stem? I've seen a hex version on the Flocycle with the hex handlebars, and round version with round bar bikes... were they just an option a lot of people went with, or what?
 
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cyclingday

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Feb 24, 2008
6,489
21,334
Costa Mesa, California. United States
#12
No sign of the speedometer console stem in either of the 37 or 38 Montgomery Wards catalogs.
image.jpeg


image.jpeg

The most notable difference between the accessory pages, is the 1938 introduction of the New Departure DD two speed coaster brake hub and the model WD front brake hub.
image.jpeg


image.jpeg
 

Balloonatic

I live for the CABE
May 26, 2011
1,063
2,344
Altadena, CA
#13
Thanks for posting Marty! Have you seen any Silver King or Silver Streak ad, maybe for the Flocycle or other high-end, prewar Monark, with that speedo neck? I know I've seen it in an ad somewhere, but just can't remember where? It certainly doesn't appear as even an accessory in the catalog? If you have any advertising for that neck, on or off a bike at all, even dealer catalog, please post?
 

cyclingday

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Feb 24, 2008
6,489
21,334
Costa Mesa, California. United States
#14
This 1936 advertisment shows the Flocycle with the speedometer console stem.
image.jpeg

No sign of that stem in this advertisment from 1937.
image.jpeg
 
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bike

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Feb 26, 2007
5,677
2,693
Bicycleland
#15
I have never seen paper on a wingbar with speedo goose (flocycle yes) but I have never seen paper on hex truss rods either...
 
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cyclingday

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Feb 24, 2008
6,489
21,334
Costa Mesa, California. United States
#16
It's hard to tell from the illustration, but the 37/38 Fall/Winter catalog shows the Wingbar/Silver Streak with hexagonal truss rods.
image.jpeg

This parts list also mentions them.
 
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bike

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Feb 26, 2007
5,677
2,693
Bicycleland
#17
Very Interesting! I overlooked that above-Surprised it does not have the hex bars!
Hex bars are mentioned in the M137 ad- not to be seen together? Thanks

(I have seen a flocycle with hex speedo stem/bars AND hex truss rods that I believe to be OG but who knows.)
 
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Balloonatic

I live for the CABE
May 26, 2011
1,063
2,344
Altadena, CA
#19
Very interesting indeed! So, it appears the SK M137 or Wards Silver Streak wingbar were never offered with the speedo neck, nor was it even an accessory in the catalog. It does seem to have come as standard equipment on the Flocycle, however.

I can only imagine the reason I see that speedo neck on wingbars is owners put them on to dress up the bikes? But maybe dealers up-sold them to customers too? Similar to why I see so many Wald tomahawk stems on Shelby Airflo bikes... as far as I can tell, they were never standard equipment on that bike, but collectors love to put them on way more than other bikes, to the point where many believe they were standard, factory equipment. Is that a relatively recent trend, or were dealers back in the day offering as an upgrade?

Thanks for all your input folks, it looks like the factory issue stem for the M137 is the winged, art deco stem, and for the Wards Silver Streak is the two-piece "putter" type.

It's clear, (like with cars) buyers of bicycles often made special orders, or changed out parts & accessories to customize their bikes from new. To me, it doesn't make them wrong, or incorrect it only illustrates that catalogs and ads only suggest how bikes were offered in standard configuration.

It's a bit of a conundrum figuring out how I want my Silver Streak set up... as the ads/catalog show? Or as it came to me, or some combination.. either way, it's fun to get input from you fine, knowledgeable CABErs, I appreciate it!
 

cyclingday

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Feb 24, 2008
6,489
21,334
Costa Mesa, California. United States
#20
I can commiserate your conundrum, Justin.
When I got my 36 Hawthorne, Duralium Airflow, i.e. "Flocycle."
I wanted to install the speedometer console stem, but after much consideration, I came to appreciate the bike as it was originally equipped.
I think, that's what separates the fortunate owners of the Monark flagship bikes from the lowly Mongomery Wards bought bikes. Lol!
Besides, I would've had to drill a couple of holes in the truss rod to install the totally cool internal speedometer cable routing.
I typically don't like drilling holes where they were not originally.
So in the end, I came to appreciate the Wards Hawthorne offerings from Monark, Silver King, Inc.
Cool bikes no matter which version you are fortunate enough to have.
image.jpeg
 

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