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Popular Vintage Bicycle Brands
There are many different types of bicycles that have been made throughout the bicycles large span across history but some tried and true brands have stood the test of time and become favorite vintage collectables over the years.
One of the most popular vintage brands is the Schwinn and as a result it’s one of the most commonly sought after types of bicycle. Schwinn’s have a high level of quality that’s unsurpassed by other bicycle makers of the same time. Classics such as the Schwinn Phantom were every boys dream back in the 1950's. Schwinn's real impact as an American icon began with the introduction of their balloon-tire equipped Aerocycle in 1933. The Aerocycle, along with the later Auto Cycle and Motorbike are some of the most sought after Schwinns today. Schwinn continued their legacy when they introduced the Schwinn Jaguar and Corvette middle-weight bicycles, and later the Sting Ray and Krate bicycles that were styled after the muscle cars of the day. Because of their easy ability to repair and be found Schwinns are popular choices for amateur bicycle restorers to begin working on.
Huffman is another popular brand and the Huffman Manufacturing Company began making bicycles in 1934 and continues to this day. The most sought after collectible examples were made in the mid to late 1930's. Many people confuse the Huffman brand name "Dayton" as the manufacturer. "Dayton" never made any bikes, but Huffman did make Daytons, among many other brands and many of these were sold under other retailers or as exclusives for certain companies. Like many makers, their bicycles were branded for sale in numerous department and hardware stores. Names such as La France, National, Air Flyte, and Zephyr were used. In 1953 the "Huffy" brand name was created.
The Shelby Cycle Company is known for having produced some of the most desirable collector bicycles. In 1928 they manufactured and sold the "Lindy Flyer", a bicycle with a Charles Lindbergh theme. In the late 1930's they made the Shelby Speedline Airflo, a radically styled bike that is very sought after today. In the 1950's Shelby was responsible for the Donald Duck bicycles, which were painted yellow and blue with a duck head on the front of the frame and were considered to be similar to Colson bicycles which sometimes feature cartoon characters for the bicycles designed for children. . Shelby, like other manufacturers of the time made bicycles for other retailers such as Montgomery Ward, Spiegel, Gambles stores, Firestone and Goodyear.
These are just a few of the more popular vintage bicycle brands though there were many others and some manufacturers that sold their bicycles under more than one name or through certain retailers. Many of the different types of bicycles that were made have been lost to the ages or are difficult to find so if you do come across one of the more rarer models that hasn’t been described above consider yourself lucky and do the necessary research so you know exactly what it is you’ve found.