Ok, we’ve been collecting long enough to know that prewar bikes aren’t found in Nevada, at least not in any real numbers. There just weren’t enough people here. In 1940 Nevada’s total population was roughly that of one of Chicago’s suburbs. You can’t have bikes without bicycle owners, so vintage finds here have been understandably few and far between.
So when our friend Jake showed up with this gem in the back of his truck our collective jaws dropped. Old bikes are hard to find, and finding a true prewar beauty like this Schwinn Motorbike is something just short of unbelievable. These deluxe Schwinns came with everything; New Departure front braking hubs, key-locking spring forks, crossbar handlebars, built-in fender lights, motorbike tanks with battery compartments and horns…
Amazingly, the bicycle was found in an old hunting cabin near Stillwater, NV. If native Nevada bikes are rare, finding a great old Schwinn in Stillwater is like finding a needle in a hayfield.
The bicycle, originally sold under the name Mead, is remarkably intact. Alkali dust and any moisture Stillwater received over the past 74 years has obviously taken a toll, but the desert has also been relatively kind to the bicycle. The metal is still very much solid and savable, and the fact that the bike was stored in such a remote location no-doubt contributed to it not ever being molested.
Jake is currently debating what to do with his new find, but its rarity has been duly impressed upon him. A score like that just doesn’t happen; not around here.