Thursday, September 20, 2018

1968 Schwinn Bicycle Catalog - Part 3

Today I am presenting the third and final post featuring Steve Stuart's scans of a 1968 Schwinn bicycle catalog. This installment features a few of the most impressive photos of lucky kids who got to ride bikes through an empty Disneyland! Text is courtesy of Steve:

Just what do you suppose Goofy and that fine young man are discussing-?  Maybe there’s some sort of wheeler-dealing involving a Tuna Burger and a bike ride through Skull Rock…

There’s something ghoulishly-wonderful about seeing Monstro just ‘lying in wait’ as those darling little girls are pedaling-by him – all within “striking distance”.  Evidently Schwinn feels Monstro is merely a playful soul of sorts, and is merely a lovely spokeswhale for a “… a whale of a lot of fun”.  I’m also assuming the little girl in the red outfit holding on to that cluster of blue balloons, is not merely ‘hitching a ride’ on the rear fender of that Hollywood Coaster Bike but, is actually uncomfortably seated along Storybook Land’s rocky edge.

Do you suppose a wave of a magic wand inside Merlin’s Magic Shop was responsible for creating all these “juvenile bikes for boys and girls 5 to 7 years old”-?

It's me (your friendly neighborhood Major) again; Schwinn truly did make bikes for everyone. Check out those names. The "Bantam", the "Pixie", the "Candy", the "Buddy"! So awesome. And the Schwinn "Heavy Duty" or "Cycle Truck" - I would have been very jealous of whoever needed one of those.

I seem to rememeber going through similar catalogs (possibly a Sears "Wishbook") and dreaming that I had a reason to buy every accessory, even though I owned only one bicycle. Maybe I could change out my Sting Ray saddle every week to spice up my life! And look at those ka-razy handle bars. I need them. Not so sure about the vinyl windshield though, or the basket - definitely for girls!

Were Schwinn bicycles ever considered to be the kind that serious racers might ride? In any case, you could still look cool with your racing gloves and hat, training jersey, tights (everyone looks cool in tights, am I right?), and so on. I would definitely need a speedometer so that I could keep track of the records that I broke each day.

Steve again: As you can see on Page 31, be warned no matter how tempting biking-around the Happiest Place on Earth might be, it simply won’t be happening.  For punishment, you’ll be forced into “Year-Around Cycling In Your Own Home!” on a Schwinn Exerciser.  My – how home exercise equipment has changed in the ensuing years.

MANY thanks to Steve Stuart ("Nanook") for sharing this great Schwinn catalog with us!


Budblade said...

How unfortunate that we can’t see how happy the exercising couple is in that last photo due to the address sticker.

I think I really need a Schwinn racing cap to go with my mickey ears.

Chuck said...

Note that every girl in these photos is wearing a dress, which emphasizes the need for different frame designs for boys and girls, as well as for those who cycle in kilts.

I'm noting the absence of an accessory that made its way into later catalogs - clips to keep your pant legs from catching in the spokes. They were an absolute necessity during the bell bottom era.

The Sting-Ray seat reminded me that a pal had a red Sting-Ray. I remember being a bit jealous that he had a Schwinn and I had a Huffy. We were both 6 and 7.

Years later, in the late '70s, I had another friend who rode an old, rusty Heavy-Duti from the '50s that I think had been his dad's. He got picked on for a lot of things because he was different (taller than everyone else, wore hand-me-down clothes that were too small, socially awkward, etc.), and one of them was that bike. The rest of us had ten-speeds and he was riding that old, single-speed clunker.

I was the only friend at his 10th birthday party, and his parents set up this elaborate scavenger hunt to find his presents. The last one was hidden inside the neighbor's garage, and when he found it, it was a brand-new bike - a Schwinn yellow. The contrast between the expression on his face, trying so hard to hide the shock, horror, and disappointment, and his clueless, beaming parents is something I will never forget.

Thanks again, Nanook and Major!

Anonymous said...

My mom had the exercise bike in gold. As a kid, I think I rode it much more than she did!

Stefano said...

The little girl on the left in the Monstro photo looks just like Rhoda from "The Bad Seed". Hopefully her jealousy isn't inflamed by the bike styles she doesn't have.

From the angle of the late afternoon sunlight, I guessed this Schwinn series was taken on a park-closed Monday or Tuesday, but in another photo there appears to be a few visitors about; just one of those long-gone days of light attendance (Disneyland's yearly gate count was under 7 million back then).

Thanks, Nanook and Major: great bikes, fine fashions, gratifying lack of change in the Merlin's building through the decades.

K. Martinez said...

That's little Rhoda Penmark with the pigtails and blue dress on the Monstro page. If one of those boys is named Claude Daigle and has a school medal, he's in real trouble. That little girl's a real killer.

This particular section is very colorful. Goofy looks great in front of the Pirate Ship Restaurant and the Merlin's Magic Shop pic is really a beauty for the architectural style of Fantasyland.

I thoroughly enjoyed the (Disneyland)Schwinn bicycle catalog you shared. It was cool to see both vintage Disneyland and the vintage Schwinn bicycles. Thanks for sharing with us, Nanook. You did a great series of posts.

K. Martinez said...

Stefano, I took too long to type my comment and now see that you already made reference to "The Bad Seed". Thus is the nature of leaving comments.

Chuck said...

Stu's comment teased out another memory. When I was probably 9 years old, I remember being at the local Schwinn dealership and seeing my first exercise bike. I jumped on it and was fascinated by the speedometer, which was registering 20 mph although I wasn't going anywhere. I rode it for a "mile" just to watch the odometer turn over.

JC Shannon said...

Classic Schwinn and! So many different bikes and styles. I thought the little girl in the blue dress looked like Cindy Brady. I haven't seen The Bad Seed in 40 years, but yea, she kinda does look like her. I wonder, did part of their pay for this shoot include a free day at the park? It would have been enough for this kid. A big thank you to Nanook and the Major.

Melissa said...

I don't know how happy I would have been with my "Radiany Sky Blue" bike if I'd known I could have had "Flamboyant Red!"

zach said...

Gawrsh, I wonder what gear ratio that bike has, hyuck!

zach said...

That little house on Lauderdale in Birmingham MI is now in Franklin MI, sometimes called Beverley Hill Ranch. It sold for $165K a few years ago. Any chance the same 'Occupant' lives there?

I wasn't a kid anymore in 1966 so when the Stingray came out in 1963 I would rather have had a Corvette than a Schwinn.

Thanks, Nanook and Major Pepperidge,


stu29573 said...

I loved the speedometer! Hitting 25 while watching Happy Days- what's not to love?

Steve DeGaetano said...

Thanks Nanook and Major!

Major, yes, for a number of years the Schwinn Paramount road racing bike was definitely a pro bike back in the day. The one I had was a stunning example of a hand-made frame, with chrome Campy dropouts and beautiful frame lugs. I wish I hadn't sold it back in the 1990s! I replaced it eventually with a Cinelli, another classic and desirable racing frame, but not nearly as flawless as the Paramount

Anonymous said...

Aah, GDB. Come for the pictures, stay for the comments. Saved the best Disney locales till last. @Stefano, sssh, you'll jinx it, now they will tear down the Magic Shop and replace it with Star Wars merch.

Really enjoying both on this thread. Interesting how all of us remember our bikes so vividly. Undoubtedly a big part of childhood independence in our day.

On the other hand, I wonder if my kids would remember any detail of their childhood bikes.

I do recall the unfortunate week, many years ago, when money was scarce, both cars were broken down at once, and the only mobility was the bike. All four of us riding to school, work, church and the market on our bikes. I bet they will remember that. I'll have to ask at Thanksgiving.

Thanks Nanook and Major.


Nanook said...

I tried the 'ol record collector's trick of using lighter fluid to release the label, and move it to the proper location. But I'm afraid time, and a really-good adhesive, both conspired in preventing a clean removal. So the folks at the exerciser are still safely ensconced inside the Witness Protection Program.

It's funny you should mention those clips, which made the scene long before bell bottom pants made theirs. Just goes to show you that Schwinn appeared to be encouraging folks to buy [that rather expensive, for the day] Schwinn Training Jersey.

Schwinn definitely created "Sting-Ray envy" with the design of that famous bicycle. Suddenly any Huffy just wouldn't do.

It's quite clear that story of your friend and the Heavy-Duti Schwinn made an indelible impression on you. Childhood 'disappointments' are clearly the worst.

Stuart Powley-
"The road to hell is paved with good intentions". Evidently the gold color wasn't shame-enough to make her "burn those calories".

When I took another look at that image, that girl reminded me of the actress (Monique Vermont) who played Amaryllis, in The Music Man - probably due to her pigtails. She probably better-resembles Patty McCormack, though.

And yes, keep dreaming of those by-gone days of "low attendance", along with private parties and mix-ins...

Perhaps the placement of "Rhoda" was deliberate - to keep Monstro in-line, just in case he got any ideas... I'm glad you enjoyed this publication.

Chuck II-
Ahhhh, the joys of childhood. (I wonder how much you'd charge these times if you were 'forced' to pedal that bike merely to watch the odometer advance-?

JC Shannon-
Cindy Brady works, too. One does wonder just what the remuneration was for this shoot. Back in those days, I wouldn't be surprised if it was close to "0", with perhaps a BIG 15 ticket book and a free lunch at Fan 1 or 2-??

Decisions... decisions... But any color with 'flamboyant' in its name, at least would give me pause-!

David Zacher-
Which bike-?? Ah-ha-!

David Zacher II-
Too bad Schwinn didn't make a Corvette model.

Not particularly being a big fan of Happy Days it seems unlikely I'd ever be able to attain 25mph. Perhaps out of sheer frustration...

Steve DeGaetano-
I feel your pain. The Paramount was, for all the reasons you mentioned, a real beauty. I certainly didn't own one, nor knew of anyone who did.

'Plush - please more plush-!' You do bring up a good question about childhood remembrances and the 'power of the bicycle'. By a certain age, "independence" must be a big reason why we can remember so well and so fondly our first (or second, etc.), bicycle. [But did any of us dream about riding ours through Disneyland-??] Perhaps tonight I'll be lucky-enough.

Melissa said...

One physical therapist I went to had an old-timey stationary bike in his office that looked a lot like the one in the catalog. I never noticed if it was a Schwinn or not.

Melissa said...

Also, it's 1968! We can exercise watching The Wild, Wild West or Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color!

Nanook said...

@ Melissa-

You are so right.