04-13-04, 09:08 AM
I have acquired an "Alco" cycle adult tricycle of Largo, Florida.
Also has a sticket indicating Cycle Products, Inc of Largo, Fl
This is a 24 inch cycle, hi-rise handle bar, and currently has a partial setup for an electric or gas motor. It also has a 3 speed shifter on it.
I am unable to trace the manufacturer or obtain any info via the web.
Would appreciate any info/help available for this unit. I wish to rebuild it for use in Shrine Parades, etc.
Please reply to Stumbles@cox.net
Thanks a lot
12-21-04, 02:10 PM
Hope you're still around. I can give you some info on Alco Cycle Products. I worked there in the early 70's (71, 72, 73).
Al Cook Sr had a small shop in Clearwater Fl. in the 50's and 60's, his son Al Cook Jr expanded out to multiple retail stores and a factory in the 60's and 70's. The factory was Alco Cycle Products and was located in Largo Fl. behind the old Fairgrounds.(all the stores,factory and fairgrounds are gone now.
I started in the paint shop, became head of the paint dept, moved to shipping and recieving (helped out in the machine shop too) and finally moved to the new retail warehouse (then being the good hippy I was-I got really stoned one weekend and took off with a touring rock band and never went back).
The trikes were built in our factory from Al Cook Jr.'s designs. The frames were custom cut, bent, gusseted, welded and braized by a crew of madmen. The wheels were spoked, trued and balanced by a group of women who flirted with us and drove us poor hippies crazy.
The trike you have went through a series of acid bathes and was then hand painted using a electrostatic paint process and then baked. Chances are that I painted your trike--hope it still looks good.
Assembly was a 2 person operation done on a fixed line (10 trikes to a line). My girl friend at the time (Karen Miller) assembled the front end-wheel, handlebar, brakes etc. My good friend Jimmy Aldrich assembled the rear--He was the lead madman and was known to build radical racing trikes and racing tandems.
The trikes were sold under the Alco name as well as private labels ( Burdines, Hammacher & Schlemmer etc.) and were very popular around retirement areas--not so popular with automobile drivers stuck behind them.
We also built a line of heavyduty trikes for industrial use and even a custom bike for the post office.
The frames, forks, chain guards and rear ends were all made in our shop so if you need to replace these you will need to find another trike for parts or maybe a local welder or machine shop can duplicate. These parts should have held up well (Doug, John, Pete and the rest of the nuts back in the welding shop did a good job and the frames were warranted for life)
Other parts like bearings, races, cups can probably be found through a general bolt screw and bearing outlet.
I don't recall who we bought our brake assembly,sprockets,pedals or seats from (but damn those big seats were comfortable). Replacments shouldn't be too hard to come by.
Just before I left the company there were rumors that the factory would move to Texas or be bought out by another maker. Whether this occured I don't know.I doubt it as I have made many searches and could find nothing past the early 70's for Alco.
I hope some of this helps--you have the makings of a very good and classic trike. I could go on and on (as I'm old, deaf, disabled, and boring) but I'll stop now---Thanks for bringing back some good memories.
Ps:Jimmy, Doug, John, Pete, Karen--if you out there--post a note--Still rockin' in the free world :D
07-24-07, 03:44 PM
I had to laugh at China's post. I worked in the ALCO retail shop on US 19 in Clearwater in 1973 as a salesman, then ran off to West Palm Beach to help a friend (mailed the store keys back to Clearwater), stayed in WPB and sold ALCO Villager trikes for a year down there through the Palm Beach Peddler, then went on to other things.