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Old 05-17-06, 09:28 PM   #1
Polonswim
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Unknown Schwinn

I have a friend who is moving. She told me about a bike her husband was rebuilding. A Schwinn Paramount. He had stripped the frame of the parts, which she still has, ordered the new decals, and cleaned the frame. And then he died.

That was quite a few years ago and, like I said, now her and her present husband are moving. She asked me to take a look at the bike and parts and help her sell it. She called Schwinn and they told her not to put it back together. I question that.

I am going to visit her (and the bike) in a couple of days. I have not seen this bike yet and I am not sure how to approach it. I know I can rebuild it, but I have a few questions.

What am I looking for to determine the exact model, etc. of the bike? Should the bike be rebuilt before she sells it? What other information should I try to find before making any decisions? What else should I know?

Any help here would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 05-18-06, 03:39 AM   #2
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Look at the left rear dropout for a serial number. If the fork is out of the headset see if the number is stamped on the steering shaft as well. Examine the lugs. Are they chrome? Is the headbadge round with red paint? Note the manufactuer of the components. If all Campagnolo the Paramount is from the 60s-70s. Take and post pictures.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Rear Dropout Ser Num.JPG (32.9 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg Steering Tube.JPG (16.8 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Upper frt Lug.JPG (33.2 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg Headbadge Old.JPG (23.7 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Campy Components.JPG (85.9 KB, 12 views)
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Old 05-18-06, 07:54 AM   #3
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Bob has offered some great advice. The only thing I would add is that generally, three versions were offered:

Track - Single speed Pista (one chainring and a single non-freewheel cog on the rear hub). No brakes.

Road racer - Ten speed (double chainring, five cog freewheel on rear hub). Front and rear caliper brakes.

Touring - Fifteen speed (triple chainring, five cog freewheel on rear hub). Front and rear caliper brakes.

The model numbers for the different versions changed over the years. Once you find out what the serial number is (and therefore the year of manufacture) and what components were on the frame, we'll be able to tell you the model.
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Old 05-21-06, 11:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polonswim
I have a friend who is moving. She told me about a bike her husband was rebuilding. A Schwinn Paramount. He had stripped the frame of the parts, which she still has, ordered the new decals, and cleaned the frame. And then he died.

That was quite a few years ago and, like I said, now her and her present husband are moving. She asked me to take a look at the bike and parts and help her sell it. She called Schwinn and they told her not to put it back together. I question that.

I am going to visit her (and the bike) in a couple of days. I have not seen this bike yet and I am not sure how to approach it. I know I can rebuild it, but I have a few questions.

What am I looking for to determine the exact model, etc. of the bike? Should the bike be rebuilt before she sells it? What other information should I try to find before making any decisions? What else should I know?

Any help here would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Ok, I got the bike and cleaned the frame up and this is what I found.



The number on the left rear dropout is A51.



The front DR is Campy of unknown model.



The rear DR is Campy Gran Sport.



Shift levers are Campy.



The crank/chainrins are Simplex Stronglight 52/48 with cottered cranks.



Brakes are Weinman Type 500 made in Switerland.



The stem is "S.Maes"?



Hubs are both Campy.



I am pretty sure that the entire bike is here except one pin for the cranks (they are cottered cranks.)

Can anyone answer the following questions:
1) What year/model/etc. is this bike?
2) Does it have any value?
3) What should my next step be in dealing with this?

I really appreciate the help. Thanks.
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Old 05-22-06, 04:07 AM   #5
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According to Waterford (http://www.waterfordbikes.com/2005/d...ount/index.php) the A51 on the rear dropout puts the bike in the Spring of 1959. While the bike is not in great shape, that date alone makes it very valuable. Other Paramount experts can tell you more. Thanks for the pictures!
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Old 05-22-06, 08:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polonswim
Ok, I got the bike and cleaned the frame up and this is what I found...
That's a beauty you have there - a '59 Paramount P-12 standard. There's something about the pre-chromed-frame Paramounts that gives them a unique character all their own.

The rod-operated Campy derailer is a Gran Sport. Campy GS was stock on the Paramount in the late '50s/early '60s. All the parts you have there are correct and stock for the Paramount P-12 with no extra-cost options (Campy Record cranksets were optional).

I do note that the Weinmann calipers are model 500 sidepulls. My '61 P-12 has Weinmann 999 centerpulls, so I gather that Schwinn changed specs. on this detail between '59 and '61.

To answer your question, yes, this machine has collectors value, being Schwinn's highest-end roadbike at the time.

That said, your next step should be to put the whole thing in a box and send it to me ASAP to join my 1961 Paramount P-12! Just kidding, of course...although I'd take you up on it Funny thing, my '61 is pretty much identical to yours down to frame size and bare-bones options. Only difference would be paint color - mine is Coppertone.

Seriously, I would suggest that you attempt to clean the original paint, to see how well it has held up. I'm always one to prefer leaving original paint intact, even if chipped and scratched in places. Frankly, I believe repaints rarely capture the character and depth of the original factory paint...and repaints that DO capture the character of original paint will probably cost you more then the frame is worth.

Here's the failproof 3-step Meguiars system that I always use to bring paint back to an unbelievable shine (it'll also take those grime streaks off while you're at it):

#1: Apply Meguiars Scratch-X with a slightly rough cloth, work it in vigorously. Remove with smooth cotton cloth.
#2: With a clean smooth cloth, apply Meguiars Polish equally as vigorous to the paint, and buff off immidiately with another clean cloth.
#3: Apply Meguiars Carnuba Wax (or any other quality Carnuba wax).

At this point, post progress pictures here on Bike Forums. Next up will be polishing chrome components and repacking bearings!

By the way, your '59 is the 41st Paramount to be built in '59. The '59s set the frame-design standard for the '70 Paramounts to follow. Read up at the Waterford link that Bob gives. It's worth it.

Take care,

-Kurt
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Old 05-22-06, 09:32 AM   #7
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What a beauty!! ....and with the original components.

Speaking for myself, if I had somehow acquired this bicycle in its current state I'd send the photos to Richard Schwinn at Waterford and ask him for a quote to restore it to factory new condition. It would be expensive, no doubt, and I'd be unlikely to get back whatever investment I made in the restoration, but its value to me would be considerably more than I could get for it if I tried to sell it.

If your friend is simply interested in reassembling it for sale and doesn't wish to keep it, then Kurt's advice to restore the original paint with Meguiars products, polishing up the chrome, and cleaning and repacking the bearings is the way to go.

Whatever she does with the bike, her late husband clearly appreciated owning and restoring a very nice machine.
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Old 05-22-06, 11:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooper
Speaking for myself, if I had somehow acquired this bicycle in its current state I'd send the photos to Richard Schwinn at Waterford and ask him for a quote to restore it to factory new condition. It would be expensive, no doubt, and I'd be unlikely to get back whatever investment I made in the restoration, but its value to me would be considerably more than I could get for it if I tried to sell it.
Stan, have you had any experience with Waterford before? I've heard one or two horror stories about them before - one of which involving clearcoat over chromed areas of the frame.

Frankly, I believe their prices are completely out of line, no matter how good a job they do. There are other frame restorers and painters that charge far less.

P.S.: A word of warning to those looking to restore a '60s Paramount: Have you tried looking for a mint, steel Stronglight Competition crankset recently? I have - they practically do not exist. I'm planning to run a cheap Nervar steel crankset on my '61 as a substitute.

-Kurt
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Old 05-22-06, 11:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cudak888
Stan, have you had any experience with Waterford before? I've heard one or two horror stories about them before - one of which involving clearcoat over chromed areas of the frame.
I haven't had any personal experience with Waterford, Kurt. The few Paramount restorations I've seen from them have all been correct and beautifully done, but if they've really clearcoated over chrome without the owner asking them to, they clearly screwed up.
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Old 05-22-06, 01:34 PM   #10
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Stan & Kurt,

For my few cents worth of opinion, I looked into Waterford painting my '66. I did not use them for a few reasons: The clearcoat issue, the cost, they don't pinstripe, I could not find any one to recommend them, and when I contacted them about painting, they were not enthusiastic about working with me. Obviously they need to charge a price which makes money for their company, but set the price and then make a potential customer feel as if they truely want your business. I never got that feeling from them.

The painter I used was half the price and was very interested in my business. While he had never painted any Paramounts, all the Stingray, Krate, etc. owners who had candy colored bikes painted by him were thrilled--- and they told me so. He did a great job on my Radiant Coppertone, but he did find the chrome Nervex lugs challenging.
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Old 05-22-06, 01:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cudak888
Stan, have you had any experience with Waterford before? I've heard one or two horror stories about them before - one of which involving clearcoat over chromed areas of the frame.

-Kurt
My experience with Waterford is not exactly comparable, but was very positive, so I'll share it. I have a 1989 Paramount OS, built by Waterford. The seat tube broke in two just above the bottom bracket, after the Schwinn Bankruptcy. Even though Waterford had no warranty obligation, they replaced the tube, repainted the entire frame complete with original decals, with no charge to me. The only cost to me was $50 to repair a small dent on the right chain stay from a wreck in a race. The bike came back looking as good as new.
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Old 05-22-06, 02:37 PM   #12
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Polonswim:
Thanks for the great photos. That puppy is already a real beauty, and could be absolutely stunning. I only have a couple of things to add to what the real experts have already told you.

1. In Northern Orange County, you're not all that far from CycleArt (or however they spell it) in the San Diego area, I think in the northern reaches of SD. (They are easy to find online.) I have no idea about their prices, but returning that '59 Paramount frame to its full glory is right up their alley. Brian Baylis and Joe Bell are also in that general neck of the woods - any one of those three could do that frame proud. If you are willing to go further afield, Ed Litton in Richmond (SF Bay Area) is reasonable and very good - he did my '67 Paramount and I think it's stunning. The easiest way to get Ed's contact info is thorugh the Classic Rendezvous website - he's listed under the USA builders.

2. That is an interesting collection of names engraved on the handlebars. Marcel Kint, Sylvere Maes, Rik van Steenbergen and Alberic "Brik" Schotte were all Belgian iron-man roadies. Between the four of them, their careers more or less straddle WWII - Maes won the TdF in the '30's (1935 & 1939, if memory serves). Kint had some serious Classics successes, also in the '30's (I think). Van Steenbergen and Schotte were more post-war types. Van Steenbergen won almost every one-day race of note at least once. I believe Schotte won the pro road Worlds in the mid-'50's and was killed in an accident the following year. I know he was a mainstay on the Belgian TdF teams in the early to mid '50's and was a regular top-10 (or better) finisher. Van Steenbergen and Kint both did some racing during WWII as well - the Germans permitted, even encouraged to some extent, some racing in Belgium, Holland and France during the war years. All of these guys were tough as nails. Seeing their names on a set of handlebars tells me absolutely nothing about who made the bars, but they sure were meant to convey strength and toughness to the 1959 buyer.
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Old 05-22-06, 03:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polonswim
Ok, I got the bike and cleaned the frame up and this is what I found.

(snip)

Can anyone answer the following questions:
1) What year/model/etc. is this bike?
2) Does it have any value?
3) What should my next step be in dealing with this?
I think everyone else has answered #1 and #2 fairly well. Your original post implied that you were looking at this to value it for someone else to sell. I'd say leave it as it is and put it on eBay with a several hundred dollar reserve. The next owner is going to want to make the decisions on any patina removal ...

(If you bought it, then I suggest you give Doug Fattic a call -- I've not dealt with him on a restoration, but my other dealings with him lead me to believe he is a top notch guy and he's considered one of the best painters/restorers around).

http://www.classicrendezvous.com/USA/fattic_doug.htm

E-mail me directly and I'll hook you up with someone who has (or is in the middle of) restoring a '59 Paramount and can answer some parts specific issues.

Bob Hufford
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