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Old 07-16-07, 02:05 PM   #1
mike
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Check out my 1976 Bicentennial Schwinn Varisty rebuild!

This project took me fifteen years to get all the parts.

The frame was mostly chipped scratched when I got it - beyond "patina". So, I stenciled the letters and repainted the frame, then added the letters. I have the missing flag decals, but will wait to add them AFTER my son and his friends are finished using it in a couple of years.

The tyres are New Old Stock Michelan Sports Whitewalls (made in Great Britain) from the period. I think they look sharper than plain gumwalls.

The saddle is NOS from the '70's, but not original. The bar tape is new too. Oh, and I put on some alloy rims instead of the steel rims. I still have all the original components, but wanted to make the bike more ride-able and more cool-looking for my young teen son and his friends who bicycle EVERYWHERE (yes, that is very cool).

Now, it looks new - just 32 years later.

What do you think, folks? Worthy?
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File Type: jpg 1976 Mike's Schwinn Varsity Bicentennial low res 2.jpg (97.5 KB, 451 views)

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Old 07-16-07, 02:15 PM   #2
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Definitely worthy!

And with those aluminum rims you can stop the thing. What's not to love?
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Old 07-16-07, 02:17 PM   #3
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Definitely a nice bicentennial Varsity!

Captures the spirit of the era wonderfully!
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Old 07-16-07, 02:25 PM   #4
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I don't know whether to put my hand over my heart or salute! Well done!
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Old 07-16-07, 02:59 PM   #5
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Sweet! It needs a little brother now ...

http://stlouis.craigslist.org/bik/374943140.html

Bob
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Old 07-16-07, 03:09 PM   #6
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Sweet! It needs a little brother now ...

http://stlouis.craigslist.org/bik/374943140.html

Bob
Oh, that's a neat Bicentennial Stingray! Three speed yet.
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Old 07-16-07, 05:10 PM   #7
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Great looking Varsity. Maybe you should send George Bush a copy of the picture.

I hear he's a bike fan.
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Old 07-17-07, 07:38 AM   #8
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I hear he's a bike fan.

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Old 07-17-07, 07:44 AM   #9
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Great job on the Varsity, mike! The Bicentennial theme had me remembering where I was on July 4, 1976:
on vacation in Gatlinburg, TN with my cousin, aunt, and uncle. They had a huge parade there that started at 12:01 a.m. on July 4-
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Old 07-17-07, 07:53 AM   #10
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Great job on the Varsity, mike! The Bicentennial theme had me remembering where I was on July 4, 1976:
on vacation in Gatlinburg, TN with my cousin, aunt, and uncle. They had a huge parade there that started at 12:01 a.m. on July 4-
Cool, Man. I remember July 4 1976 too. There was a HUGE city sponsored party at the park. Free food and soda everywhere. My brother and I entered a pie eating contest and got sick - cherry, blueberry, and vanilla cream pies (Red, White, and Blue - no kidding).

I do remember that the bicentennial was a very big deal. The US Mint even issued special coins that year. That was fun.
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Old 07-17-07, 08:35 AM   #11
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I remember where I was on that day, too.

AT WORK, for at least part of the day. I had just graduated from high school and still had a part time job. I wanted to go downtown and see the Star of India sail around San Diego Bay.
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Old 07-17-07, 08:47 AM   #12
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i wasnt even a twinkle in my dads eye in 1976. is that why so many people think its odd i love these old bikes?
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Old 07-17-07, 08:52 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Rabid Koala
I remember where I was on that day, too.

AT WORK, for at least part of the day. I had just graduated from high school and still had a part time job.
Ditto.

This rates a 9 on the rant-o-meter.

I felt cheated by July 4, 1976. Growing up in a suburb of Philadephia, we were PROMISED a world's fair as little kids. We heard all kinds of stories about the Centennial Exhibition in 1876 and it was unthinkable that they wouldn't have one in 1976. It would be the greatest thing EVER. I'd be old enough to work at it, too! Working at the World's Fair. Yeah! That's the sort of thing that really cranks an 8 year old up. I'd been to the '64 fair in New York and to Expo '67 in Montréal. We'd show ALL of them how to do a World's Fair! Our family even had tickets stubs to the 1876 Centennial Exhibition where my great great grandfather had exhibited some device he'd patented to separate water from butter.

Then the effin' politicians got involved and we all got the shaft. No World's Fair. Only a handfull of last-minute fife and drum parades and some crappy "minuteman" painted fire hydrants. The adults let us down. Weak. They didn't have whatever it was our forebearers had to get the job done. Good thing we kicked King George out when we did or we'd still be paying too much for tea. The adults of the 70's were the lamest ever.

Little Darwin: You were there. What was your take on it?
[/rant]

Great job on the bike, BTW!
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Old 07-17-07, 09:47 AM   #14
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July 4th 1976 I had recently graduated from tech college and was settling into a new job in the new to me city of Houston. I don't recall doing anything special that holiday, but then I don't remember much of the 70's anyway.

My grandparents and hometown on the other hand really took it to heart according to all the photos I recently came into possession of. All dressed up, big parades, and dinners. It obviously meant a lot to them, back when patriotism meant something to more, it seems.

PS Great job on the bike!

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Old 07-17-07, 10:43 AM   #15
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I was with my fiance (long since gone) and her sister (?) watching the D.C. fireworks from the Iwo Jima memorial in Arlington Va.
Other than more fireworks than normal for D.C. I don't recall anything special other than
watching the tall ships on T.V.

Mike, that is a gorgeous varsity, very classy.

Marty
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Old 07-17-07, 11:06 AM   #16
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Having just completed 3rd grade in 1976, I was probably off fishing or colleting frogs, turtles etc. and had ridden my lemon-yellow, 5-speed Stirg Ray to get wherever I was. I vaugley remeber seeing the tall ships on TV but not much more. I too remember the red, white & blue fire hydrants in the Philadelphia area. Weird item to use to demonstrate your patriotism.
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Old 07-17-07, 12:11 PM   #17
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Well I'm sure the local Canines were sure to give a salute.
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Old 07-17-07, 07:43 PM   #18
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I was 16 in 1976 and was the flag bearer in our local parade as we attempted to recreate this image (sort of).



My brother and his girlfriend and I were wearing Revolutionary War uniforms (sewn by my mother), my brother on drum, his girlfriend (both 17) on fife and me trying to carry a very heavy flag for miles in the July heat. We had long hair (and my brother's girlfriend was flatchested), so we looked the part ... ;-)

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Old 07-17-07, 07:56 PM   #19
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I started my first real career job on Tuesday, 6 July, 1976, because they didn't want to pay me for the legal holiday on 5 July (the 4th came on a Sunday that year).
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Old 07-17-07, 08:01 PM   #20
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I still have my bicentenial HO gauge model train engine and matching caboose.I also own a '76 Olds Cutlass complete with "disco sucks" bumper sticker.
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Old 07-17-07, 08:08 PM   #21
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Nice job (seriously) Now it's all ready for Evel Knevel and a jump over the canyon! (not seriously).
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Old 07-17-07, 09:33 PM   #22
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Normally, I hate patterned saddles and bar tape--and American flag anything is even worse (other than on Old Glory itself). However, I have to say, that Varsity not only looks good, it looks dignified. Nice work.
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Old 07-18-07, 07:58 AM   #23
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Thanks for all the compliments, folks. It was a huge amount of work to refurbish the Bicentennial Varsity, but I think it was worth it.

I recently read some claim that there are only about 200 Bicentennial Varsities left. Can that be true? Whether it is true or not, I am still glad I put the work into saving this one.
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Old 07-18-07, 08:08 AM   #24
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Gotta love the Varsity
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Old 07-18-07, 08:35 AM   #25
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There's one in Detroit right now:
http://detroit.craigslist.org/bik/376508929.html
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