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Old 05-31-08, 05:50 PM   #1
Charles Wahl
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50s Red Schwinn Town & Country tandem

My brother, a bike addict with wide-ranging interests, just bought this tandem.



He's most at a loss about the true model year (it was sold to him as a '55) and with a large (9.5 mm) crank cotter pin that needs replacement. If anyone can help with those, that would be a great help.

More pics, for those interested, here:
Nice stuff
Here's what he's written me about it:

{MODEL YEAR:** I did a little research on the web and am more perplexed than anything. Based on the websites that list Schwinn serial numbers, the bike doesn't exactly fit. The serial number (T004464) is stamped on the bottom bracket, which apparently was done between the years 1948 to 1952. While it has the right number of numbers to fit into the BB stamped frames in those years, there are no records of T serial numbers above T003035 in those years. After 1952, the serial #s were supposed to be on the rear dropout on the left. Those numbers started with A##### in 1952 and sequentially went up. The T##### bikes were all made in 1955, but as you can see, the serial number on the frame is in the wrong place and has one too many numbers.

I did find some info on 1940s Schwinn Tandems, which had some of the same features as this bike in terms of frame design, but many different (nicer) details, such as A S & C O integrated into the 'spokes' of the chainrings. Other 1950s and early 1960s Schwinn Tandems I found on the web had similar details, decals and components as mine, so I suspect it is of that era. This is all made more complicated by the fact that Schwinn also named an adult trike the town and country starting in the 70s, so web searches frequently find both. (and of course now I'm interested in finding one of those as well, 'cause they're kind of cool).

{COMPONENTS:** Most of the components are stamped ďASĒ. The brake calipers show the worst wear and have a lot of corrosion/rust, but actually work well. The brake handles are actually very nice. The grips are newer schwinn grips, but the old owner included the original rubber grips, which are pretty rough and dried up. They were a lot bigger than and would sure be nice new! I also have the original Schwinn Hurricane Tandem tires, but theyíre old and cracked.

FRAME: Painted a metallic red color. The paint, although slightly blistered with rust/corrosion here and there is largely in pretty good shape. Original box striping and schwinn decals. Nicely chromed and painted chainguards, although the main one has an indent/scrape from where the stokerís L crank must have been bent at one time. The chrome fenders appear to be OE or are at least of the vintage as they match other Schwinn 50s tandems on the web.

BARS: The front bar is a replacement for the original, which I have but would have to be stripped and re-chromed as it was also badly corroded. The stokerís bar is original, and is a HUGE beautiful bar that is about as wide as my doorframe.

HUBS: The bike had an SA 3-speed rear hub at first, but has been rebuilt with a nicely working Bendix 2-speed kickback hub which is both pretty and functional. The front hub is in good condition and has a grease/oil port with a clip like on Campy Record hubs.

CRANKS: All the arms match, but some of the crank arms are stamped ďBrampton Made in EnglandĒ and are cottered with an off size 9.5mm cotter pin. The captain R side one was stripped and Iíve temporarily replaced it with a 9.0mm pin that sort of did the trick and took the play out of the crank. Iíll try and find a larger cotter pin ASAP. Chainrings are pretty, but have some corrosion and donít have the nice AS&CO spider detail. Pedals are replacements that work well.

All in all, a nice bike for her age and history (apparently spent a good number of years hanging in a Boeing hanger here in Everett, WA). Iím really looking forward to finding a basket for the front and replacing or refurbishing the brake calipers. Over time, I might try and find tandem #2 and then Iíll fully restore this one as I think sheís worthy.
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Old 05-31-08, 06:17 PM   #2
Noah Scape
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Oh my! That is nice. Check out the stoker bars!
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Old 05-31-08, 07:03 PM   #3
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Check the SA hub date. I think I remember those tandems being built at another factory, that could be why the serial numbers don't match up.
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Old 05-31-08, 07:14 PM   #4
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I used to own 5143 and according to a very old Schwinn shop in Milwaukee when I owned it was a 1951 bike. Roger
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Old 05-31-08, 07:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
CRANKS: All the arms match, but some of the crank arms are stamped ďBrampton Made in EnglandĒ and are cottered with an off size 9.5mm cotter pin. The captain R side one was stripped and Iíve temporarily replaced it with a 9.0mm pin that sort of did the trick and took the play out of the crank. Iíll try and find a larger cotter pin ASAP.
9.5mm (AKA 3/8") is not an odd size, most bike shops will have some around. 9.5 was the most common cotter size in the US as it was the size on 99% of British bikes. 9.0mm was commonly used for French cranks.

Sweet bike BTW.
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Old 06-01-08, 02:27 AM   #6
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I like the box stripping!
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Old 06-01-08, 06:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MnHPVA Guy View Post
9.5mm (AKA 3/8") is not an odd size, most bike shops will have some around. 9.5 was the most common cotter size in the US as it was the size on 99% of British bikes. 9.0mm was commonly used for French cranks.

Sweet bike BTW.
http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/botto...s.html#cotters
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Old 06-01-08, 08:12 AM   #8
Charles Wahl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noah Scape View Post
Check out the stoker bars!
I wrote my brother that the stoker bars were so wide to accomodate the captains immense posterior.

He replied:
"As for the stokerís bars, I actually suspect the design is some sick captainís joke that allows the captain to easily reach back and use the switch on the stoker, or cruelly grind the stokers knuckles on people and objects passing by."

It is sort of funny to have the widest part of the vehicle behind the driver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhenning View Post
I used to own 5143 and according to a very old Schwinn shop in Milwaukee when I owned it was a 1951 bike.
Does that suggest that bike T004464 is from 1944? I like King of Kadence's suggestion that the frame construction was in a different facility. From what my brother told me, I surmised that the T indicated 1955.
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Old 06-01-08, 08:35 AM   #9
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This is a frame given to me over 30 years ago. I hung on to so long because it was built the same ( thin tubing & brazing ) as an early Superior I have. The serial number on mine is A03033. I think this a 1951.

I have been collecting photos of Town and Countrys for a while to use to restore mine. Yours is one of the best looking I've seen.

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Old 06-01-08, 09:59 AM   #10
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Here's a thread from the schwinn forum on the same subject. The general consensus over there says it's a 61 or 62.

http://www.schwinnbike.com/heritage/...ad.php?t=52225
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