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  1. #1
    Its already fixed JeStOnE's Avatar
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    Need Paramount serial number help

    I bought a schwinn paramount recently and wanted to find out when it was made exactly. But I cant figure it out? The serial number is L72262. Can anyone give me some assistance? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Hmm, I see what you mean. It appears to have one too many digits! I'd assume November 1972, based on the info at http://www.waterfordbikes.com/2004/d...nt/sn/over.php

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    Its already fixed JeStOnE's Avatar
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    I checked that first, thats what confused me in the first place. Thanks anyway.

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    Well, you should be able to corroborate this using components date codes, providing the components are original. Campagnolo Record hubs were standard and the backside of the locknuts will be stamped with the last two digits of the year of manufacture. If it's a road racing Parmount then the Nuovo Record rear derailleur will have a Patent date, stamped next to cable housing recess, that indicates the year of manufacture. Campagnolo normally stamps the backside of the crankarms too, but this practice started in 1973, so yours should have no date codes. The crankarm code for the 1970s consisted of a diamond with a single number that represented the last digit of the year of manufacture.

    If the crankarms have no date code and the hubs and derailleurs indicate 1972, then you should have a high degree of confidence in the frame being November 1972. Even if one of the codes were 1971, I wouldn't be suspicious. Good luck!

  5. #5
    Skim or die Keith Courage's Avatar
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    T-Mar, if EVERYTHING I knew was half of what you know about just bicycles, I feel that I would be a genius.

  6. #6
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    T-Mar and I are still trying to figure out Bianchi's serial numbering system.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
    Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
    Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
    Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by John E
    T-Mar and I are still trying to figure out Bianchi's serial numbering system.
    What era Bianchi are you trying to figure out?
    The early '60s Specialissima serials seem to start with 16x.... with the "x" being the year date. I have one starting with 164.... that I'm quite certain is a '64 model. Other than those early '60s #s, I know nothing more about how Bianchi went about it.

  8. #8
    Uff Da!
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    Why does it have too many digits? Looks to me like the 262nd Pmount frame made in November of 1972. That is a high frame count for a month, but this was the bike boom era.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sierra
    Why does it have too many digits? Looks to me like the 262nd Pmount frame made in November of 1972. That is a high frame count for a month, but this was the bike boom era.
    What you say is a logical assumption. It's just that the Waterford and other Paramount websites indcate that the sequence number was only two digits. This implies that less than 99 framesets were typically manufactured in a month. A jump to at least 262 is a BIG Christmas rush. If there were months where over 100 were prodiced you would think that the websites would indicate that the sequence number was "two or three digits'.

    However, your point does have merit. Prior to 1970, the serial number format was MYxx, where M is month indicator, Y is year indicator and xx is sequence number. In 1970, the fomat was changed to MYYxx, reportedly because of "added capacity for the boom years". Normally, I would associate added capacity with more frames being manufactured, but in the this case the sequence number is still two digits and does not allow for any increase! One would assume that an increase in capacity would have necessitated a three digit sequence number, but the only change to the serial number is to add a digit to the year indicator, so that the decade is included. Hmm, all these websites would appear to be wrong, or at least incomplete. The boom and added capacity should have necessitated a sequence number of up to three digits, unless pre-1970 production had been very small, like 30 frames a month. If a two digit sequence number is correct, then the change in fomat was not to accomodate increased capacity, but to add decade resolution.

  10. #10
    Uff Da!
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    [QUOTE]Prior to 1970, the serial number format was MYxx, where M is month indicator, Y is year indicator and xx is sequence number.

    Thanks for that info. Didn't realize that. I've seen that scheme on the early Schwinn Super Sports and Superiors with the forged Huret rear dropouts, but haven't run across it on the Paramounts(I don't see many early Paramounts!).

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    [QUOTE=Sierra]
    Prior to 1970, the serial number format was MYxx, where M is month indicator, Y is year indicator and xx is sequence number.

    Thanks for that info. Didn't realize that. I've seen that scheme on the early Schwinn Super Sports and Superiors with the forged Huret rear dropouts, but haven't run across it on the Paramounts(I don't see many early Paramounts!).
    While MYxx was the previous format , it was short lived (on Parmounts it was in use from only 1966 to 1969). The short life span undoubtedly contributes to the scarcity of samples.

  12. #12
    Its already fixed JeStOnE's Avatar
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    Tmar thanks for the info I'll check the campy gear tonight, and if you could keep me updated on your bianchi numbers I'm going to be buying a Bianchi from the 60's or 70's at a local shop.

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    Digging up an old thread.

    While researching and restoring my 1972 P15-9

    I stumbled upon this information at the Waterford website:

    "During the 70’s, Paramount sales rose to 1,200 units annually. Schwinn supplemented Paramount production with contract-built frames by Don Mainland and Roger Nelson. Don and Roger, both riders from the 40’s and 50’s, had built up a successful tooling business in Racine, Wisconsin. He already supplied tooling to Schwinn. At Paramount’s peak in the mid-70’s, 10 frames per week came from Wisconsin and 15 from Chicago. There is no obvious way to distinguish the Wisconsin-built Paramounts from those built at the Schwinn factory. Serial numbers were issued after the bikes were built."

    Doing the math, ("at the peak") WI and Chicago combined would produce 25 frames per week (10 +15 = 25). 25 frames x 4.3 weeks per month = 107 to 108 frames per month. This equals approximately 1300 frames per year (at the "peak").

    Looking at this registry there are numerous entries in the 200's and even 300's for 1970's production. That's quite a bit more than the 25 frames per week claimed by Waterford.

    Do any of the experts have an explanation?

  14. #14
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe_Steel View Post
    Digging up an old thread.

    While researching and restoring my 1972 P15-9

    I stumbled upon this information at the Waterford website:

    "During the 70ís, Paramount sales rose to 1,200 units annually. Schwinn supplemented Paramount production with contract-built frames by Don Mainland and Roger Nelson. Don and Roger, both riders from the 40ís and 50ís, had built up a successful tooling business in Racine, Wisconsin. He already supplied tooling to Schwinn. At Paramountís peak in the mid-70ís, 10 frames per week came from Wisconsin and 15 from Chicago. There is no obvious way to distinguish the Wisconsin-built Paramounts from those built at the Schwinn factory. Serial numbers were issued after the bikes were built."

    Doing the math, ("at the peak") WI and Chicago combined would produce 25 frames per week (10 +15 = 25). 25 frames x 4.3 weeks per month = 107 to 108 frames per month. This equals approximately 1300 frames per year (at the "peak").

    Looking at this registry there are numerous entries in the 200's and even 300's for 1970's production. That's quite a bit more than the 25 frames per week claimed by Waterford.

    Do any of the experts have an explanation?
    Waterford estimates 1972 Paramount production to have been 3,300. It was the year of highest production, and monthly output varied so I would discount attempts to average. 200 or 300 Paramounts per month is high, but not unreasonable in the middle of the bike boom.
    - Stan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe_Steel View Post
    ...Doing the math, ("at the peak") WI and Chicago combined would produce 25 frames per week (10 +15 = 25). 25 frames x 4.3 weeks per month = 107 to 108 frames per month. This equals approximately 1300 frames per year (at the "peak").

    Looking at this registry there are numerous entries in the 200's and even 300's for 1970's production. That's quite a bit more than the 25 frames per week claimed by Waterford.

    Do any of the experts have an explanation?
    The paragraph you quoted from the Waterford site significantly underestimated peak Paramount production. As @Scooper mentioned they do list some additional production estimates here, but even that is missing the true peak years of '73 and '74.

    Fortunately I can add to that information. A Schwinn Dealer bulletin I have dated 8/30/72 concerning Paramount production states:

    The demand for these top of the line models has increased dramatically as more and more adults are becoming interested in cycling and we therefore plan to increase production from 3,400 units this year to 5,200 units in 1973. This represents a 52.9% increase over 1972 and there should be enough bikes for all dealers without the necessity for allocation if discretion is used in ordering.

    Another internal company letter from Jack Smith (Schwinn Sales Manager) dated 11/14/73 states:

    As outlined in the last Newsflash, Paramounts will be allocated on a quarterly basis and our production schedule for 1974 is 19 units per day, but we are allocating 18 per day based on each Sales Company's past purchasing history.

    Now armed with that additional information let's do the math. Note that during those years the Schwinn factory closed for the first two weeks of January and July, taking a full month off the table right there. Add to that other holidays and closings it meant that there were only up to 46/47 weeks (230/235 days) of full production.

    For 1972 this meant that daily Paramount production was about 15 units and for '73 it was about 22 units, and for '74 we have the stated figure of 19 units a day. This means that for a month where 20 full production days were available there could have been as many as 300 ('72), 440 ('73) or 380 ('74) Paramounts built in a month during those peak production years.

    A couple of other bulletins stated that all of '72 production was sold out by April of that year, and that all of '73 production was sold out by November of '72! Even with those high production numbers the waiting list for Paramounts grew to more than a year during the very peak!
    Last edited by Metacortex; 05-13-15 at 07:44 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
    Waterford estimates 1972 Paramount production to have been 3,300. It was the year of highest production, and monthly output varied so I would discount attempts to average. 200 or 300 Paramounts per month is high, but not unreasonable in the middle of the bike boom.
    Quote Originally Posted by Metacortex View Post
    The paragraph you quoted from the Waterford site significantly underestimated peak Paramount production. As @Scooper mentioned they do list some additional production estimates here, but even that is missing the true peak years of '73 and '74.
    Awesome input guys! That makes more sense. Thanks!

  17. #17
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Just curious @Metacortex, any idea about 1971's Paramount production? Is it safe to assume it was about 1200, or only an average of 100 frames per month or 4-6 frames per day? Do your Schwinn Bulletins and News Flashes provide any information? Thanks!
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
    Just curious @Metacortex, any idea about 1971's Paramount production? Is it safe to assume it was about 1200, or only an average of 100 frames per month or 4-6 frames per day? Do your Schwinn Bulletins and News Flashes provide any information? Thanks!
    The bulletins I have go back to '69 but unfortunately no specific numbers are mentioned other than for '72-'74. They do indicate that order backlogs really began happening at the end of 1970, and from that point forward they were increasing production as much as possible at the time. The waiting list was 4 months long at the start of '71 and grew from there. The 1,200 unit production number indicated by Waterford in the paragraph quoted earlier may very well apply to '71 as you suggest.

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