Join Date: Apr 2011
Bikes: Fillet-brazed Schwinns
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The 1973 World Traveler
and World Voyageur
were Schwinn's first imported bikes, made for Schwinn by Panasonic in Japan. They carried the "World" (and not Schwinn) designation because at the time Schwinn was unsure how dealers and customers would react to imports under the Schwinn name. In the product lineup the World Voyageur was a notch above the Sports Tourer and the World Traveler was a notch above the Varsity, which left a big gap between them. They needed something to fill the gap between the Continental and the Super Sport.
The "World" bikes were a one-year only experiment in 1973. In 1974 they were replaced by the "Schwinn Approved" Le Tour
and Voyageur II
. The "Schwinn Approved" Voyageur II was a World Voyageur with no changes except a new name, new colors and a higher price. By comparison the '74 "Schwinn Approved" Le Tour was an upgraded World Traveler. Both the World Traveler and Le Tour used the same basic single-butted 1020 carbon steel lugged Panasonic-made frames, with the only difference being that the Le Tour was upgraded with a standard bottom bracket to support 3-piece cranks. The only other difference were the brakes, center-pull for the Le Tour and side-pull for the World Traveler.
The World Traveler reappeared in its original configuration (one-piece crank and side-pull brakes) in '75 as the "Schwinn Approved" Traveler, at which time you had the Voyageur II
, Le Tour
, and Traveler
as three different levels of Panasonic made bikes under the "Schwinn Approved" designation, nicely filling some gaps in the Schwinn bicycle lineup.
Note that Japanese built models used a different serial number designation than US built Schwinns
. Yours is B3xxxxx, which indicates a Feb. 1973 frame production date.
Last edited by Metacortex; 07-15-12 at 02:45 PM.