So for my birthday, my wife surprised me with an old Schwinn Tandem that she picked up from someone she knew from work. She had no idea what year or model it was as it was rattlecan painted white. She also picked up a first edition book on the history of Schwinn and another paperback on old Schwinn's so I could figure out what it was. Aside from all the rust on all the chrome, wheels, chain etc. it's in good shape. So this weekend, I finally got around to disassembling it to see what year it was as it would be stamped on the crank. Of course - I didn't take any pics of it when I got it. I'll take some pics of it in it's current state when I can.
After taking the crank out I discovered it's a 1963 Schwinn Bicycle Built For Two - a model which was only made in 63 and 64 according to the sources I've found. It has a traditional cross lateral tube and top tube for the captain and just the cross lateral "mixete" style in the rear. The serial number is a bit hard to read - but it's blue under the white - and so i'm assuming it's original color was Radiant Blue. I have all the pieces right now except the chainguard - which she still needs to pick up. It was also rewelded on the cross lateral tube that mates to the stoker seatube - so I spent the day grinding and filing it down until it matched the rest of the brazing.
I spent the rest of the time removing the rust from all the parts - using a light wire wheel on my air tool grinder and my dremel. I'm shocked at how well the parts came out. There's some light pitting on the finish of the headset cups and the stoker stem, but overall all the parts came out great. I didn't touch the wheels yet - and i'm not quite sure what I'll do with them as the rims are trashed with lots of bends and flat spots.
I've searched the archives of the forums and found some good info on parts and paint etc. Not sure if i'll try and replicate the Radiant Blue - or do another one of the factory colors. I'm also on the fence about doing a full restoration vs doing a "custom" which would mix old with some new flavors.
If anyone one has some good sources of info on old tandem parts - post em up.
I'll try and post up some progress shots as I go along.