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CharlesC 06-30-06 11:53 PM

WWII aircraft plant bikes?
During WWII my Mom and Dad drove me by the Douglas Aircraft plant in California where he was a flight test engineer. Lots of men were riding bicycles around the plant because of severe gas and tire rationing. My Dad told me some of the bikes were made in the aircraft plant. I have never been able to find any information on these bikes. Anyone else ever heard of them?

Dave Moulton 07-01-06 12:35 AM

I recieved this email last November:

Sir: I have a bike that was custom made for me by a Lockheed Engineer by the name of Mike Moulton, name stamped on fork. He made this for me in 1949 and I raced it all over America as well as a member of the All American Team that toured Japan in 1951.(3) Cal. State Championship, 49,50, 51. Are you any kin to Mike?----JOE

I wrote back:

Dear Joe, That is a very interesting story, but I had not heard of Mike Moulton before and I am pretty sure we are not related. Moulton is a fairly common English name, and in any US city you will find several in the phone book. Do you still have the bike? Best regards, Dave Moulton.

And Joe responded:

YES, I still have the bike and in fact it is in great condition. In those days there were no bike carriers and most of us put our bikes in the truck of the car. After making several races in a year, you would have several paint nicks in the frame, so we had the framed chromed and when I took the bike out of storage a few years back, I polished it up and had outline stripping redone, so the frame looks like new. Cleaned up the wheels, the Williams Sprocket , block chain, ordinal pedals, handle bars, Brooks saddle in good shape, new spokes and tires and it is set up just as it was the last time I rode it in 1952.

ollo_ollo 07-01-06 06:44 PM

On my 1st good job, I worked at North American Aviation from 1958-1965 at the Los Angeles Airport. One of my early duties was driving an electric powered flat bed delivery truck which could pull a string of flat bed cars (it was operated with 2 levers, 1 to regulate speed & 1 to steer). I delivered parts & blueprints to every building & department of the plant & I remember there were a number of bicycles in use around the factory. I was told they were from WW2 & had been made by workers in the plant. They were still in use. Basically crudely made bikes with roughly welded/brazed joints, not lugged. Single speed, coaster brake, balloon tire bikes. Most had a basket in front of the bars or on both sides of the rear wheel. Heavy as sin with many coats of red, yellow or blue paint. Definitely not built for speed. Don

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