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'53 Schwinn Tiger Mystery

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'53 Schwinn Tiger Mystery

Old 12-16-11, 12:28 AM
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WildFireDesigns
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'53 Schwinn Tiger Mystery

I saw a vintage Schwinn on Craigslist today that Im interested in. The description of course is brief but did give the serial#: H887861
It does date to March of '53. And picture shows Schwinn Tiger on the chain guard. But research I did online at trfindley.com shows these middleweights came out in '54 or '55, I think. Also, the person indicated it was a two speed and I thought these were 3 speed.
So, what is it? Can you tell the model from the serial#?
I would be grateful for any insight you can give...

Ps, I'll work on posting a pic - it won't let me from my iPad.
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Old 12-16-11, 06:38 AM
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You can't tell the model from the serial number.
Let's see a picture, or at least a link to the CL ad.
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Old 12-16-11, 01:42 PM
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Pictures of the Schwinn 'Tiger'



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Old 12-16-11, 01:45 PM
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Ok, it took a couple of tries, but I got it. Please tell me what you make of it...
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Old 12-16-11, 01:58 PM
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I did confirm. It is 3 speed, not 2.
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Old 12-17-11, 08:02 AM
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For what its worth Tigers were not made until late 1954 as 1955 model bikes. First sold about X-mas time 1954. The other dating problem would be Schwinn repeated serial numbers in those days every year or so. Assuming the rear wheel came with the bike there will be a date code on the hub. If you list the serial number I can probably get you closer to the right date. I used to own a 1955 Tiger that the frame was built in November 1954 and the hub was built in June 1954. It took a while for hubs to get to the US from GB in those days. The Tiger could be bought with 1 speed (coaster brake), 2 speed (mechanical Bendix coaster) or Sturmey Archer 3 speed hubs. Roger
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Old 12-18-11, 09:26 PM
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Thanks, Roger, that was just the info I was looking for. When I get the date code of the hub, I'll post it.

I'm still curious that this is an early '53 serial # on a middleweight, when middleweights were not introduced until late '54- at least it seems that way.
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Old 12-19-11, 08:08 AM
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As I said Schwinn repeated serial numbers often in those days with nothing in the number indicating the exact year. The format changed in 1958 to clarify the year so it is pre-1958 because of that and the bike has a 1958 and earlier chain guard. If I had to guess without seeing the number it is a 1956. The numbers in 1956 almost duplicated the 1953 numbers. The site I find with the most accurate serials numbers is http://www.angelfire.com/rant/allday...innCodes1.html. You do not have a rare bike just a nice bike. Roger
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Old 12-19-11, 11:32 PM
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Now I understand what you were talking about. Thanks Roger. Nah, I didn't think it likely it was rare, just unusual numbering- that you cleared up. Besides, anything '50's is cool to me!
Just one more quick question- except for the chain guard and SS fenders, how else can you tell a corvette from tiger?
Matt
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Old 12-20-11, 08:19 AM
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The Corvette also has an aluminum front rack. In order of price the top of the line middleweight was the Jaguar, then Corvette, then Tiger, then American and then a few more depending on the year. The Jag had both front and rear racks but I believe chrome fenders. Roger
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