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onehappypanda 03-08-12 06:35 PM

Barn find- Schwinn Starlet III
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Found this in my grandma's barn, old Schwinn Starlet III. She bought it new, barely rode it, and it's been sitting inside the barn pretty much for the past 40 years. Fun little blast out of the past.

She offered to let me keep it if I thought it could be restored/cleaned up. Do you think it's even possible to restore for the amount of rust on it? There are a few rust spots on the paint, most of it seems to have been on the chrome. I hate to toss something with history like that, but I know rust can be pretty killer.

Flying Merkel 03-08-12 07:16 PM

Rust removal isn't that hard. Search this thread for hints. Grandma is right. It's only original once. Get this bike all sparkedly-pretty, hang it in your pad, watch the babes line up to take it for a spin.

If your married, your wife will love you for it.

onehappypanda 03-08-12 09:59 PM

I'm female, but I'll see if the boyfriend loves me for it ;) Thanks for the heads' up, I guess I have a scarier picture of rust than is necessary. Might make a good spring/summer project.

Do you think it's DIY-able? I haven't done anything like this.

DavidW56 03-09-12 09:22 AM

Yes you can!

I like to use a paste of Barkeeper's Friend and water, rubbed in lightly with a clean rag. Rinse with water. The chrome fenders and rims will clean up nicely. If there is rust on the frame, you will need to touch it up after you remove the rust. Hyper-formance (search online) has paints that match Schwinn colors.

Your bike appears to be intact and complete, which is a huge positive. If your rear reflector is unbroken and the jewel reflectors intact on the rear rack, you have a wonderful find. These are rare parts and expensive to find and replace.

Here's a '66 Starlet III in violet on the day that I bought for my 19-year-old daughter. She was agreeable because purple is her sorority's color. You will see a few rust spots which I addressed later:

onehappypanda 03-09-12 09:25 AM

That's cute! I love the violet color. I'll have to call grandma and let her know I'm willing to take the bike.

If anybody has tips on the rust removal, send them my way. I figured I could get some of it off the chrome by scrubbing lightly, but what about the paint? And is there anything you can treat it with once you've removed the rust to keep it from coming back?

echo 03-09-12 10:41 AM

Those racks are awesome! These older Schwinns are so durable, and have sweet classic lines that it's very easy to get addicted to them. Get yourself some brass wool for starters for the rusty chrome, those small brass bristle detail brushes are amazing for areas that are difficult to get to, like around screws, recessed areas, etc...

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