[CR]Re: Paramount dating

(Example: Framebuilders:Doug Fattic)

From: <InchPitch@aol.com>
Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2005 14:53:57 EDT
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR]Re: Paramount dating

Paramounts were officially released, and first featured in catalogs in 1938. However, Emil Wastyn was already making bikes of his own, and it has been reported that in 1937 he built some six-day bikes for the Schwinn team to ride. Whether or not these bikes were lettered, "Paramount," is unknown. I have heard that they were not. It is very interesting to note the 1938 catalog, in which the Paramount was officially introduced ("The most important contribution to American cycling and the bicycle trade in forty years.") featured letters and telegrams from the top riders of the day praising the new Schwinn lightweight racing bicycles, and placing orders for them. One letter, signed by two riders stated that they were leaving to ride a six-day race in London the next week, and ordered two of the bikes to take along. They stated, "...we will be riding as the American team and we would like to prove that America is building just as good bicycles as they build in England." Only one letter actually refers to the bike as the Paramount, the rest call it, "the racing model," the new lightweight," or, "the six-day bike." This seems to substantiate the report that the 1937 bikes did not yet carry the new model designation.

Regarding the Paramount 50th Anniversary Commerative frame, Schwinn considers 1988 the anniversary year, although the production run (less than 700 total) actually began in 1987. Dating shouldn't be hard, as the year is coded into the serial number. Be aware, however, that all Paramounts built in 1988 had a decal indicating the fiftieth anniversary, but only the frames painted metal-flake black with gold plated forks are true 50th Anniversary Commerative models.

Bill Curtis,
Costa Mesa, CA