Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday Morning Classic: Shelby Flying Cloud...

Wow, hot times would be had, cruising around on this rig.

Not to be confused with the Shelby Cycle Manufacturing Company, which was making bicycles as early as 1895, also in Shelby, Ohio, the Shelby Cycle Company, maker of this Flying Cloud began producing bicycles in 1925, and continued until 1953. Alright, actually that could get confusing. I have not found anything linking the two companies, other than the fact that they both made bikes in the same town. From what I have been able to gather, there was no overlap in the manufacturing dates. One company ceased to exist, there was a gap of years, and then the second company began manufacturing. Hard to believe there was not some connection though - factory, equipment, owners? It is a mystery to me right now.

Anyway, the later company, the Shelby Cycle Co., manufactured a number of models with vaguely romantic names, or links to popular figures of the time. Besides the Flying Cloud, there was the Lindy Flyer (guess who that was named for), the Hiawatha, the Speedway Special, and interestingly enough, the Donald Duck Bike. Seriously, search it. Besides producing bikes under their own name, Shelby also manufactured bikes for Montgomery Ward, Speigle, and Gamble. The company was apparently bought by AMF in 1953.

Various of the Shelby models had those faux fuel tanks located between the dual top tubes, as was popular, and common at the time. Not sure whether this one ever had one or not. The tires are clearly new, and I am not sure of the grips (the yellow just does not match), but everything else seems to be original, from the fenders, up to the saddle, and the stem. I have found another photo of this same model which has a headlight mounted to the fender, but did not notice any groove or otherwise where it would have been mounted, so perhaps it was an optional accessory. Other than that, everything is here, including original paint scheme. The chainring with teardrop cutouts is '50s styling all the way. And yes, in case you were wondering, it is heavy - flying cloud indeed.

Check it out first hand at the Velo, Worlds Smallest Bike Shop (or on their Facebook page). But don't delay, it's too good to last.

just for fun, these are workers of the original Shelby Cycle Manufacturing Co. those bike they made sold for upwards of $75.00. in 1947 you could buy a bike of the later Shelby Cycle Co. for $39.45. for all the info you could possibly want on this older Shelby check here

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