ELGIN Decoluxe

Discussion in 'BUILD OFF 11 FINISHED BIKES' started by The Renaissance Man, Jul 31, 2016.

  1. The Renaissance Man

    The Renaissance Man __CERTIFIED DIVER__ (Open Water & Open Dumpster) Pro Member

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    With the 1939 New York World's fair in full swing, and with all of the attention on futuristic styling,
    Fair1.jpg
    the designers at Murray Ohio Manufacturing Company set out to produce an all new Art Deco inspired deluxe bicycle like no other.
    The project dubbed 'DECOLUXE' was very secretive although rumors of the new design began swirling around the industry in late 1940.
    The first prototype was built in the summer of 1941 and was shown to the executives of the Sears and Roebuck Co. who quickly jumped at the chance to be the sole retailers for this new and innovative two wheeled stunner! After two years of planning and delays, the new 'Elgin' branded offering was set to begin production sometime in the first quarter of 1942. However, before tooling at the Ohio plant for the new bicycle could be completed, the Japanese launched an attack on Pearl Harbor thrusting the United States into World War II.
    arizona_pearlharbor.jpg

    With the country focused on the war effort, the 'Deocoluxe' project was shelved and was eventually scrapped. The one prototype stayed at the Murray facility and reportedly was even used by couriers to move about the plant when needed.

    Years later these rare never before seen photographs surfaced and are the only known photos of the original bike.

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    Last edited: Aug 2, 2016
    Redman, RustyGold, piercer99 and 25 others like this.
  2. The Renaissance Man

    The Renaissance Man __CERTIFIED DIVER__ (Open Water & Open Dumpster) Pro Member

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    After tireless research and an extensive search for the whereabouts of the lone Decoluxe, bicycle builder Jim Henderson (aka The Renaissance Man) found the bike at an undisclosed location in a store room of a warehouse building. Remarkably the original paint and chrome was brought back to life with some polishing and good old fashioned elbow grease and this is how the bike looks today!
    Decoluxe logo wall.jpg


    ____________________________



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    Last edited: Jul 31, 2016
  3. The Renaissance Man

    The Renaissance Man __CERTIFIED DIVER__ (Open Water & Open Dumpster) Pro Member

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    OK, so here's what really happened.:happy:

    I picked up this '41 Elgin frame last winter from forum member Pookie42. I'm constantly looking for old girls frames to try my convertible tanks on and this one looked very promising!
    69EBE912-A6B0-44FE-BF41-FAA9CD1A4435_zps0mvxpiiq.jpg

    Not long after I got the frame, I bought a '57 Schwinn Wasp and turned my attention to it instead of the Elgin because it was a complete bike. As the build off began to appear on the horizon I decided that I'd build the Elgin.

    After researching all types of art deco references, I knew what I wanted and began gathering parts and making plans. I've had the Higgins skirt guards in my stash for years and never found a good fit for them. It didn't take more than holding one up to the frame to decide that this was it!

    My plan from the beginning was to build a bike that could have been but never was. To achieve this I tried to make the parts naturally flow with each other and finished with paint that hopefully looks like old dull paint that has been compounded and waxed to look shiny again.

    Like many other bikes here on RatRodBikes, there are parts from many different manufacturers and vintages and styles.

    Many of the parts came from forum members including @Pookie42, @American Vintage Bicycle Supply, @The_Black_Monark, @Road Master, @Jarod24 and @KEMPRACING. Thank you!

    ________________________________

    The build thread is HERE for anyone who's interested.

    The Cliff Notes are as follows:
    1941 Elgin girls frame
    TRM Convertible Tank
    CWC Shockmaster fork
    Prewar Elgin triple step wheels
    Schwalbe Fat Frank 26x2.35 tires
    1930s/40s era Torrington art deco handlebar stem
    Huffy middle weight handlebar
    Foxgrips reproduction Airflo grips
    prewar Diamond skip tooth chain
    prewar Lazy Heart chain ring
    Persons majestic tear drop pedals
    Monark deep fenders
    Huffy fenderettes
    J.C. Higgins Colorflow skirt guards
    CWC Western Flyer/Hiawatha chain guard
    Prewar long spring saddle (customized)
    lucky seven seat post
    Colorflow fender brace/custom drop stand
    custom deco fender braces
    LED headlights and tail lights



    Detail Photos:

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    Last edited: Jul 31, 2016
  4. A.S.BOLTNUT

    A.S.BOLTNUT

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  5. RustySprockets

    RustySprockets

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    Hee, hee... Admit it--you read that whole passage using your "newsreel Winchellese" voice, didn't you?! "Good evening Mr. and Mrs. America, from border to border and coast to coast and all the ships at sea. Let's go to press!"
     
  6. deorman

    deorman

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    For shame! What if everybody had just kept their bikes!! Why we'd probably all be riding Japa... oh, wait. Never mind. :crazy:
     
    The Renaissance Man likes this.
  7. Scribble

    Scribble

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    This is beautiful, could not be better even if Elgin built it them selfs.
     
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  8. gigmata

    gigmata

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    Duuuuuuuuuude.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  9. kowalski385

    kowalski385

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    For a moment I actually believed I was reading a true story.

    Wow.:41:
     
  10. Missing Link

    Missing Link

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  11. Falstaff

    Falstaff

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    Great story Jim, it all fits together.
     
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  12. Green Dragon

    Green Dragon

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    This one deserves the win just for the narrative :)
     
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  13. OddJob

    OddJob

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    Nice read.
     
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  14. johnp.smith

    johnp.smith

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    Incredible Bike. Every detail is so perfect.

    YOU ROCK
     
    The Renaissance Man likes this.
  15. GuitarlCarl

    GuitarlCarl

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    A black & white voting picture?
    Argh! I hope the part timers get it. I really liked the story a lot, learned something too. I gather Murray built Elgins for Sears. I did not know this...

    Carl.

    sent from my banana phone...
     
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  16. Jake Sensi

    Jake Sensi

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    WHAT A SPECIAL BIKE YOU HAVE THERE. LOVING ALL PHASES OF IT. PEACE

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N900A using Tapatalk
     
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  17. sdframe

    sdframe

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    Well done!!!!
     
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  18. OneHorsePower

    OneHorsePower

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    i predict people getting fooled in the future thinking this story is true , oh wait, i just ruined the prank :doh:;)

    It actually look like its a never before seen old special edition bike , Amazing work though the whole build ! can't wait to see some more angles of this beauty in colored pics:41::praise:
     
    The Renaissance Man likes this.
  19. Dan Hampton

    Dan Hampton

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    The B&W photos look good! The warehouse was good choice.
     
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  20. American Vintage Bicycle Supply

    American Vintage Bicycle Supply Double Nickle Moderator

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    I've loved every minute of this build


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     

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