RE-TIRED STRIPPER - Formerly Spit Ply-er DONE (basically)

Jun 18, 2013
84
109
Charlotte NC
First time building a bike and first time posting photos on here so bear with me if it isn't very successful!!! I have a 1956 Schwinn Spitfire that's been sitting in my garage for way too long. I bought it to build but haven't got that round tuit until now. Hope I can keep up with you pros.... I'm already starting late so we'll see! I wanted this frame because it's one of the my favorite designs when it has a tank but I didn't want to spend tank money so I will be making one. I'm thinking plywood but with a bit of a twist... again we'll see!

 
Jun 18, 2013
84
109
Charlotte NC
So here is the start and there are already a couple issues I wasn't expecting. I bought the red tires and rims new a while back planning for this bike but now that I tried to put them on I see that the axle for the front wheel is larger than what the fork will accept. It's just balanced on there for the photo. I'll have to ream the fork a bit to fit the new axle. Aside from the wheel/tire combo I'd like to keep everything vintage. The seat I robbed off my 78' Varsity Camelback (another project for the future) and I was going to use the stem from that bike as well but I now know they are two different diameters. The 78' uses a smaller diameter stem and even though I can get it to tighten in the 1956 steerer tube (hope I'm getting all the bike terms correct) I'm afraid it won't stay put very well and it also leaves an uneven gap visible at the top that will test my OCD if I leave it.

I've always planned on painting the bike because the paint on it right now looks like it was applied with a brush but when I stood the bike up with the tires on it I actually thought this color combo looked unusually cool! I'm still considering repainting it but with a similar color in matte... I know that's not exactly the ratty thing to do but I really want this bike to be "fully restored."

So my first question for anyone who wants to answer is.... keep it blue? If yes, repaint it or leave it straight up barn-find like it is?


 
Dec 31, 2012
1,667
743
Brighton, MI
You can put a top nut on the steer tube that fits around the goose neck stem tighter and don't be to over worried about it staying in there. As long as you tighten it down enough it will not come out.
 
Jun 18, 2013
84
109
Charlotte NC
You can put a top nut on the steer tube that fits around the goose neck stem tighter and don't be to over worried about it staying in there. As long as you tighten it down enough it will not come out.
I kind of wondered about that, but I guess without knowing the tricks of the trade I was thinking of playing it safe. I did like the way the stem looked in there so I might just do that. Thanks!
 
Jun 18, 2013
84
109
Charlotte NC
Id keep the Original blue, its only original once ya know, lol you can never go back.

May I suggest some white darts and a matt clear coat over the stock paint? Then it would be a matte blue, or use gloss, either way its got its original blue visable :D
That's a cool idea but I'm pretty sure it's been repainted at least once already. The paint has wrinkles in some areas... Did the 50s bikes come with flaws like that?
 
Jun 18, 2013
84
109
Charlotte NC
Well time management has never been my strength so I haven't been tinkering as much as I'd like but I did manage to buy a new stem that was supposedly the right size (it's extremely tight) so I will have to do some convincing to get it as low as I want. I should know in a few hours if I won a new sprocket on eBay too. I'm not a huge fan of the clover leaf design so I'm hoping to win a sweetheart sprocket. If I don't end up getting it I have an idea of how to dress up the clover leaf. I also have an old police car spot light that should make a pretty cool head light. Not sure how much power, or how I will light this bad boy up buy it should be cool. Bigger is better right?


Here is the updated side view, utilizing a high tech yellow duct tape mock up method. Like I said, those handle bars are going to drop down as much as possible but I haven't posted an update in a week so I wanted to show the tiny bit of progress I've made.


I'm really liking the way this seat looks on this frame. I started to clean up the chrome and it's looking like new underneath just by hitting it with a brillo pad. For some reason the caps on the side don't seem to clean up at all though. Any suggestions for these things if a brillo pad doesn't work?