1956 Columbia Torpedo

Oct 22, 2020
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Up for sale is a 1956 (to my best knowledge) Columbia Torpedo. I will gladly drive this to anyone (free of charge) within 3 hours of Chicagoland if you like this sight unseen. This bike has a Bendix lever 2-speed, ridged fenders, chainguard with oil port, and unfortunately, two rims in need of truing. The original paint appears to be a deep green. Somewhere along the line, WELL before I purchased it, there was a very thin spraycan job of orange-red. The decals seem to be very well preserved below the lacquer.

This bike's shortish Ashtabula crank, meddling chainring, and Bendix 2-speed hub combine for an oddly fast ride. The bottom bracket and seat are just the right offset to really let you bear on the pedals. The handlebar crooks were whipped with kite string to better protect those areas from rack scratches. The Mesinger saddle, plastic grips, and everything else on the bike (sans dirt, grease, tires, and tubes) are completely original. I gave this bike a very thorough tune up circa 2010 when it was bought. It had since served me through high school and college, and I had intended on making some sort of klunker from it but I had outgrew the bike quite a bit.

Tires are 26" x 1.5". If the paint were stripped just enough, that deep green would look great with gumwalls. Looking for $185.

Below are the pictures. Please PM me for any offers. I am very open to negotiation. I myself am after a taller Varsity with downtube shifters.

The Bendix lever

The head badge

Shot of the Bendix 2-speed + the chainguard oiler port