Montgomery Ward Open Road Newspaper Bike

Discussion in 'Antique Motorized Bicycles' started by Large Filipino, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. I just scored this less than an hour ago at a local garage sale. Craigslist said "Newspaper Bike 60 dollars" So you KNOW I had to check it out.
    Went over there on Cronus and my kiddie trailer and it was way in back of the garage collecting dust. As I was helping the lady probably about my age dig it out back there she was telling me about how her GRANDFATHER used it to deliver the paper route when he was a child. So I'm anticipating heavy spokes and heavy duty but when it uncovered it didn't look as heavy duty as I had hoped. But it has this weird fender guard and it looks like a kind of bike one would use on a paper route.
    Frankly it LOOKS like an early 70's bike but it could be earlier.
    Maybe that lady said "My kid's grandfather" or her husband's dad. That may make more sense here.
    Still though. That front "cage" looks like something that was used long ago.
    Can someone help me identify it?
    I need to know the year of this bike just for bragging reasons.
    I ended up dropping the price down to 40 bucks.
    I stopped at the 711 for it's 711 day!
    Man did I feel like one of them "Trash People" today.
    People still admired my bike,though.
    I'm seriously contemplating having that "talk" with MOOP.
    MOOP may have seen his last days.
    This bike is way more comfortable than MOOP can ever be yes even with MOOP having the suspension fork.
    I'm just built for cruisers I think.
    This will be named MOOP 2 if I go ahead with the transformation.
    And yes,that's a real leather seat with no real tears on it but some wear.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2008

  2. Here's something interesting.

    The language or terminology is old.
    No area code meaning Colorado as a whole is still the same everywhere (303)

    I'm gonna go to the library come Monday.
    The internets show me NOTHING!
    I can't even find what years this bike was made,or what year they stopped making Hawthorns.

    Attached Files:

  3. srdavo

    srdavo Active Member

  4. ocscully

    ocscully Member

    Memory Lane Classics

    e-mail the side view photo to the folks at Memory Lane Classics They will be able to give you some general info about its vintage. But the records for bikes like yours aren't available the way that the info about Schwinns are available. My best guess would be middle 60's.

  5. Thanks Dave but RMN didn't seem at all like they wanted to help. You would think someone there would be most interested for this year believe it or not thanks to our wonderful internet they COMPLETELY did away with home delivery and those that want the paper is now sent to them thru the mail.
    I can't imagine that.
    And oscully,is there an e-mail there? I couldn't find it. They do look quite knowledgeable though. THANKS for that.
    My first job was a paper boy job. I did that for 5 seasons from 12 to 16.
    I did three routes. 200 homes. Sundays was the WORST. Christmas time was the best for I got major tip action there. And everyone got sad at my last year because I never threw the paper and leave it at the driveway. Oh no. I suggested to everyone to have a newspaper box at the step and every morning it would be right in there away from the rain and up so they wouldn't even need to bend over to pick it up. And those that didn't have a box the paper would be right between the door and the storm door. Some of them gave me cookies,yo. I did this to even the ones the never tipped me. One guy that never tipped me gave me a dime one Christmas. I was always grateful. I never disrespected my elders,yo.
    I can't believe that era is gone. I COMPLETELY blame the internets.

    So today I greased every single moving part on that bike,and I installed the rear sprocket. Photo0276.jpg (Yes those are machine screws. Yes those are 1/4 inch nuts. I needed to clear the coaster,though. I'll keep a close eye on that daily.I think it would hold though. Nine bolts is more than enough.) I also aired up the tires and switched the back tire with a newer tire and slime tube I have laying around. Amazingly though both tubes still hold air and both rims are PERFECTLY straight.

    Took it out for a ride. Okay you hear Montgomery Ward and you're thinking Department store bike,right?
    WRONG. This bike is SOLID,man. Pedals real easy,QUIET as can be with no rattles or shakes.
    Man. They really DID make bikes far better than today.
    It's almost a CRIME to MOOP this bike,man. This bike had to have been made here in America.
    I'll go ahead and continue with the MOOP conversion,but I won't drill holes in the frame or anything like that.
    I completely STOLE this bike.
    It's definitely worth far more.
    The seat alone is worth more than 40 bucks.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2008
  6. JemmaUK

    JemmaUK Guest

    you mention that fender guard and the look of the bike in general. I would say its 50's or so because of the very minimalist and simple design of it. it might even be a little older than that...

    I think you are right that you got it for a cheap price, but if you think about it it was sitting there doing nothing and you are going to resurrect it and use it again.. so all things considered you are bringing something that was sitting with no purpose back to life...

    and it would make a wonderful basis for a retro\oldtimer bike.

    good luck with the build and we want to see pictures :)

    PS.. correct me if I am wrong, but that bracket thing on the headset looks almost like it could be a mounting for a rod brake..

    Jemma xx
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2008
  7. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    From what I can find, Large, a lot of Wards bikes were built by Cleveland Welding. Some were Monarchs, especially those badged as Hawthorn line bikes. So, possibly a Monarch built bike. Wander around here:

    National Bicycle History Archive of American (NBHAA) or
  8. mark2yahu

    mark2yahu Member

    You scored big time, man!! That's what garage sale dreams are made of. Oh my gosh, I'm so jealous.
  9. KilroyCD

    KilroyCD Active Member

    Large, what you have there is a Huffy made for Monkey Wards. I'm not sure when Wards dropped the Hawthorne name, but as Simple Simon said, many Hawthornes were built by Cleveland Welding (Roadmaster) or Monark. I even have a wartime Columbia-built Hawthorne "Litewate" (their spelling) in my collection. One look at the frame and I can tell you it's not a Cleveland Welding frame. Not the same contours. The real giveaway is the chainring (pedal sprocket). It's the same as a mid 1960s Huffy I refurbished for a friend. Another giveaway is the serial number beginning with two letters.
    The seat looks like a Mesinger seat or a copy thereof. Mesingers are good seats, and the style is typical of the lighter weight seats they made for middleweight bikes from the late 1950s through 70s. By looking at the shorty rear fender, I'd say that dates your bike from the late 60s through the 70s. The basket around your front wheel is interesting. It resembles a skirt guard, which were usually mounted on girl's bikes and on the rear wheel. The bike is equipped with middleweight tires. If you want a little more tire on it, you might be able to get away with a pair of Kenda balloon tires on those rims. I mounted a pair of Kendas on the one I rebuilt, and they fit without rubbing the fenders. Any other brand probably wouldn't have, as the Kendas are a wee bit narrower.
    It's a good solid bike from the days before they moved to overseas production. It was a good find. I'm looking forward to seeing pics of Moop II when it's completed.
  10. meatwad

    meatwad Member

    Its a middleweight. Monark based that stated being built in the late 50s early 60s. Yours is late 70s to late 80s based on the graphics. Absolutely not older than that.
  11. KilroyCD

    KilroyCD Active Member

    Meatwad's right about the graphics. Definitely from the disco era.
  12. Yea that's what threw me off from the get go,meatwad. Those graphics.
    Kilroy THANKS for that information.
    I'm still thinking this before overseas productions and made in the USA because it rides so nice,man.
    That front skirt I believe it's definitely there so the newspaper bags don't jam up the spokes.
    Jemma I believe that metal coming out to the front is an actual hook that a cloth pannier must have hooked around to to carry the newspapers and there's another mystery latch bolted to the gooseneck bolt with a broken piece of plastic on the end that turns up and down. I'm gonna assume that's got something to do with the newspaper bags as well.
    SS THANKS for that site. I gave them an e-mail with some pics.
    I'd LOVE to get the newspaper bags that came with this bike.
    It would make GREAT grocery holders.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2008
  13. meatwad

    meatwad Member

    Killroy was correct. Thats a Huffy. It was made in america.looks like a great canidate for a motor.
  14. srdavo

    srdavo Active Member

    Moop II has a girl friend.....

    or maybe a sister...?

    100_2777.JPG 100_2779.jpg


    A guy stopped by yesterday & gave me 4 bikes. Life is good!!
  15. srdavo

    srdavo Active Member

    yeah.... i know the front fender is on backwards....hahaha

    here's what's on the seat.-----> 100_2762.JPG

    I've since put this seat on the other donor Huffy.
    (pics of the Huffy to be posted here...somewhere. :jester:)
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009
  16. COOL! That is incredibly similar to my bike.

    Doesn't it just ride nice?

    It just hit me that the Rocky Mountain News closed it's doors a couple of weeks ago.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 9, 2009
  17. jrjwoodsman

    jrjwoodsman New Member

    Huffy Open Road

    Finally found someone who has this bike! I picked mine up in December from my local craigslist for $25. It is in pretty good shape, just needed a new chain and tune up. I am planning on riding it this summer on the Seattle to Portland ride with a group of 6 others on single speed cruisers. I don't have any history about this bike because info on the web is so limited. It's almost as if they never existed.
  18. RUSSELL45

    RUSSELL45 New Member

    Large, back then we carried our papers folded,in canvas bags.They were tied to the handle bars and hung down each side of front wheel. can you imagine what happened when those bags got tangled-up in the spokes. I'm talking road rash all over the face! My dad made mine from heavy hardware cloth.