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1976 Schwinn Continental, fixer upper
#1
I received an email from someone on my websites asking me if I wanted a free Schwinn Continental. I said sure, she sent photos and it is a woman's bike so I'm thinking it would be a resale thing after fixing it up.

The Continentals are not exactly top of the line for Schwinn but I don't look a gift horse in the mouth. Smile

It isn't in bad shape and everything is original. She purchased it new in 1976 for $145 (about $550 in today's dollars) and hasn't been riding it for many years. There's some rust on the rims but overall I would say it is worth while to fix it up for resale.

Thanks for looking!
Steve
Junkyard Tools rescued from the junkyard!
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#2
So Steve; what are your plans for it? Clean up or significant modifications?

The Continental frame is stiff and decent geometry. All the steel accessories make the bike heavy. Of course, dropping $500- into light weight systems for it does not make $$$ sense either.....
Nigel
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#3
Hey Nigel;

I've been kicking around some ideas and will look at the prevailing prices for such a bike. Then make a list of improvements and minimum repairs. I know women's bikes don't fetch a lot of money. So after some analysis I'll try to make it as presentable as possible to maximize my profit, starting with no changes at low X$ to best choice of improvement at higher X$, keeping in mind the limited demand for said bike. Then decide where's the maximum profit? Smile

Sound good to you?

Steve
Junkyard Tools rescued from the junkyard!
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#4
Nice find, Steve! Those papers alone can fetch a pretty penny from a collector. I've sold similar condition owners manuals for $30+.

The Conti's don't seem to attract a lot of interest due to the abundance of relatively good-shape ones sitting in garages everywhere. Really prime examples such as yours may best be left 'as is' if interested in finding a collector who wants every model and needs this one to fill in a hole. Those guys can be hard to find, though.

Personally, I have too much work to do to spend time advertising. The Conti's and Collegiates that I've restored have been done more for the sentiment of keeping an old bike in circulation rather than turning a profit. If I can make a buck or 3 - cool by me. I've even given a couple away to people whose houses have burned and just need something to smile about. Cool old bikes can do that!

Elbow grease, bar tape, rubber and cables / housing are generally all they need outside of the over-haul labor and lubes. That trans-blue tape is very hard to find. I usually use an inexpensive black tape by Sunlite from J&B. I've found that modern tape can interfere with the clearance of the suicide levers early in the travel. Too thick.

Funny that you should post this. I have a 27" and a 24" Continental that were to be my 'winter project' before we wound up moving the shop. Maybe next winter? The 24" is pretty rare as they were generally ridden by kids and not treated as well. This one, though, is in about the shape of yours.
Keep us posted on the progress and what you plan to do with it!

Rob
Wheelies don't pop themselves. (from a QBP fortune cookie)
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#5
Thanks Rob. Since you don't live far from me and also deal with used Schwinns what would the price range go for on that bike? I'm just trying to see if it is even worth my time.

I haven't looked at it but was thinking maybe $50 as is condition to a high in excellent original shape of roughly $150, with owner's manual.

BTW, good point about the suicide levers and tape.

Thanks,
Steve
Junkyard Tools rescued from the junkyard!
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#6
whoa Steve. KC MO and Mtn Home, AR may be in the same 'hood but are worlds apart on opportunity! If I had to guess KC prices - that Conti should command $25 at a Yard Sale. $40 at a LBS, as is. Fixed Up? $120 at a LBS that can talk it up to the right buyer. Nostalgia can go a long way. I wish I still had my GI Joe with the 'real' hair and beard and dog tag. Or my Six Million Dollar Man with the bionic eye and power grip fist. Know what I mean?
The papers don't mean diddly to someone wanting it as a 'rider'. Keep that in mind.
What it comes down to is - how nostalgic are You, the one responsible for the fate of this old bicycle? Old horses used to go to the Glue Factory. Old horses tend to walk softly and are great companions for young children. Get it?
If you get enjoyment from fixing her up and can Pay It Forward on that enjoyment, do so. Smiles are getting rarer in our current state of world affairs. If you can sell it for what you have invested in it, it keeps it on the road and hopefully turns someone on to Cycling. Don't plan on getting to Thousandaire Status refurbing old Schwinns. Comprende?

They're not Money Makers. At least not anything other than Lemon Peelers, Orange Crates, etc. It's just a Labor of Love. The old StingRays can send you to the Poor House before you sell your first one. Check parted out Sting prices on the Bay. $550 for a 'gas tank'? Ouch.
Wheelies don't pop themselves. (from a QBP fortune cookie)
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#7
(04-03-2012, 01:53 AM)RobAR Wrote:  whoa Steve. KC MO and Mtn Home, AR may be in the same 'hood but are worlds apart on opportunity! If I had to guess KC prices - that Conti should command $25 at a Yard Sale. $40 at a LBS, as is. Fixed Up? $120 at a LBS that can talk it up to the right buyer. Nostalgia can go a long way. I wish I still had my GI Joe with the 'real' hair and beard and dog tag. Or my Six Million Dollar Man with the bionic eye and power grip fist. Know what I mean?
The papers don't mean diddly to someone wanting it as a 'rider'. Keep that in mind.
What it comes down to is - how nostalgic are You, the one responsible for the fate of this old bicycle?

I'm not planning "thousandaire status", just don't want to waste my time when I have so many other more important projects to complete. Surely you recall my economics background, opportunity costs? I'm also never nostalgic unless I'm listening to old rock and I do that too much as it is. So you played with dolls eh? Smile

There are no children in my neighborhood. Somebody ate 'em I guess. The city school system sucks where I live and everyone with children moved to greener pastures and better schools. Mostly 'empty nesters' here. That also means I have to mow my own lawn. You see those opportunity costs come into play yet?

Thanks, that's about the range what I was thinking . . . so I'm still considering my options.

Steve
Junkyard Tools rescued from the junkyard!
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