Monday, April 20, 2009

What’s This Schwinn Stingray Worth?

“So....what's this re-built bike worth?”

Well that’s nearly an offensive question. What’s a still-in-the-box 1975 Deluxe Curl Barbie or a perfect condition KISS Alive album worth? That’s not a bike. That’s not even a Schwinn Stingray. That’s a childhood gem.

To a 2nd grader who could draw all the KISS faces with extreme precision, my lime green sparkly banana saddled Stingray was my best friend as Barbie was to the girl next door. It had a ball-busting stick shifter on the top tube. I can vividly remember riding through the cracked concrete alley behind our house down to the dry cleaning store solely because they always had free popcorn on the counter. Good times.

As you are where you work, I’m the office bike geek. We also have horse riding geeks and Ford Crown Victoria Police car geeks. Everyone has a passion for something. So of course, when a coworker was offered this bike as a raffle item for her charity auction, she posed the question to me. With a few clicks on EBay and a Schwinn Restoration forum, I did my best to answer her.

A year ago or so, I came across a Schwinn Continental II that I’m still working on refurbishing. In the process, I learned about the Schwinn Restoration forum which has a ton of great links for determining the year your Schwinn was built based on its serial number, what it might be worth and what it could look like if fully restored or turned into a work of art.

I didn’t have the serial number, but judging from the red/brown color and based upon some old catalogs I’ve seen, I’d hedge a guess that this Schwinn Stingray is from the mid 70’s. Judging from photos of similar looking bikes, I’m also guessing that this bike is missing its chrome fenders. It also seems like there’s something special about ’62 and ’63 Schwinn Stingray’s. The lime green color and the one with the big “S” on the banana seat seem to sell for more too. Two similar bikes to the one pictured above caught my eye on EBay, both with bids between $150 and $200. Some chopper style Stingrays on EBay go for over $500. I’m sure there’s tricked out Stingrays that sell for much higher.

Judging from that brief research, I’d say this well restored fenderless plain Jane Schwinn Stingray is probably in the $150-$200 neighborhood. Ultimately, it’s what the market will bear. I’d certainly write a $175 check for it. $300? I don’t think so, not unless its lime green with a stick shift and comes with a bag of popcorn.


Rogue Racer said...

My 2nd bike was a metallic blue schwinn stingray. I could ride a mean wheelie on that thing. It had a slick back tire that looked like something from a funny car. One summer I took a couple of badmitten poles and chopped out the front fork. It was the baddest bike on my street until one of the poles failed when I jumped it. I would write a check for $1000000.00 if someone could take me back to that summer, but I don't think I would pay a dime for the bike on ebay.

Anonymous said...

I'm down here in San Clemente, CA and still have my original blue 65 Sting Ray Fastback five speed hanging in the rafters as it has for the past 40 years. surface rust on chrome, but complete. Any idea what I could get for it? Anyone can email me at;



Kevin said...

Just stumbled upon this blog, that Stingray at the top was my creation (unfinished seat in pic). Sadly, it's a 90's reproduction, not an original. Restored it with new and old parts for a 70's feel. Why Root Beer paint? I've never seen a root beer colored stingray and wanted to see a root beer colored stingray. Built the bike for an Autism charity raffle in '09, raised a bunch of money for them, best part is a little girl ended up winning it. I hear she rides it all the time. How cool is that.

Link to better pic:

Anonymous said...

I have a1966 Schwinn sting ray deluxe. all original, ape hangers,white glitter banana seat,raised lettering flat slick tire,chrome finders,coaster brakes. What is it worth?

Anonymous said...

If your after big money... over a thousand and above, you need to look for 1971,1972,1973. Have the origanal seat and paint. be a 5-speed with the disc brake on the back wheel. thies "krate".."picker"..or "grey ghost"... Bikes are what get the cash. With very few exceptions. otherwise you most likely have a "deluxe" and those bikes are so common. getting more than a few hundred is going to be chore.
your welcome to all those "whats this worth" people posting here.