Gary's Restorations

Preserving our transportation history, one piece at a time.

1936 Elgin Skylark
I found this bike with the 1935 Elgin Bluebird in the same warehouse in Stockton, California in April 2011. In contrast to the Bluebird, it was in fairly good condition considering it age. The condition may be due to the fact that it only had 149 original miles showing on the Stewart Warner speedometer/ odometer. The other reason is that girls take better care of their bikes than boys. Elgin produced about 2000 of these bikes from 1935 to 1937 and they sold for a cost of almost $50. Even though they made half the number of Skylarks than the Bluebird, about the same number of Skylarks are still around. I rest my case about girls taking better care of their bikes. After the restoration was completed, only the saddle is still original. Everything on this bike works - horn, lights, battery, switches and speedometer. This is the first bike to have a built in Stewart Warner speedometer and Alemite lub fittings on the hubs, head set and cranks. That was a big deal in 1936. The electric horn and light are mounted on the fender rather than the handlebars. Because of its unique frame design, art deco chain guard and skirt guards, it is considered the most collectible pre war lady’s bike. When people see the bike they always say that it is the “coolest girls bike” they have ever seen. There are about 30 restored Elgin Skylarks known to exist. I also believe that this is one of the best restorations of this model and I also plan to sell this bike in an upcoming auction.