1952 Rollfast Hoppy
I was looking for a Vespa project when I located this bicycle through a guy who found it in a barn in Clearlake, California in November of 2010. The rancher was planning to throw it away but this guy had seen the American Restoration episode with the restored Hoppy bike and knew it was worth something. I bought the bike from this guy at a decent price. This is an original 1952 Rollfast Hopalong Cassidy 24” boys bicycle with its 1954 City of Alameda license still on the bike. Hopalong Cassidy was the first TV cowboy series which ran from 1949-54. William Boyd, the actor who played Hopalong Cassidy from 1935 to 1954, was known The King of the Cowboy Merchadisers. In 1952, he endorsed 2500 products with total sales revenue of $52 million. That was a ton of money in 1952. This bike costs $67 in 1952 when an average boys bike costs $16 -18. For these reasons, it is considered the most collectible of the early 1950’s “character bikes”. It was missing many parts but after 9 months of intense searching on the Internet and talking to over 100 bike people, I was able to find all the missing parts. The bike was completely disassembled and each part was cleaned and polished on a buffing machine. The saddle bags are not original but were made by me based on a pattern of an original set of Hoppy saddle bags. I got a lot of help from a fellow restorer in Southern California with this bike. Most restorers will go out of their way to help a newbie in the hobby. The bags are 100% accurate and authentic to the original bags in every detail. I think that this is one of the best original condition Hoppy bikes around. I plan to sell this bike at an upcoming auction to some lucky Hoppy or vintage bike collector.