Posted by: Phil's Classic Chevys | April 22, 2018

1947 WHIZZER MOTORBIKE

Tuesday mornings in the summer, I get together with a group of guys to share car talk and general fellowsip.  Most of the guys are Ford collectors, but they have graciously allowed me to enter their lair.  It’s a great group of guys, and I look forward to summer Tuesday mornings.

At one of our recent meetings, one of the fellows told me about a Whizzer motorbike that he owned.  I was unfamiliar with Whizzers at the time, but his description was interesting and made me want to learn more.  He said he would ride his Whizzer to the next breakfast, and he did just that.  After looking over the bike, and watching him start and ride it, I was hooked.  The thing was really cool!

As it turned out, one of the Tuesday morning guys had a friend who was a collector and expert on the bikes, and another had a restored Whizzer that he would consider selling. The first stop was a visit to the collector to become educated on what to look for and to get an idea of the value of Whizzer bikes.

Whizzer began production in 1939 as a manufacturer of a motor assembly that could be added to a regular pedal bicycle.  The original motor add-on included a pulley that was attached to the rear wheel spokes, a drive belt, and gas tank.  The total kit cost $54.95. By May of 1948, 150,000 units had been sold through 3500 dealers nationwide.

Over the years Whizzer made continuing improvements to their product, but ceased production in 1965 when competition from inexpensive imported motorcycles became overwhelming.  Reproduction Whizzers were manufactured from 1999 to 2009.  The reproductions, however, are much less valuable than the originals.

Loaded with information, I approached the Tuesday morning fellow that had a Whizzer for sale.  The bike was an original 1947 Model H mounted on a Schwinn bicycle and was in beautiful restored condition.  After a test ride, we agreed on a price, and I became a proud Whizzer owner.

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Shortly after getting the Whizzer home, it was suggested that it would look good mounted in the bed of the ‘55 Chevy truck.  That sounded like a neat idea to me, so I rigged up a simple mounting method that allowed me to get the bike down and ride around the neighborhood when I had the urge.

The truck and Whizzer combination is a hit wherever it appears.  Honestly, I think that, on most occasions, the bike gets more attention than the truck.

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Responses

  1. Phil,
    I am trying to match the paint color on your 55 Chevy pickup. We have mixed all the blue colors on the 55 chevy paint chart and nothing matches. Could you share the color? If you don’t have the color, is there any way you would consider taking the truck to a paint store and let them photo it to get a color? I am restoring a 55 because my father started his construction company in 55 with a brand new blue pickup. My mom hauled materials for my dad with me on the seat, wrapped in blankets because there was no heater. I am restoring the truck to take my 96 year old mom for a ride. I would really appreciate any help you can provide.

    • Hi Richard, The blue on the truck is actually a Glasurit single stage urethane Volkswagen color. The paint was part of what was known at the time as the 21 Line. It was painted in the early ‘90s and still looks super. Make sure you are looking at the correct photos. The pictures with the bike in the bed do not represent the color correctly due to the lighting. The blues on the page specifically dedicated to the truck correctly represent the true color. Your story is really neat. I wish you the best. If there’s something else I can help you with, let me know.


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