He had this vintage Marshell Wells bicycle, which he believed was from 1923, that was made by CCM. Marshell Wells was a Canadian chain of department stores bought out by the Hudsons Bay Company in 1982. This particular bike eventually made its way into the display window of a Marshell Well’s store. It was rigged onto a motorized rolling stand that was designed to make the wheels and pedals turn in the store window. Someone had re-spoked both the front and rear wheels in order to off-center the hubs. They did this to make the bicycle go up and down in the window.
Marshell Wells had given the bike the name Zenith. It appears that multiple products built for the Marshell Wells department store were also branded Zenith.
What I like about the bike is that it’s 100% original, it’s complete, it has wooden rims that are in great shape, it is vintage, and it is 100% restorable. The head tube bearings are seized up and the bottom bracket is a bit rough. The chain ring is bent and the frame has got about 3 layers of paint on it. The top tube has a couple of minor dents in it but they are fixable.
I went hunting for the serial number and, after stripping paint off in all the common spots, I finally located the number at the top of the seat tube. The serial number started with an X. I was able to find a vintage listing of CCM serial numbers in that era and it turns out the bike is from 1935. Not as old as originally thought but I am still pleased with the find.
Right now the bike has secured a spot on my list of projects to complete. I plan a full restoration which will include some personal touches. I am looking forward to sanding down the rims and exposing the wood grain. Once I get working on it I’ll be sure to post some pictures.