Bicycle, bicycle, I like to ride my bicycle

Posted: December 13, 2010 in Cycling, Garage projects
Tags: , , , , , ,

 A friend of mine who belongs to a local vintage motorcycle club introduced me to one of the vetran members who was selling some vintage motorcycles and bicycles he had accumulated over the years.

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.

  1. chris says:

    I have a Marshell Wells Zenith bicycle also. The person who sold it to me said it was a 1949 bicycle. I want to know how much its worth. My bicycle looks similar to yours. How much is yours worth?

    • gordsgarage says:

      Hi Chris, I do not know what my Zenith is worth. It really depends on the condition the bike is in. I’m unsure you can compare the value of a 1935 bike to that of a 1949, they will hold different values. I can tell you that I paid $200 Canadian for it. The bike was in original condition, except for the 3 layers of paint and the re-spoked wheels. The wooden rims were in great shape, the top tube has a few minor dents but the bike is in great restorable condition. Because the bikes we own are a Canadian department store brand, built by CCM, there is not a lot of information on them. I also don’t consider my 1935 model to be a highly desirable collectors bike. Hope that helps! Thanks for looking!

  2. Calvin says:

    I have a Zenith Badge that looks-wise seems a little older.

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