Q:I have just acquired a tricycle that I believe is from the 50’s, but was hoping you would have more information about it. The trike is bigger than most I have seen with a 20″ front wheel and 12″ rear wheels and a very large front fender.
A: Your tricycle is from the mid-1960’s, it appears to be a Western Flyer made by Murray for sale in Western Auto stores. It’s a bit hard to tell which maker made the tricycle, as Western Auto contracted a number of different makers, but judging by the handlebars and fender, I’d say it was made by Murray.
Q: We came across this Western Flyer tricycle and I wanted to see when it was made and if I should spend the time cleaning restoring it? Would you have parts for this one if I need them?
A: First, all the parts we currently have available are listed in our online catalog. We sometimes get parts and add them to our catalog, but a lot of the parts are pretty hard to find.
Your tricycle looks to be a Western Flyer chain driven trike made by Murray circa 1940’s/1950’s. They were sold in Western Auto stores. Pinpointing an exact date would be nearly impossible as they probably made very similar tricycles for years.
Whether or not you should restore it depends on what you are trying to accomplish by doing so? If you are doing it for nostalgic reasons, for a child or grandchild to ride, or for a “fun” project….it is probably worth doing – provided you feel it is worth your time and effort.
If you are planning on restoring it to increase the value or for resale, it is not a good idea. You will never get your money back out of a restoration and certainly never make a profit. The type of tricycle that it is, isn’t a super valuable type and isn’t something that collectors are yearning for, plus many collectors like to do their own restorations.
Our advice would be to refurbish the tricycle as best as you can. A wire brush to the rust and some chrome polish such as SIMICHROME POLISH-8OZ 390250 will go a long way to making your tricycle look not quite so rough. After you use a wire brush, use Permatex Naval Jelly Rust Dissolver on bare metal parts, like wheels and handlebars. Naval Jelly will remove virtually all rust. It will only take you a couple of hours and your tricycle will have a huge improvement.
Q: I’m sending you a pictures of my tricycle in hopes you can identify it for me. This elderly lady (about 85 to 90) had in in her backyard in the hills of Camarillo, California. I asked her for it and she gave it to me. I think its from the 50’s but not sure.
A: Your tricycle indeed looks to be from the 1950’s. Judging by the paint scheme it is most likely a Western Flyer that was sold in a Western Auto store, but manufactured by AMF. Western Auto was one of many chain stores that resold tricycles and bicycles under a house-brand name but that were manufactured by another maker. The condition is really rough and it looks like the old woman had the right idea using it for a lawn ornament.
Q: Can you help me determine what era this trike is from? All I can get off of it is that it is a Western Flyer, any info you can come up with would be great. Thanks
A: Your tricycle is a circa 1940 trike that was made by Murray and branded as a Western Flyer for sale in Western Auto hardware stores. These tricycles were also branded under the Mercury name as well. You can visit our Murray page for more info and photos of similar tricycles.