Bike Shaped Objects

Funky bikes and news
Garton Falcon tricycle on eBay (aka Mad Maxicycle)

Garton Falcon

Seriously, can’t you picture a young Mad Max pedaling this through a horde of marauding forth graders?

Garton was a major builder of tricycles and had some pretty radical designs. This isn’t the fanciest they built but is one of the most radical. The tailfins emulated the growing trend on Detroit’s finest. Gartons were made in Michigan, just up the road from Detroit.

I’m sure the bars around the rider’s legs were meant as protection. I’m also sure that they were more often used as offensive weapons against annoying neighbor kids and dogs. I read that this model was discontinued for satey reasons. I assumed it was due to the battering rams, buy I was wrong.

According to the Bicycle Fetish website the problem was that the seat post would snap, often. To quote the website:

“The patent number for the Garton Falcon was D176037, filed May 2, 1955. It was issued Nov.8,1955. The inventor was Nolan Rhoades for the Garton Toy Company.  It was only produced for a few years due to safety issues with its design, partially because the seat tube would often just snap.  Finding a Falcon without a repaired seat tube is much harder than finding those with repairs.

That brings up an issue. The ad on eBay states that this tricycle is 100% original. However, when you compare this example to others shown online, you see that the rear seat support is not original. Also, the all black paint, while old, is not original either. You can see streaks of red and white at various wear spots.

These factors should not lessen its value though. After all, without that seat support the trike is a potential death trap. And given the aggressive attitude of the trike black is a perfect color. I would consider the changes to be “period correct modifications.”

It is missing one pedal and both handlebar grips, but those don’t appear to be unique to this model, so finding original replacements shouldn’t be too difficult.

With under four days to go the current bid is $152.50, which is still in the reasonable range.

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