Schwinn Sting Ray built: March 2012 When I was 13, I was hanginging around with a kid named Fran. I forget his last name (LeBlanc maybe), but he had the very first Schwinn Sting Ray in the neighborhood. It was light blue, with a white banana seat, single speed and had a coaster brake. It was.. AWESOME
Of course, I really wanted one too, but we were not a well to do family, so my dad bought me an accessorized 24 inch red Columbia bike with a black banana seat.
I picked this model up on ebay about 5 years ago, and it probably cost more than the real Schwinn Sting Ray did ($49.95 retail when originally introduced). It was a basket case glue bomb that the original builder had hand painted red and used a LOT of tube glue on. Thankfully he didn't scrape the chrome when gluing, so it came apart pretty easily, but all the accessories (horn, speedometer etc) were ruined.
The handlebars and front forks were treated to Alclad, but as this thing kept snapping at the most inopportune times, the handlebars started getting blackened from my constant handling of it to 'fix' (over and over) the front assembly.
This 'next generation' Sting Ray is based on the "Pea Picker" version Schwinn brought out in the late 60's/early 70's. They released the Pea Picker (green), Orange Krate (Orange), Grey Ghost.. you get the idea. These were of the KRATE line with the active suspension, rear disk/front drum brakes and chrome fenders.
I wasn't fortunate enough to get the chrome rear fender with this, so the front was omotted as well. Seriously though in the tough town we lived in, they would have come off the real one as well. You know.. remove any non essential heay stuff that could slow you down.
This 1/8th scale model was hard to assemble. But mostly because the plastic had gone brittle and snapped at the worst times. It would be cool to ride a real again, although I'd do it in a seclded area I think, as I've seen grown ups riding these and ,, well,, it ain't pretty. So this will sit in the display case and keep supplying me constant smiles. And keeping with the naming convention Schwinn had going at the time, I'm calling this my BLUEBERRY THRILL.