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Schwinn Sting-Ray Celebrates 50 Years

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You in all probability don’t keep in mind—or weren’t even alive—when the long-lasting Schwinn Sting-Ray got here onto the scene. It was 1963. Al Fritz, Schwinn’s vice-president of engineering, was in Southern California on a visit and observed a development amongst suburban youngsters. They had been taking their bicycles and modifying them to look extra like bikes.
When Fritz returned, he created a prototype of a brand new bike that was created in true chopper fashion with high-rise, ape-hanger handlebars; banana seat; and a smaller 16-inch entrance wheel. Whereas his coworkers, and even Fred W. Schwinn himself, thought it was a positive failure, inside a yr Sting-Rays made up 70% of all bike gross sales within the US.
The Sting-Ray has been known as “the Corvette of bikes” and is credited with being the catalyst to the wheelie craze. Over the previous half century, hundreds of thousands have been bought, and 2013 marks its fiftieth anniversary. This yr’s commemorative Fritz Fifty Sting-Ray is a restricted version—solely 500 had been produced.  Initially bought for $49.95 again in 1963, the 2013 mannequin will price $499.99 and is offered the primary week of December.
Al Fritz handed away on Might 7, earlier than the bike was launched to the general public, however he had an lively function in planning the 2013 model. For essentially the most half, the unique design stayed the identical, however the addition of chrome fenders is a brand new characteristic, one which Fritz himself had dreamed of.
A portion of the proceeds will likely be donated to the Alzheimer’s Affiliation in honor of Fritz, who suffered from the illness.
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