Restoring Uncle Billy’s Antique Bicycle

When I (Dennis) was a young boy, I used to go up to Liberty, Maine and spend summers with my grandparents. I loved to roam around their farm and go through the big, red barn doors to explore inside. Stuffed behind a couple of old tractors in the corner of the barn, I used to see my Uncle Billy’s old bike, a 1971 Columbia (see below for how it looked). He had bought it himself with his blueberry money and ridden it as a kid. My grandmother has a photo of Billy posing at age 11 on his bike. (I remember actually riding it myself when I was just 6.)

antique bike restoration

Uncle Billy’s 1971 Columbia

In recent years, Uncle Billy had mentioned he wanted to get it restored at some point. I told my grandmother that I wanted to surprise my uncle and take on the project. So last spring, unbeknownst to Uncle Billy, I brought the antique bike back with me after a trip up to Maine.

First, I had to match all the parts. I kept all the original parts except for the tires and rims, which had to be replaced. We hand painted the old bike frame. It was a three-stage paint job; first, we painted the bike yellow, then we applied the orange metallic look.

It came out beautifully!! My uncle has no clue we’ve been doing this. I’m going to bring it back up to Maine and give it to him this summer. I can’t wait to see his reaction!

Click individual photos below to enlarge.

2017-06-15T10:11:26+00:00May 30th, 2014|Categories: Antique Bicyles, Before & After, Bicycle Restoration, Old-School Restoration|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Restoring Uncle Billy’s Antique Bicycle