NBHAA Historical Articles


By Leon Dixon

Copyright 1985,1999, 2007, 2011, 2013 by NBHAA and L. Dixon, All rights reserved.

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Silver King, made by Monark-Silver King, Inc. was one of your curator's most favorite bicycles. These beauties came in numerous designs (most were aluminum) and were made over a long period of years. Thus, we figure that some of you out there might enjoy the following...


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copyright Leon Dixon/NBHAA 1985, 1999, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2013. All rights reserved. CAUTION! WE ARE WATCHING, SO WATCH YOUR CREDIT LINE! THIS ARTICLE AND COMMENTS ARE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. If you use them without getting permission first, you are violating federal copyright laws. No part of these writings may be republished, excerpted, referred to in print, used in any way unless written permission from the author has been obtained and acknowledgments are made.

This article originally was written for now-defunct CYCLIST magazine and appeared in the May, 1985 issue of that publication. It was intended to be a personal and nostalgic account of the Silver King *Hextube* (a name coined by Leon Dixon). Aside from a previous article in CLASSIC BICYCLE & WHIZZER NEWS (also written by Dixon in 1979), the only factual treatise on Silver King history and the Hextube and the ONLY photos of a correct, original example with the headlight intact published up until this time.

Today, many people insist upon calling these "MONARCH SILVER KINGS" or "MONARK SILVER KING" but these bicycles were simply known as "Silver King" MADE by Monark-Silver King, Inc. MONARK and MONARCH were two completely different brands from two completely different bicycle companies and the names should not be interchanged.

All photos in the Cyclist magazine Concours 'd Elegance series for articles that were written by Leon Dixon were taken by our good friend and noted photographer, Steve Essig (there were subsequent brand-X articles that followed and used our title, but these were neither written by us nor did we supply info for them). Although photo copyrights originally were listed in the magazine as Steve's they in fact are assigned to Leon Dixon as per agreement with Steve Essig. No part of this article or the original article may be sold, reproduced by any means or excerpted without written permission of the author.


These are the original photos and words used in the 1985 article. This particular Silver King "Hextube" belongs to the author. Although it is pictured with non-original tires (we are working on the correct ones- see the specs listed), there are otherwise absolutely no restored or reproduction parts on this bicycle and all chrome is original. No polishing was done to the frame and it retains its original luster.

We also own the last prototype Silver King hex frame which was left at the factory along with experimental Silver King parts. WE STILL HAVE THE LETTER FROM THE FACTORY CONFIRMING THAT THIS FRAME WAS INDEED SENT TO US FROM THE FACTORY. This frame was never drilled for a headbadge and had a different metalurgy than others and had no VIN plate. This frame was stolen from us in 2001- and was at one point advertised on eBay by someone claiming to be a collector for 30 years. All they did was STEAL IT while WE did the collecting. It is likely that the person or persons who now have it have no idea what they have. IT WOULD BE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS to drill this frame or to try and build it into a bicycle. More on this in our upcoming book on classic bicycles.

Thank you for visiting the NBHAA Historical articles! This section will change as time goes on, but will continuously feature rare glimpses at bicycle history, memorabilia and facts you won't find anywhere else. We will eventually be posting the entire series of CYCLIST magazine articles that were written by your curator in the 1980s. We hope you enjoy the photos and information. And stay tuned !


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This page, all design and contents, all photos unless otherwise noted are Copyright 1985. 1999, 2007, 2011, 2013 by Leon Dixon/NBHAA, All rights reserved.
Date of last update to this page: 20 MARCH 2013

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