NBHAA Historical Articles
THE WESTERN FLYER X-53 SUPER!
By Leon Dixon
Copyright (c) 1986, 1999, 2005, 2007, 2011, 2013 by NBHAA and Leon Dixon, All rights reserved.
Western Flyer X-53 Super bicycles were some of your curator's favorites. These beauties were made for a few years in the 1950s (they were discontinued in 1959) and we were the first to write about them, publicize them to collectors and gather the first and accurate histories on these rare bicycles. This was long before do-it-yourself bicycle web sites and the internet. Thus, we figure that some of you out there might enjoy the following...
AUTHOR'S NOTE REGARDING COPYRIGHTS:
copyright (c) 1986, 1999, 2005, 2007 Leon Dixon, all rights reserved
We are watching, so you watch your credit line! This article originally was written for the now-defunct CYCLIST magazine and appeared in the June, 1986 issue of that publication. It was intended to be a personal, historical, and nostalgic account of the Western Flyer X-53 Super bicycle. Aside from a previous article in CLASSIC BICYCLE & WHIZZER NEWS (also written by Dixon), this was the only factual treatise on Western Flyer X-53 Super history and the ONLY photos of a correct, original example published up until that time. We first wrote about this bicycle in CBWN newsletter and this Cyclist magazine article. For further information on Western Flyer bicycles, please be sure to read NBHAA's "Guide To Correcting The Classics" (GTCC) section regarding the book, (click on the title) "The Last Western Flyer."
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 Concours 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.
AUTHOR'S NOTE REGARDING THE WESTERN FLYER X-53 SUPER IN THE ACCOMPANYING PHOTOS.
These are the original photos and words used in the 1986 article. This particular 1958 Western Flyer X-53 SUPER belongs to the NBHAA Collection. It is a slightly used New Old Stock (NOS) nearly mint original. This X-53 is pictured with original tires, grips and saddle and there are absolutely no restored or reproduction parts on this bicycle. There is one thing was incorrect on this particular photo and that was the headlight top should have been chromed. Unfortunately with the magazine photography schedule and artificial schedule of the articles, it was not possible to get the top chrome fixed in time for the article. Thus it so appeared in the photos. While a note about this headlight issue was included with the original article the note was not included by the magazine editor, not the author.
You might also like to know that while the article refers to Western Auto Stores still being in business (remember this was written in 1986). That was 24 years ago! And who was writing about these bicycles and their history before us? NOBODY. Anyway, sadly Western Auto Stores (with the exception of Puerto Rico) are out of business several years now. The Western Flyer brand was permanently retired as of the late 1990s... and that's that.
QUESTIONS FOR WILD WESTERN FLYER FANATICS OUT THERE...
Leon Dixon is an authority on bicycles of the "Classic" era, 1920 to 1950... a classification which he coined, defined and copyrighted the definition (one example of which was published in November, 1979 Bicycle Dealer Showcase magazine ). He was the first to actively collect and restore these bicycles and first to write about them. His personal collection includes more than 1000 bicycles. Dixon is curator of National Bicycle History Archive of America
1.)WHEN WAS THE FIRST X-53 MODEL MADE AND WHAT WAS IT CALLED?
2.) WHAT COASTER BRAKE HUBS WERE USED ON THIS BICYCLE AND WHEN WERE THEY USED?
3.) HOW MANY YEARS WERE THERE OF THIS MODEL AND WHAT WERE THEIR DIFFERENCES?
4.) WHAT WAS DIFFERENT ABOUT THE FIRST YEAR OF X-53??
5.) WHEN WAS THE GIRL'S X-53 MODEL AVAILABLE?
6.) WHERE CAN YOU FIND MORE CORRECT AND ORIGINAL WESTERN FLYER INFORMATION THAN ANYWHERE ELSE ON EARTH??
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 !
This page, all design and contents, all photos unless otherwise noted are Copyright (c) 1985. 1999, 2005, 2007, 2011, 2013 by Leon Dixon/NBHAA, All rights reserved.
Date of last update to this page: 20 MARCH 2013
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