1949 Shelby DONALD DUCK Bike
Although Rollfast’s Hopalong Cassidy bicycle range was the biggest-selling character bicycle, Shelby had actually been the first to make one. Their 1928 Lindy Bicycle (above) celebrated Charles Lindbergh’s record-breaking solo transatlantic flight on May 20–21, 1927. It featured a miniature ‘Spirit of St. Louis’ airplane on the front fender whose propeller rotated as the bicycle moved forward.
Disney was already an American institution by WW2. A Disney tie up with a cycle manufacturer was no doubt a logical marketing idea, though the bicycle was not particularly successful. These days, it’s debatable how ‘cool’ you might look riding a garish yellow and blue bicycle with Donald Duck’s eyes lighting up as you ride. Even more debatable is how many people would get out of your way when you press a horn that quacks. (You can see the quacking horn button below the light switch on the top of the tank). But for younger riders in postwar America a Donald Duck bicycle would have been a dream bike.
BOYS AND GIRLS! You’ll want to be the first in your neighbourhood to join Bobby Shelby’s Bike Safety Club.
It’ll be great fun to round up all your pals for membership, and you’ll be making a real contribution to your town.