1939-1945 BSA Airborne Folding Paratroopers Bike (‘Parabike’)

1939-1945 BSA Airborne Folding Paratroopers Bike (‘Parabike’)

- A ‘Barn Find’ in Very Authentic Original Condition

Frame Number R77467

(Now sold, and in Asia)

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This Airborne came out of long-term storage. It’s a classic ‘barn find’ – which, for modern-day vintage vehicle collectors, is like finding buried treasure.

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It has never been restored. Everything on it is authentic and original, with the exception of the bicycle bell, which was not army issue.

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I enjoy looking at restored vintage vehicles as much as the next fellow. But, with most vintage machines now restored – and many of them over-restored – totally original unrestored examples such as this have now become the ultimate collector’s pieces. Please bear in mind that I paid a lot for it, so it’s not cheap!

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Of course, the best thing about a good unrestored BSA Airborne like this is when the original transfers still exist. The BSA Piled Arms motif on the seat tube, above, is in good condition.

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The arrow on the headstock is also in remarkably good condition for its age; they usually fade more than the BSA transfers.

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Original, readable transfers are the first thing I look at when I inspect a vintage bicycle. If necessary, everything else can be found and replaced. Original transfers can’t.


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It brings me a lot of pleasure to see a bike as original as this. To my missus, it would no doubt look like a rusty old wreck and she’d wonder why I’ve left cracked tyres on it. She likes shiny bikes. Maybe ‘oily rag’ originality is a ‘bloke’ thing? To me, it feels like a direct connection with the past, with history. I’m not someone who wears smart clothes, so I suppose I’m an ‘oily rag’ myself? The tyres are original ‘War Grade’ issue that – despite sidewall cracks – still pump up.

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Close up views of original War Grade front tyre, front wheel & brakes

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There’s now a special page on the BSA/Military Bicycles Website for War Grade Tyres

PLEASE CLICK HERE

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Close up views of the original handlebars, levers, grips, handlebar tommy bar retainer, front lamp bracket

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Close up views of original sliding pedal footpegs, BSA chainset, upper and lower folding retainers.

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Close up views of original BSA Airborne saddle and saddle frame

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The saddle is the original, though a little worse for wear. If you wish it can be built up underneath, though I don’t mind it as it is.

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Close up views of original rear War Grade tyre, rear drop outs, rear brakes, rear wheel, rear hub, frame number

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For comparison, you can see the Airborne here next to my wartime US Navy Columbia.

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Published on March 1, 2010 at 8:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

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