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Restoring a Classic: Petr and the Jaguar

Adam Wogksch

Recently Petr, of the Czech Republic, sent us some stunning pictures of his 1962 Schwinn Jaguar that took him almost five months to restore. Intrigued, we asked him to tell us a bit more about how he transformed an old frame he bought on eBay to a bicycle that is now truly a work of art!

In February of this year, Petr unfortunately found himself without a driver’s license for three months… he may have been going a tad too fast. So faced with no means of auto transportation he thought about what alternatives he had to stay independently mobile. He quickly remembered his time spent in Maui, Hawaii, a few years back and about the abundance and convenience of the beach cruiser.

His solution, why not build one of his own?

He took to the Internet and quickly stumbled upon pictures of old classic Schwinn cruisers and fell in love with the style. After a few more clicks and Petr had purchased an old Jaguar frame on eBay!

Once the frame finally arrived in the Czech Republic, the biggest difficulty in refurbishing the frame was painting the bicycle. Fortunately, Petr currently works as a master at a powder coating company; in other words, he has the skills necessary to give the Jaguar a paint job that would last and truly set this refurbishment apart. He utilized three colors, a light blue, a dark blue, and a white for the stripes, painting it layer after layer and finally finishing with a pearlescent final paint to give the bike that glittery shine.

Another difficulty was in finding the right parts to fit the threads. The threads utilized currently in the Czech Republic are not the same threads that were used in 1962. This is a problem many classical Schwinn refurbishment enthusiasts run into and which Petr solved by patience. The waiting game and expense were just another part of the process and with most of the parts coming from the U.S. he slowly collected everything necessary to complete the Jaguar.

Sometimes this patience was harder to come by as Petr explained to us; originally he had purchased white pedals for the bike, but because of problems with shipping they were delayed. Unable to wait to take the first ride, he bought some black pedals and made new threads for them so that he could get on the bike and ride right away!

Finally, his last trial was putting the decals on the Jaguar. He had hoped to buy the original water decals online but found that an original was too expensive. His solution was to simply make his own. Petr used his background in computer design to remake the stickers that he has seen posted on eBay to draw a copy of them. They are almost identical to the original, except for the one on the seat tube, which he said was because he just couldn't print such tiny letters.

Ironically, the total work on the 1962 Jaguar took Petr almost five months to complete, meaning he had his car back before the bicycle was even ready to go. He ended up not using it for commuting during that time. Yet, with all that time and dedication poured into one bicycle it is easy to imagine Petr’s feelings when he finally got on the bike.

As soon as he took the first ride, he fell in love!

Check out more pictures of Petr's Jaguar below:

There's an amazing Schwinn restoration community that, like Petr, brings the classics back to life. But if you're looking for a cruiser you can enjoy right away, take a look at the Sting-Ray, Mikko, or Huron models!

Care & Maintenance Schwinn History

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