Vintage Sting Ray Barn Find!

I’ll bet most of you expected a Corvette, didn’t you? In the spirit of finding bikes under your Christmas tree, I present a vintage bicycle barn find in my own area. It’s located in Benson, North Carolina and is offered here on craigslist for $125 or best offer. While that may seem like a lot for an old Schwinn, as it turns out these bikes once restored can go for thousands on eBay, as this search will show you.

There’s something about this one’s crustyness that I find appealing, though. I can see this as a cool way to get around the infield at a Charlotte Motor Speedway AutoFair, or a similar vintage car parts and swap meet. I’ll bet you wouldn’t make it through the day without someone making you an offer on the bike, either!

Any of you have some great Christmas memories of waking up to one of these under the tree? How about sharing your stories in the comments!


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  1. Howard A Member

    I don’t believe this is a Sting Ray. Sting Ray seat, but looks like a basic 20″ conversion. I did the same thing with my 20″.

    • Brian Staff

      Actually this is a Schwinn Sting Ray, but it is a “Pixie” model. It features 16″ wheels and is a “convertible” with a removable top bar on the frame. Great little restoration project for a young father and son project.

      • Howard A Member

        Thanks Brian, I don’t remember this model. All the Sting Rays I saw had a double bar frame.

      • Dr. D

        I was going to point out the same thing – I had this exact bike as a kid, except in blue. It was my older sister’s bike first, without the top bar, and then my parents took it back to the Schwinn dealer and had the top bar installed when they gave it to me. I learned to ride on that bike (with training wheels of course!)

        One drawback was that this frame was immediately recognizable, even by 5-6 year olds, as a “girls” bike that had been converted into a boys bike. To parents I’m sure it seemed like a great idea to get more use out of a bike if they happened to have both a boy and a girl.

        It was great for a girl. For boys, at least in my neighborhood, it provoked sneers and teasing. You were riding a “girls” bike that had been converted, which was not as manly as riding a boys bike made for boys. Oh, and to make it worse, you were riding your sister’s old bike. Kids have sharp eyes.

  2. boxdin

    I have a chinese repop 1969 Sting Ray in Pea Picker Green. 16″ front wheel on a springer front end w a 20″ rear slick….LOL….
    I’m 64 and love to ride this bike! I first saw a StingRay in 1963 or so riding in the car coming back from Piggly Wiggly and we drove by Hanson Cycle. I went crazy and had to have one…. and another one……and another one…..
    And that Pixie is a conversion, no?

  3. CapNemo

    I remember as a kid having one. Green, gold metal flake banana seat, shifter on the top bar, playing card in the spokes of both wheels, and a square profile slick rear tire. If I remember correctly, the front tire was smaller and the chrome front fender was mounted high with a big gap between it and the tire.

  4. Moose Feather

    That is practically identical to the bike I got hit by a ’58 chev belair on. I didn’t know what the car was at the time, but after an experience like that you never forget the grill.

  5. wuzjeepnowsaab

    With this one going for 300 or b.o. I sure don’t see the value in the one Jamie found…cool find though.

  6. DrinkinGasoline

    Now We’re talkin ! Sting Ray’s with banana seats, ape hangers and sissy bars ! Rear slicks with chrome fenders !

    • DrinkinGasoline

      Break out the playing cards stuck in the the spokes with clothes pins !

      Like 1
    • Bill McCoskey

      I have 2 brand new NOS banana seats for one of these, complete with the chrome support bar, still in the original clear vinyl packaging, never opened. If your bike needs one, let me know [my email is my name, but no space, at]

      Gonna put them up in my new ebay store in January, if no one here needs them.

  7. Dan

    Still have the red one I got for Christmas in 1968. Needs some work, but it sure looks a whole lot better than this mess!

  8. DrinkinGasoline

    From trash night….My Godfather built a Schwinn double bar Sting Ray,with a metalflake gold banana seat, ape hanger handlebars, rear slick tire with chrome fenders and a high sissy bar. All because we couldn’t afford a bike…..I still have it. It brings tears when I look at it.

  9. SoCal Brian

    I have a Stingray Fastback, I believe 1972, with the large shifter on the top tube.

  10. Van

    If you said “Hay baby, sit on my banana” it wouldn’t be dirty. Would it?
    I had a conversion with tiger stripes on the seat and grips.

  11. Jeffro

    Mine had the shifter on top of frame rail. I remember riding that bike and feeling on top of the world. Now, the world is on my shoulders. Sigh….let me go do a shot of Jack.

  12. DaveT

    I’m an odd person, my daily internet cruising includes bike and car sites. This is best of both worlds! Very interesting to find out people here are also well versed on the old Schwinns. And yes, these go from pennies to thousands depending on condition and specific options. Nice find!

  13. Rando

    My grandfather took me to a junkyard just up the road when I was a little feller. We picked out all the parts and built me a bike. Spray painted it some awful blue. But I remember the frame was purple to start with. Schwinn. And I handed it off to a cousin later. No tellING what that bike would be worth today. But that I’d what makes this bikes valuable today. I also had a Ross Apollo as my first store bought bike.

  14. OJM

    This is not a high end Schwinn and is worth maybe $35-$50 in this toasty condition.

  15. K.C.

    My first bike was a brand new Sting Ray that had a red frame, red seat, high handlebars, and a rear slick. I was given this about 1969-1970, but I don’t remember the occasion. It was always just my bike.

    I rode this to school off and on for many years when the weather was nice. One day I came home, and it looked different. There was a front brake installed. It seems my dad had taken it off afraid that I would put only the front brake on and go sailing over the handle bars and kill myself. I had no clue that it had come this way. He never mentioned it to me. I always wondered it it came with the 5-speed, but that never appeared, and the rear axle didn’t have the additional gears.

    The worst part was when I grew too big for it he sold it to a friend without telling me, and bought me a crappy ten speed that barely shifted. Loads of monkeying with the chain, derailleur, axles, gears, and shift linkages finally got it operational, but it just wasn’t the same. I want my bike back dad.

  16. Fordfan

    Mine was a Royce union just like the meatal flake green one it was sold by times square stores in Brooklyn NY in the 1960s

  17. Jim Williamson

    I had a Montgomery Wards Sting Ray clone.It was candy red, white sparkle seat and grips, short sissy bar, Chromed bobbed fenders and pinstripe whitewall slick!It was in 1971 andI was in love!!!!

  18. JagManBill

    So Cal Brian – had the same bike in purple (I considered it plum crazy) w/white seat

  19. R Park

    When I was a kid, I lusted after a Raleigh chopper. Fifty years later I finally scratched that itch.

    • boxdin

      This Raleigh is more rare than a Stingray and its in real good shape too. Nice Find

    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      Wow, haven’t seen one of these since back in the day.

  20. erikj

    hers my story: in the early 70s Christmas was a big todo at the grandparents. lots of people and us kids and more presents that could fit under the tree. at the end of the present opening I was so upset, all I got where p-jays, socks and a deck of cards. The others got way cool stuff.
    after everything settled, my uncle asked me to help him get a box from the garage. I did ,but not a happy guy was I. In the house he had me help open the box with all looking. In side was a new stingray ,purple. I ask in a pissed off fashion who gets this! It was me, bad x-mas turned best.

    No I’m wasn’t a kid just given things- just I was a good boy that year and a few family members thought I deserved it.
    found the frame and orig. seat years ago and have it . some day I hope to get it back on the payment. true story .

  21. Tom Gibbs

    First bike I bought on my own about 1969 was a Schwinn Orange Krate with the five speed stick shift at the local police auction in Freeport NY . Excellent condition but no rear wheel or seat . Dyed my purple banana seat tan found a rear whitewall slick good to go for under $50 . What I couldn’t buy that same day Police force sold off two or three ” surplus ” 3 wheel Harleys .

  22. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Jeffro….the three speed sticks were kinda rare compared to the 5 speed’s……so go get ya another shot ! Built many from frames….owned a few Schwinn’s….have a two-speed kick back hanging up…and my dad’s old Phantom that was restyled many years back and painted a time or two….and my other daily ride is a 5 speed girls varsity…..darn…..most pics are on my other computer.

  23. Randy Verburg

    We took a ten foot piece of electrical 3/4″conduit cut it right in half. One end on each piece we flaten in the vice, and drilled 3/8″ holes in it, bolted the tires to them and slide them up on our forks. It looked and sound like a big chopper going down our dirt road. Pull a wheelie while your going fast, if it slided off it was even worse then try to squeeze a front break.

    • moosefeather

      I remember so many of those “custom choppers”. All that you left out was clothespinning a playing card to the frame so it would ‘rumble’ in the spokes.

  24. David J David J

    I love vintage bicycle finds. Thank you, Barn Finds!

  25. Kyle

    Thats cool. I picked up my last bike next to a barn. 1976 schwinn phantom 20″ got it for free!

  26. JohnWeissensel

    My brother loves old and new bikes. If this wasn’t so far away, we’d be all over it.

  27. Pete

    I am only an Hour from this classic. For a small fee I would be happy to do a walk around physical inspection. Although shouldn’t this bike have tassels coming from the handle bar grips? That way you could tell exactly what your getting. LMAO. My first bike was a Stampeder sold outta sears in canada. It was green metallic. My sisters both got one exactly like it on the same day which was my birthday. I was like WTH is this chicainery them getting a bike on the my Bday? Turns out my great aunt had passed and she left us enough money to buy all 3 of us a bike.

    Years later when I was a teenager my stampeder took me lots of places. It had been converted to a BMX bike when I bought motorcycle handle bars and an old 10 speed seat so I could get all radical with it. Me and a buddy had ranged pretty fr from the house riding some trails when we discovered a bike grave yard of sorts. There were hundreds of bikes there in various states of disarey. Years later I discovered that one twisted and evil guy would get wasted and steal a bike to ride home when he was drunk outta his mind. He would ditch them in those woods to avoid detection. That dude was a pretty low down guy in my book. Back then getting beat up by another kid wasn’t as painful as getting your bike jacked.

  28. Pete

    For all you Schwinn fans here is a catalog link for 1968

    • boxdin

      Pete that brochure is fascinating! Its going to take me a few hours to go thru it.
      I never knew there was a double Sting Ray for the hip couple.

      • boxdin

        Its also full of typos; The Heavy Duty section they left out the v, same para paper route is now proper route, I got to looking closely and typos are everywhere.

  29. cudaman

    This is a page out of the 1970 Raleigh brochure that I have. Their version of the “Stingray” was called the “Chopper.” Rarely ever see any Choppers today.

  30. cudaman

    picture meant for above……

  31. kirk

    brians bike is a milton
    boxdin is a mustang
    parks is actually a fastback

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