Posted on 28/04/2009 at 14:33

Radio-Cycle or Tri-Flyer?

The little Charlotte was about to turn 5 years old, and her mother, a friend o'mine, had found that old tricycle (70's?) in a trash bin... So I ended up with a week-end project I enjoyed a lot!

Mission : turn an old rusty toy into a fancy birthday gift!
I first dismantled it entirely (well, almost, the saddle and handle bar were stuck by the rust, I couldn't remove'em without bending the whole frame). Then, I removed all the rust and paint with a metallic brush on my electric drill, which was statically fixed on a workbench, with a foot switch for ease of use. Only 30 minutes to get it done!
Anti-rust primer spray, two layers... Sprayed right after the brushing, unless your bare metal starts rusting again!
> No pictures of the actual paint job (spray as well, 2 layers of red, 2 layers of white) cuz the weather was changing and I really wanted to finish before the storm arrived... Therefore I totally forgot to take any further pics!
The color scheme is obviously the same as the famous Radio-Flyers... I could have made it more "girly", but the Mom could not stand any additional pink! icone smiley wink

Then final finishing :
  • cleansing of the chain and put it back with new grease,
  • polishing of the wheels,
  • special product on the tires to get them shiny black again,
  • covering the saddle with white leather (using spray glue : the result is great!)
  • fixing a little vintage headlight, and a vintage-looking horn (the horn was a mandatory part of the original requirements from the mother!)
  • cleansing of the handles,
  • small pinstripe on the chain carter and front of the frame (not that, t'was my first time!)

Here we are! Perfect gift for a little monster to break the speed limits in the streets of her village! icone smiley laugh
By the way, it was as well the occasion to make a funny picture... Same kid, same tools... Almost the same tricycle.
Holy shit, 30 years. Kind of creepy, hum? icone smiley wink
"Some things change... Others do not."

edit February 2019 : This article is bitter-weet to me today, almost 10 years after I wrote it. A few days ago, Anna, who had asked me to restore this tricycle for her daughter Charlotte, took her own life. We were not in touch regularly anymore (life, years, tend to do that), but her smile, her laugh, will for ever stay with me. Her two teen daughters will now have to grow up without a mother... I remember them discovering this tricycle and pedaling like crazy accross the place in Valbonne, scaring people around by honking the horn...
I am so sorry you made that choice Anna. I truly hope you don't suffer anymore today, wherever you are.
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