7/23/17 - My latest addition, with more pics here
Last year, I bought my twin daughters 24" mountain bikes, after giving up on the idea of getting them Purple / Pink Sting Rays (Slik Chik / Fair Lady). This year I discovered that they got a lot taller a lot quicker than I anticipated, and in a year, pretty much outgrew the mountain bikes. Back before I was married, I bought a used 1966 26" Schwinn Fiesta that was pretty much brand new. Nicks and scratches all over, but the plating was perfect, even on the kickstand. The tires were original and in perfect shape, and it still had the original inner tubes. I had my pink bike, I just needed to find a purple one. After keeping an eye out on craiglsist for a few months, all i was coning up with were Hollywoods, which didn't have a tank or headlight like the Fiesta, were on the high end of pricing, and I only found one in violet, most were blue or green. I finally found a Starlet III in River Grove (close to the house) that was complete, but looked like hell. I got approval from the boss (wife), and went and bought it one Friday after work.
Upon closer inspection, the chrome was worse than I hoped, although everything was mechanically sound. The odometer read 250 miles, and from the looks of it, it was accurate. Then the cleaning began. First, stripping the frame down to nothing. Cleaning all the parts one by one. Pulling all the spokes form the wheels and cleaning them up. The front rim was very straight, but the chrome was too far gone. Luckily I had a spare that I raided from my parts bin. Everything else cleaned up well enoguh that I was able to put it all back together. We were even able to pry the old Ray-O-Vac batteries from the headlight and get it working again. Unfortunately same couldn't be said for the horn tank. The battery had corroded the horn until it just fell apart, and the bottom side of the tank had rusted to where the metal was paper thin. It all went together (minus the horn) and given to my girls. After seeing them skid on the nearly new tires, I pulled them off, and installed a set of aftermarket whitewalls.
Now I'm on the lookout for a horn tank...