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Tuesday, 18 April, 2006

The Schwinn Scrambler was their consumer, as opposed to competition, BMX cycle produced in Chicago and Taiwan between 1979 and 1982. The premium version was the Phantom Scrambler which was offered with plastic wedge “mag” wheels, decals and a solid color scheme throughout the bike. The Scrambler listed (in 1980) for $159, the Scrambler Coaster for $169 (with coaster brake hub because parents often believed the more powerful and secure hand brake was somehow less safe), and the Phantom Scrambler for $229.

The black and yellow Phantom Scrambler was more rare of the two on offer for 1980, and is therefore most desirable today. However, 1980 was the transition year for Schwinn, early models being “electro-forged” in Chicago (those with a J serial) or welded of Chromolly in Taiwan (those with a G serial). Superficially the cycles are identical. The Chicago units are more desirable. Chicago Scramblers in showroom condition can bring up to $300 on ebay. The Phantom Scramblers can fetch up to $450 depending on condition with “basement kept” units sometimes going for as little as $150 if complete. Deduct $100 for any G-serial units.

These are typically desired by BMX-specific collectors, and are often overlooked by those who consider themselves Schwinn collectors.

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