1948 Roadmaster Luxury Liner
The Roadmaster Luxury Liner was a pretty popular bike in the late ’40′s and early ’50′s. Built by the Cleveland Welding Company (who happened to make bicycles for a number of different brands), the Luxury Liner was a fine bicycle produced by skilled builders and marketed by some of the greatest minds the advertising world has ever had.
This bike was so iconic that a replica was produced in the late ’90′s (seen here) to capture the imagination (and dollars) of the adults that had wanted one of these bikes as children.
This version with the boys’ frame came with bowed metal struts on each side of the bike. The advertisements called out these struts and named the Luxury Liner “The bike with bumpers!”. From the ad copy, we’re not sure if these bumpers were meant to protect the bike in the event of a crash, or if they were designing a bike for some sort of demolition-derby type of use.
Another ad campaign suggested that the Luxury Liner was “The bike for leaders” and that a kid could rise to the top of the neighborhood hierarchy by riding one.
For the girls model, the folks at Roadmaster went straight to the parents. The Luxury Liner ads for the girls version told mom and dad “How to give that young daughter a thrill”. I’m guessing that the girls’ Luxury Liner was thrilling because they omitted the “bumpers” and let the girls out onto the streets with boys who were crashing into everything.