1960 Olympic Team Schwinn Paramount Track Tandem
Racing tandems are a bit rare, which helps when we are trying to figure out the history surrounding a bike.
This particular track tandem was raced at the 1960 Rome Summer Olympic Games.
Probably built with a few different riders in mind, it was eventually ridden at the summer games by Jack Hartman and David Sharp. The young duo raced well, but were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the 2000 meter tandem sprint competition, ultimately in fifth place.
This Paramount was most likely built by Ovie Jensen, the frame builder that Schwinn had in the Paramount division during this era. Unlike most tandems that you see today, this bike was built with the timing chain on the same side as the drive chain. We aren’t exactly sure of the reason for this little touch, but it’s possible that it was merely a bit of track racing superstition (like not having tire labels on the right side of the bike). Then again, tandems are rare enough that there are relatively few “standards”.
In the U.S. Olympic Team photo with the bike (left to right) we have Wes Chowen, Dick Cartright, coach Walter Bresnan, Bob Tetzlaff, Dave Sharp, Herbie Francis, Mike Hiltner, Jack Hartman, Jack Simes III, Jim Rossi, Billy Freund, Allen Bell, manager Bud Thorpe, George Koenig, Bobby Pfarr, and Lars Zabrowski.
By the way, the Jack Simes in the middle of this photo is also in the family photo with our 1948 Paramount tandem (the little kid on the right in the picture).