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1966 Schwinn Sting-Ray, Fastback, Deluxe & Super Deluxe
Once again, in 1966 Schwinn came up with even more revolutionary ideas. Those included the new 66 Schwinn Fastback model, the famous 5 speed Stik Shifter which looked like it came from a sports car, the 5 Speed Sprint derailleur, and the Sprint front Sprocket. Colors for 1966 included Radiant Coppertone, Black (Fastback only), Violet, and Sky Blue.
The new Fastback model (H-36) was basically like the Sting Ray models, but had thinner, high pressure 1 3/8" Sports Touring tires making it roll faster, much like the road bikes. One dealer advertisement read:
Breath-taking speed... shotgun starts! An amazing new Schwinn... the Fastback, so new, so different your customers will flock in for a test ride... one ride and they're in a buying mood! More sensational than the middleweight Sting-Ray... more guts... and more features. Fully adjustable to fit the five-footer... or the six-foot rider with equal comfort! Don't miss it... The Schwinn Fastback!
It retailed for $69.95 and had the new 5 speed Stik Shifter which worked well with the 5 speed derailleur. This made the bike much more versitile allowing it to climb hills and fly down them. The shifter was unique to 66 and 67 year Sting Rays and had a smooth metal handle (not ribbed) leading up to the black plastic ball on top that had a "5" printed on it. The handlebars were also redesigned with a new sweep. The saddle was Tufted Silver Glow and braking was done with front and rear calipers since it had a freewheel. The Fastback also had unique chrome fenders that were not as wide. The front Sprint Sprocket was also only made for one year on the Fastback.
The Super Deluxe Sting-Ray (J-37) came in two models, coaster brake and 2 speed overdrive. It also had a Tufted Silver Glow saddle like the Fastback. But it was the only Sting-Ray with a springer front fork which made it heavier. The whitewall tires made it stand out and the rear was studded, which meant it had knobbies. It was basically unchanged from the previous year.
The 1966 Schwinn Deluxe, or J-39 model, came in 1, 2 and 3 speeds. It had the same seat and tires as the Super Deluxe, but had the option of 3 speeds and no springer fork. The 3 speed had a handlebar mounted shifter.
The less expensive Sting-Ray (J-38) was similar to the Deluxe, but had a black Slik rear tire and a Silver Glow saddle. The saddle was not tufted which meant it didn't have ribs going across, it was smooth.
A Schwinn Christmas advertisement for 1966 bicycles
Below are current auctions for 1966 Sting Rays. Check back frequently for new bikes and parts for sale.