The Aero-Fast bicycle possesses an interesting past. The brothers Smith, Clayton and Willard, opened a retail bicycle shop in Miami, Florida in 1944. Both were mechanically inclined and they soon outgrew their first store. Through additional hard work they entered the world of wholesale with the purchase of a carload of Roadmaster bikes, with the funds coming from the sale of Clayton’s home. After moving to Jacksonville, Florida in 1948, they became the southeastern distributors for Arnold Schwinn and Co. of Chicago. In 1956 they moved into the original building on the same block where Emory bicycles are made today.
Concurrently, Brooks Stevens, one of America’s premier industrial designers, with such notable works as the Bullet-nose Train, Frazier and Studabaker automobiles, and the Oscar Meyer “Weinermobile” to his credit, designed a bicycle for the Cleveland Welding Company. This bicycle was marketed in 1948 under the Hawthorne brand name and in 1950 as the Western Flyer Super.
In 1976 Clayton Sr. and his son, Clayton II began manufacturing the Emory bicycle in Jacksonville, FL mostly for industrial and government applications. The tooling for the cantilever frames came from the Rollfast design, which was manufactured by H.P. Snyder in Little Falls, NY. Tallman Quarterman, Clayton Sr’s nephew, worked for Cowan Boze (a division of Rollfast) in Atlanta and apprised Clayton of the tooling’s availability.
The cruiser concept started in California using the old Schwinn frames, but the first manufacturer of cruisers in the United States was Emory. In 1990 we were approached by Western Auto to become the successor to the Columbia Bicycle Company as the manufacturer of the Western Flyer “Circa 1950’s” line of bicycles. The newest Western Flyer was inspired by Mr. Steven’s original design, a version of which we market today as the “new” Aero-Fast, sporting new colors and (nearly a half of century later) a logo designed by Mr. Stevens himself. Sadly, this was to be the last effort in Mr. Steven’s long and illustrious career as he passed away in 1995 after a short illness. His era is kept alive however in the Aero-Fast which like his famous Ecalibre automobiles are “contemporary classics”.
Aerofast and Webco BMX are two types of bike marks we own, that we will bring back into full production after 2021. For now, it’s all about the Emory C-4 Costal Cruisers.
The Smiths continue today into the third generation with the addition of Seabrook Emory Smith and four younger brothers and one sister behind him. The family pledges to continue to make the finest products of their type available and deeply appreciate your business.