Is this a vintage Bell Magic?
Is this a vintage Bell Magic?
I didn’t think Bell ever did floor mounted tractor seats. It looks like a Wenonah Advantage.
Looking at it again it does say Bell.
The tractor seats end caps etc look like Wenonah. The aluminum gunnels with wood thwarts are interesting.
Maybe someone gave an Advantage a custom paint job and added the Bell logo?
After thinking about it. This boat looks suspicious.
Did someone paint just the top to hide the Wenonah logo and hull numbers? Did they add the Bell logos to further disguise?
The shape is all wrong for a magic. Look at the tumblehome on this older magic compared to the mystery boat.
Agree w Plausus. Doesn’t remotely look like a Magic to me.
Maybe an older racing canoe. The somewhat bat wing shape of that hull, only being full width for a small bit.
Looks like an Advantage to me also. Why anyone would try to rebrand a great boat?
This is Bell’s original logo. I went into Midwest Mountaineering in Minneapolis years ago. It’s probably been 30 years give or take. Ted Bell was still working at Midwest Mountaineering back in the day as he was trying to get his canoe business off the ground. I chatted with him and decided to take one of his canoes to the BWCA. I drove up to Zimmerman MN just down the road from their current location and picked up the canoe on the way up north. This was the logo being used at the time. To me it looks like an Advantage but perhaps Ted and Bear were trying some different things or perhaps there was a model that was long forgotten. I rented the Bell North Bay from Ted Bell. It was a narrow fast paddling tandem. I remember it was fairly round on the bottom making it a bit unstable.
That boat looks to me as if it has been painted. If so, the manufacturer decals are obviously not stock. I have seen any number of boats to which decals from another maker have been applied, for whatever reason.
I agree that it looks like a Wenonah and it is not a Bell Magic.
no idea though the seat and thwarts look stock Wenonah…The listing went poof.
Another theory. The post goes poof got me thinking. Suppose this is a Wenonah Advantage. A HOT🔥 Advantage. Toss on some blue paint. Put a Bell logo over the top of it to throw people off. Put it up for sale to get some cash. Stranger things have happened.
Every Advantage is hot.
That’s their Advantage.
I don’t think that the typical thief or receiver of stolen goods would go to the trouble to repaint a canoe in a two-tone fade pattern and apply new decals to disguise it.
Maybe send a query to Northstar (email@example.com) along with the pics? I have found them helpful in seeking info on old Bells.
Here’s a few early brochures. It lists the CJ Solo as the largest solo in the fleet at 15’ 6". Now it may not be complete or cover enough of the years. The Northstar and the Northwood tandems are not on the list but on separate pages of the brochure. The year appears to be 1993 which is within 5 years of the founding of Bell Canoe Works. It also looks like they are using the newer Bell logo so the Bell “Advantage” canoe pre-dates 1993.
That canoe ain’t a Bell of any vintage. Those gunwales are typical Wenonah extruded aluminum gunwales.
I agree. I think this is a Wenonah Advantage disguised (for whatever reason) as a Bell.
Heres another logo from the same time period on a Bell North Bay. Tippiest tandem I ever paddled. Notice how the North Bay logo looks dark and crisp. The Bell “Advantage” looks lighter in color and a big fuzzy. The Advantage is quite a bit smaller in size looking at the two deck plate screws.
Another theory is taking a cursory glace is that a canoe like a Magic has a bit higher resale than an Advantage. Perhaps he was trying to get more money from a unknowing buyer.
There is another canoe Bell made in the early years. He made it at Wabash Valley Canoe and in the early years of Bell Canoe Works that is somewhat similar in shape to the Bell mystery canoe. There are differences but perhaps there was another canoe made at the same time with similar characteristics. That canoe is the Merlin not the Merlin II. Here’s some photos from both companies of the Merlin.