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Varooom! Varooom!

I have wanted to restore a vintage pedal car for a long time. These things when restored right can sell for a small fortune. I have searched the internet for the ones I thought were the most unique. Of course I will never be able to squeeze into one of these little guys to drive but I can still appreciate the design and styling. They have started reproducing classic styled pedal cars but they can not compare to these fantastic steel babies. Here are a few that I really like…

Ok, I know it was made in 1971 but look at how cool it is!

Really? Why did they not have any of these around when I was a kid 😦

Wow! A trailer too.

Fantastic, look at the food tray attached to the side of the car.

 Ok, these were all very nice and I would consider myself lucky to own any of them but this one that steals the cake.Here is the 1950’s Garton Pink Kidillac Pedal Car, hope you think this one is as awesome as I do.

Here is the history of the pedal car:

When the automobile made its appearance, the pedal car soon followed. Pedal car history goes back to the 1890’s when most were modeled from the real cars on the road at the time.  Since their conception, pedal cars were all kids wished for.  But at the turn of the century, their cost meant they were playthings for only wealthy families. With many families reeling from the financial devastation of The Great Depression, pedal cars were often toys for upper class children.  Those not so fortunate played with basic homemade ride-on toys.  In the 1920’s and 1930’s the wealthy were catered to when it came to buying pedal cars since they were the primary buyers.  No pedal cars were produced in the mid-1940’s when all metal production was directed to the World War II effort.

Reaching the peak of popularity in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s, pedal cars experienced a resurgence in the 1950’s to 1960’s with chain-driven models.  With postwar prosperity in the 1950’s, pedal cars grew more popular and were available in all major stores.  From the early 1920’s through the late 1960’s, pedal cars, like automobiles, were produced in many different models and colors.  Designed to incorporate the most current trends of the automotive world, pedal cars featured working lights and horns, moveable windshields and ragtops, chrome detailing and hood ornaments, and white wall tires and custom paint jobs.

Later pedal toy manufacturers recognized that there was a huge market for these pedal car ride-on toys and extended their business strategies to include manufacturing of other pedal toy products like pedal planes, namely the Red Baron, Shark Attack and Fantasy Flyer.  Manufacturers later extended their idea of the pedal car to all things pedal, including pedal trains, pedal trucks, tricycles, and even die cast models for those who just wanted a model of the models.  The idea of owning one of these pedal toys is trendy to this day as many pedal toy owners are not only purchasing these products as gifts for their children, but also as collectible items.  They have an emotional attachment to the memory that these cars bring to them. Once upon a time, they were in the original versions of these cars, like the 1965 Mustang car.

In the 1960’s, a fascination with space and air travel, the ubiquity of plastics, and new safety standards for toys brought an end to widespread metal pedal car production.  In the 1970’s the plastic car was introduced and the traditional steel pedal cars almost faded out of existence.  Children’s car manufacturing continued in plastic, but the design of the vehicles no longer captured the aesthetic of adult automobiles.  The pedal car era began almost as soon as the world embraced the automobile and ended when metal toys gave way to plastic.


6 responses »

  1. Hoo-boy! I KNOW what this means…..Previews of coming attractions!

    Taking wagers here – a buck a piece! (let’s see….one buck x 20,000…this could be the lottery ;- ) I can see it now….It’s only a matter of time.

    That kiddie kaddy is out of this world! Also love the 50’s chevy (of course). The little white one looks like an old Buick & that Merc at the top is, well, over the top.

    Hm, hum, can’t wait!



  2. Hi great site just a note the Mercury in the white knuckle photo is not a pedal car or made of steel it is a battery powered car, made of fiberglass and larger than your standard powercar, has working headlights, taillights and horn, also goes in forward and reverse.

    I collect these I have T-Birds and Mustangs. Plymouth fury’s, Edsels, Pontiacs were also made!


    • Hepcat Restorations

      Hey Scott,
      Thanks for the info. I wasn’t aware they made cars like that back then. It was just like an actual car almost, fantastic! I am new to this pedal car thing. If you get some time free send me good quality pics of the cars you have and tell me about them. I would love to put it on our blog. Thanks for keeping me honest!


      • Hi Shane,

        I will get some pics together for you. Yes a very small company made generic cars in the early 50’s he used a modified car starter and battery to make them go in fwd and rev. in 1955 he asked Ford if he could make a version of the upcoming 55 T-bird, as the car was delayed in production, and Ford wanted to get it into the showroom as soon as possible, they agreed and made a miniture mold for hime to create fiberglass bodies. Every new model they would send him a new mold.

        They are great little cars and a “green” car as well!!!

        I really like your site!!! I like repurposing old items and giving them a new look!!

        Bes Regards,



      • Hepcat Restorations

        Hey Scott,
        Thanks for all the info. I look forward to the pictures and will let my readers know about these fantastic cars. Thanks for your comments.


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