Those Precious Pedal Cars

A photographic look back at pre-World War II pedal cars.
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Regardless of their vintage, pedal cars had to be tough to handle
the occasional neighborhood car pool.

A pedal car is a relatively simple, but large, child’s toy vehicle with pedals, tires, axles, a body and a steering assembly. They were designed for heavy outdoor play, and were ridden and enjoyed by children, especially in the pre-World War II years.

Modern versions of these toy cars have become quite popular in recent years, and can be purchased for prices ranging from $100 to $400. For example, a 1932 Ford roadster police pedal car officially licensed by the Ford Motor Co. sells for $259.

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(Above) The driver seems prepared to pedal off-road in this
undated photo.

Originals are more pricey. A completely restored 1934 Pontiac Fire Chief pedal car was recently advertised in Antique Toy World with an asking price of $3,000. An original 1930s Steelcraft Zephyr pedal car was for sale on eBay at $1,800 and had bids up to $760. Unrestored versions, in various conditions, can be found at automotive flea markets, such as Hershey, for considerably less.

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(Above left) There probably weren’t many pedal cars built before
this 1919 model. (Above right) This pedal car is dated 1942.

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