Vintage pedal cars were popular children’s toys that were first introduced in the late 1880’s. Some of the most valuable vintage pedal cars from a collector’s standpoint, were those manufactured by the Butler Brothers company. These cars were called “Juvenile Steel Automobiles” and featured open steering systems, sheet steel bodies, open bodies, and double wheel spokes. Pedal cars were fashioned after the currently popular cars, with some of the best selling models being the Scorcher, Wizard, and the Speedwell. The most popular pedal car of the time that is still held in high regard by collectors was the Butler Brothers pedal car version of the Model T Ford.
Fire Engine Pedal Cars
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Other manufacturers of vintage pedal cars included U.K.’s Lines Bros, offering 30 different models of pedal cars. One model even featured working brakes and headlights and boasted a 12-volt electric motor that could reach speeds of 5mph and travel up to 15 miles on one charge. Other manufacturers included American National Automobiles of Toledo, Ohio, and Starcraft of Murray, Ohio. Back in the 1950’s, you could purchase Murray pedal cars for only $11.98 for a pedal and rod drive Champion sports model.
Tractor Pedal Cars
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These vintage pedal carts were constructed from real steel parts, were durable, and featured quality craftsmanship with great attention paid to details. These cars were much more durable than the plastic version we see today, making them a great find for collectors who wish to simply own a piece of history or like to dabble in restoring pedal cars for their own collection, or for resale to other pedal car collectors.
Murray Champion Pedal Cars
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Vintage pedal cars are easy to find on auction sites such as Ebay. Most will cost at minimum, over $125, with most falling into the price range of at least $200, to many being well over $300. Many of the less expensive models are those very much in need of some attention, making them the perfect find for those who enjoy restoring pedal cars.