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How Pedal Cars Started

Pedal Car History

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.

Until recently, evidence of the skillful workmanship, care and dedication put into the traditional pedal cars could only be found in the few and rare remaining pedal cars.  In today's "throw-away" world, where trends come and go and nothing seems to last for long, Pedal Car Planet endeavors to bring you those special things back from the past when quality and workmanship were highly valued.  Our selection of Pedal Cars will stand the test of time and will be considered classics when your children become parents in the years to come.  The pedal car really is the perfect antique toy to own.  They are very durable and can even be used from generation to generation.  Your family can actually experience the fun of the pedal car without fear of destroying a collectible.  If you didn't get to enjoy a new pedal car during your childhood, it isn't too late.  You can also purchase pedal car kits to create a new pedal car.  Our Pedal Cars will definitely catch the eye of every kid, parent, and collector.

Today as in the past, the joy of purchasing these pedal products is that they have a fabulous build quality unlike the plastic models that came out in the late 1970's.  These pedal cars and other toys were constructed with pure steel, no plastic parts.  This durability along with the exquisite style and detail to the original models of these pedal toys are what keep consumers coming back. Consumers are not only buying these products as child toys, but as adult toys, too.

Take a look at what original pedal cars would cost now:

  • 1940 Silver Pursuit Plane $2000.00
  • 1942 Shark Attack Plane $2100.00
  • 1941 Sports Racer $2800.00
  • 1960 Giordani Racer $4000.00
  • 1949 Comet $1500.00
  • 1930 Sad Faced Fire Engine $2400.00
  • 1948 Comet (Pink & Blue) $2000.00
  • 1955 Chevrolet $1750.00
  • 1930 Trike $3000.00
  • 1922 Model T Ford $2800.00
  • What will cost you around two thousand dollars plus for an original (if you can find one) can be purchased new here for around two hundred dollars. Your pedal car will eventually gain the appreciative value of the listed cars above. This is a big reason why pedal cars have become so popular and why so many people are collecting these pedal cars. Very little investment, for maximum inflation values. We predict the limited editions will increase in value the fastest. Of course, others just want a stylish, all-metal ride-on toy car for their child, and at the same time helping them to get their exercise. So what are you waiting for? Get your pedal car(s) now!

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