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Discussion in 'Station Wagon Memorabilia & Toys' started by Safariknut, Jan 27, 2014.
Almost bought this awhile back but decided I didn't need any more projects.
Hard to tell for sure the scale of that. Is/was that a pedal car?
Sorry I didn't say;it is/was a gas powered car and the overall length is about 6 1/2 feet which would make it about 1/3rd scale. They were originally made as promotional cars for dealerships and were very detailed and expensive. The guy who had this one also had a complete one that he sold about 12 years ago for $1500. He wanted $450 just for this body.
I wanted to make a Safari out of it but didn't have the money to invest in it at the time. The body was made of an early type of fibreglass that did not have cloth reinforcement;it was mostly resin and very prone to chipping.
I had a picture of a completely restored one in my document files but cannot for the life of me find it.Iwill eventually and I'll post it then.
In 1958 when I was 5 years old, our neighbor bought one of the small cars for us. He was 3 at the time. It was the coolest thing at the time. There were a lot of different bodies made for them and were detailed very nicely. They were sold mostly at dealerships in the 50s. They were made in Mystic, Conn. You had a choice of gas powered or electric. The one we had was electric and was driven by a starter from a real car (ford) I think. We would raise the body from the back and had a cord to plug into an outlet to charge it. We had a red 58' Ford Fairlane conv. I was told all the electric cars had hard rubber tires and the gas had air filled tires. Ours had working head/tail lights. We cruised our neighborhood sidewalks in style! I have seen several different bodies for these such as Ford, Mercury, Thunderbird called the (Jr. T-Bird), Desoto, Pontiac, Plymouths and probably some I have not seen.....all from the mid to late 50s. I doubt they were cheaply priced at the time. I did see one just exactly like the one we had in Carlisle Pa. fall show about 20 years ago. It was totally restored and was priced at $3,000 at the time.
Found a pic of a restored one
The originals even had factory style wheel covers. There were a few manufacturers that made miniature versions of real cars as pedal cars and as gas or electric powered cars.
Heres a link to some pictures from someone who restores them.
And heres a link to a website that shows the history and most of the various models that were made.
Heres a few pics I've taken over the years of some miniature drivable classics.
The beige 59 Fury Jr. was for sale for $6000.00 at the 2010 Mopar Nationals.
Thanks for the link, Jim
To each his own, but Dam how I would have loved to have the Caterpillar as kid! Although the tank would have cool also, if you could rig it to fire...Golf Balls,eggs?......or paint balls!
Heres a company in Australia, that makes junior size Ferraris, Cobras, Porsches, Jaguar XK-120s, Jaguar XKE's and Aston Martin DB-5s.
Heres a video of test driving and drifting.
And here's link to Pizza Hut's very first TV commercial which uses a 1965 Mustang Jr.
...and heres a 1991 TV commercial for a Buick Roadmaster wagon that includes a Junior size Buick Reatta.
Back when our dad was in the Army, around 1958, we lived in Fort Knox, Kentucky. An army family that lived in the area won a DeSoto Firemite, which was of course the same type vehicle as these others. I'd love to know where that ended up, if it survived three or so children.
Start 'em young!
My wife came home the other day, grumbling about a line of dolls with the promotion line "Royal or Rebel? - You choose!" She couldn't believe that companies would play to mothers' inner rumblings. Little girls can't read, so moms guide them, right? She's still ticked.
As a kid, I remember the mini Safari, as well as a mini '57 Thunderbird. Yes, there were promotional contests where you could win one.
I was born too late.