Steel Toy Pedal Cars: A Little History

July 21, 2013


Pedal Cars - History

Children’s steel toy pedal cars have been around for nearly as long as those with real horsepower. First modelled on the automobiles of the time, their shape and style has changed over the years to reflect current car manufacturing trends. And while they have come in and out of fashion, there has always been a big demand (and yearning) by children all over the globe for a steel toy pedal car.  

A global history

- The first steel toy pedal cars appeared in the 19th century, around 1890.

- For several decades, they were expensive to produce, so were the domain of wealthy families only.

- Production of the toy cars ceased during the war, when metal was kept solely for the war effort. They had a resurgence in popularity during the 1950s, when production resumed. - Pedal car manufacturers then extended their repertoire into other kids’ toys, including pedal planes, trucks, trains and tricycles.

- In the 1970s, the plastic car arrived, and metal cars were usurped

- for a while at least. Thanks to a new demand, not only by children, but also by adults looking for collectibles, steel toy pedal cars are still popular today.  

In Australia

Just as there are Australian car manufacturers, there are Australian pedal car manufacturers. The first Australian pedal toy cars were produced by Cyclops in 1917. They were made of pine, and featured sheet metal cladding, and spoked wheels with rubber tyres. By the 1920s, Cyclops was producing a wide range of toy pedal cars and wagons.  

Coveted collectibles

Today, original steel pedal cars from early last century can fetch thousands of dollars at auction. Popular examples include the 1922 Model T Ford, 1949 Comet, 1955 Chevrolet and 1960 Giordani Racer.  

Features

Pedal cars have changed in style over the years as automotive design has progressed. While the cars all have movable pedals, other features vary from working lights, horns and chrome detailing, to working windshields, and even custom paint jobs.  

Just as wooden toys have remained steadfastly popular over the years, steel toy pedal cars are beloved by children everywhere, and quite a few adults too!  



Also in Blog

Kids Bedroom Furniture That Promotes Big Imagination Potential
Kids Bedroom Furniture That Promotes Big Imagination Potential

October 22, 2018

Let your children have that experience as well by encouraging them to stage performances of their very own using clothing racks as stages! Storage items are fabulous fodder for creative play. There are just so many ways that they can be used to promote learning, living and laughing! 
Read More
The Very REAL Reasons You Need To Reduce Screen Time Right NOW
The Very REAL Reasons You Need To Reduce Screen Time Right NOW

October 22, 2018

Screen time for kids is a real hot button issue. Media commentators, bloggers, childhood experts and parents at school pick-up – they’re all talking about it! Most of us can agree that it’s bad – but did you know just how bad it can be?

Read More
Why Buy Wooden Toys?
Why Buy Wooden Toys?

September 27, 2018

Not so long ago, metal and wooden toys were common play items for children. Then plastics overtook our modern world and vibrant, coloured toys became the norm. Typically, a child in 2018 will be gifted building blocks, branded toys, figurines, dolls or games, all made with plastics. This is unfortunate for the environment and for our children. Here’s why parents today should consider wooden toys over plastics when buying gifts for children.
Read More

JOIN THE HIPKIDS VIP CLUB