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.  


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

9 Tips for Setting Screen Time Limits for your Kids
9 Tips for Setting Screen Time Limits for your Kids

June 27, 2018

There’s been much talk lately about the amount of screen time the average Australian child has. Many are quick to judge the kids and parents — but with the average household having six internet-connected devices, who can blame them for wanting more?  
Read More
The Best Early-Stage Toys For Your Child’s Development
The Best Early-Stage Toys For Your Child’s Development

June 27, 2018

There’s no doubt that children love toys. Not only do they provide hours of entertainment for kids while giving tired parents a bit of downtime, toys are also a great way to support your child’s development. 
Read More
Types and Stages of Play Important for your Child’s Development
Types and Stages of Play Important for your Child’s Development

May 23, 2018

Play is something that every child has a right to. HipKids outline the benefits, stages and types of play to ensure your child’s early years are maximised.
Read More


Free Gift When You Sign Up

To show our appreciation for subscribing to our Newsletter, a FREE Wooden Ramp Racer to the value of $34.95  (+ delivery) will be added to your cart when you spend $150 or more on full priced items on your first order. 

 Please note: