Pedal Cars - Kids Classic Rides

Ongoing Exhibit

Changing Exhibit Gallery

From toys to today’s prized collectibles, pedal cars were the classic ride on every block. They began as toys for wealthy families and reached heightened popularity in the 1920s and early 1930s. Production declined during The Great Depression, seized during WWII when manufacturing focused on the war effort.  Their popularity resurged in the 1950s and 1960s, mimicking their full-sized counter parts with portholes, grills and even battery-powered lights. This delightful exhibit features a host of models, including the kid-size version of Nellybelle, the jeep driven by comic sidekick Pat Brady in the popular Roy Rogers TV Show and the Casey Jones Cannonball Express locomotive and coal tender trailer from Ralph and Sandy Theiss. 

“Pedal cars were built of steel, and they more than stood the test of time.  By following the trends of the automotive world, they reflect the grandeur, the whimsy, and the progress of the automobile. After finding their way into attics and basements, pedal cars have been reclaimed and rediscovered by collectors.  Now they are displayed as proud symbols of a time that has passed.”                                 

            -- Pedal Car Memories by Larry Bloemker, Robert Genat, Ed Weirick; MBI Publishing, 1999  (research and photo source for this exhibit)