Today's piece is from reader and friend of the site, Ray Denison. Ray has been an avid toy collector, and owns some phenomenal memorabilia. He also owns some beautiful motorcycles, including a no-holds-barred vintage CB450, and a Testastretta Ducati Monster - neither of which are suitable for children.
Many automotive enthusiasts most likely can name the time, place and automotive moment that infected them with the moto-madness. For some of us it is likely the first car we lusted for wasn’t a full-scale version. It was one of those shiny pedal-powered dream cars parked in the neighborhood yards. I don't recall the particular car but rather them collectively. It seemed as if there were as many miniature makes and models as there were in the local dealership that mesmerized my father. Even today if you go to the local big box retailer you will find a staggering array of transportation designed for kids albeit, powered by electrified locomotion.
The first factory built pedal cars appeared in the 1890s on the heels of Karl Benz’s three-wheel Motorwagen. Like the first automobiles, pedal cars were for the rich. Sheet steel covered their wood frames with full-size carriage lights, starting cranks and license plates furnishing the trim. By the early 1900s pedal cars were widespread, especially in the United States, England, France, and Australia.Read More