The auction that’s dedicated entirely to pedal cars
A rollcall of American automotive greats – and one British family favourite – are up for grabs in what must be the cutest auction of the year, as all of the models on offer are pedal cars.
There are 53 of them, and they are all museum quality having been painstakingly restored to by the American pedal car enthusiast, Bruce Callis, who put the collection together. For the past couple of years his miniature pride and joy has been a highlight of the McLean County Museum of History in Bloomington, Illinois.
Now, though, all 53 cars in this unique collection are being sold, online, by RM Sotheby’s. Guide prices range from $600 to $3,000 and all are on offer at no reserve. The auction is live now and closes on Wednesday 24th June at 4pm UK time.
You do not have to be five years old to fall in love with these cuties. We know the appeal of the classic pedal car more than most, from Revival’s Settrington Cup race for Austin J40s. And, wouldn’t you know it, there’s one of the Wales-made baby Austins in the sale. The 1955 Junior Forty, with its openable bonnet and boot, spare tyre and working horn and lights, has a guide price of $2-3,000.
The J40 stands in stark contrast to its dimunitive American counterparts. Most are from the 1940s and ‘50s, represent many of the great (some now dead) names of American auto manufacture, and comprise not just cars but boats and planes, scooters, tractors, tow trucks and hot rods.
The oldest car here is a 1927 pedal car made by the Uhlen Carriage Company of Rochester, New York. Styled like the Buick of its day, it is made of a wood frame wrapped in sheet metal and comes complete with working suspension. Its guide is $1,000-1,500.
One of the top priced lots, with a guide up to $3,000, is a 1941 Lincoln-Zephyr. Other cars represented in this to-die-for Lilliputian scale include Ford Mustang, Chrysler Airflow and classics Oldsmobile, Pontiac and Buick models.
RM says Bruce Callis not only curated the collection but, with his grandson, restored the vast majority of them, sand-blasting, painting and chrome plating them as close to their original spec as possible. The result, says RM, is that they appear fresh out of their original packaging.