HIstory of Pedal Cars

History of Pedal Cars

The Origin of Pedal Cars

Americans have always loved their cars, so it was natural that shortly after the automobile’s introduction the first diminutive pedal-powered versions were produced. From simple wooden crates with wheels to ornate versions that replicated all of the details of vehicles on the road at the end of the 19th Century, early pedal cars allowed children to “drive” all on their own.

By the time Henry Ford’s factory had produced its millionth vehicle in 1920, pedal cars were firmly established as a favorite plaything in many households. However, like many frivolities in fashion at the time, pedal cars soon became out of reach for all but the wealthiest families during the Great Depression.

Red antique pedal car
Mid-century Pedal Car

Mid-Century Revival of Pedal Cars

It was not until the 1950s and 60s that pedal cars made a comeback along with the American economy. Once again children all across the country were pedaling their hearts out in scaled-down versions of the day’s most popular vehicles. Some of the fancier models rivaled the designs of their full-size counterparts, complete with sleek fins, shiny chrome and beautiful paint jobs.

Modern Pedal Cars

However, the average pedal car found in department and toy stores today is a sad thing by comparison. The sturdy steel frames and bodies with realistic features of previous decades became plastic bodies and flimsy components molded to give only the most passing of nods to real vehicles. Built to be inexpensive above all else, these feeble toys are quick to wear out and often end up in landfills after a single season of use.

Prime Karts strives to honor the storied past of pedal cars by building our karts with an unwavering commitment to quality. Taking cues from those times when the care and skill of craftsmen was evident in the resiliency of their wares, Prime Karts is proud to offer a range of karts that are built to stand the test of time. Our karts allow children of all ages to once again get behind the wheel and feel the thrill of “driving” a real kart.

Family enjoying Prime Karts Racer and XL-4 model karts

We hope that you will spend many years enjoying your Prime Karts and will take the time to share your stories with us. We look forward to hearing from you and seeing how Prime Karts are helping to preserve this truly American pastime for this and future generations.