Pedal Car Fun! 1970 Putt-Putt Mobile

The toy pedal car craze of the 20th Century came out of the desire for young buys to have a car of their own. I had one as a kid along with the requisite Radio Flyer pull wagon. In those days, they were made of metal but migrated to plastic as time went by. This one looks to be from the 1970s given its design and styling and it cleaned up nicely after being found. It looks all there and is available in Toledo, Ohio and here on Facebook Marketplace for $75.

Back in the day (and probably today, too), it seemed like pedal cars were everywhere. There may have been as many different makes and models as there was the real thing that our parents had. Before the advent of the internet, you dragged your folks into the store and pestered them for the pedal car of your dreams until you finally got it for Christmas or your birthday. It seems the first factory-built pedal cars come along in the 1890s and were well made, appealing mostly to kids who had some money behind them. They become less expensive and more plentiful after the turn of the century. A pedal version of the Model T sold almost as well as the real deal!

Baby Boomers consumed a lot of pedal cars as the postwar prosperity of the 1950s saw parents and kids alike getting new wheels. You could buy one out of the Sears catalog that was chain driven with battery-powered lights for $37, but most were a lot cheaper. Especially when production moved to the Far East and plastic took over for metal. That’s likely the era when the seller’s pedal car was made. Putt-Putt Mobile seems to be the nameplate, but I’ve had no luck finding out exactly who made it. Most online searches for that will get you miniature golf.

More than likely this was another forgotten toy that was found in someone’s basement or attic. The seller says it works as it should and has no broken or cracked parts that he could find. He did some cleaning up of the car and it looks rather good now. Perhaps ready for someone’s pedal car collection or just to be enjoyed by another child. For $75, how can you go wrong?

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Comments

  1. Fahrvergnugen Member

    SBC, just because someone has to say it.

    Like 6
    • Mitchell Gildea Member

      I was gonna say LS swap. Or maybe a Mazda rotary…

      Like 1
      • Daniel Wright

        6-71 Detroit diesel…

        Like 1
  2. Tony Primo

    Ha, I was going to say young “buys”.

    Like 1
  3. JCA

    Finally something in my price range

    Like 10
  4. Ken Carney

    Or how ’bout a Tesla? When I was young, my grandparents bought me a
    pedal car called a Scat cart. That was
    1961 and I can’t recall who made it. Wanna say Radio Flyer but I might be
    wrong. And if you want an adult pedal
    car, you can still get one today. An outfit called Rhoades car has been making them awhile now. They’re still
    around, but their products cost as much as a good used car! Can’t pedal far?
    you can get one with an electric motor
    to assist you along with a 42 speed
    gearbox to boot! Wanna build one
    yourself? You can buy the plans from
    American Speedster that allow you to
    build the pedal car of your dreams. You
    build the frame from PVC piping and then add whatever bike parts, or electric
    motor or both to give you just the pedal car you want. To see more, just go to
    YouTube and type in Adult Quadricycle.
    You’ll find everything you ever wanted to
    know about these fascinating vehicles.
    Better hurry on this one though, this one
    will go very quick.

  5. jimjim

    I totally had one of these! I remember seeing it on the shelf in the Bohack’s grocery store in Queens, NY. My grandfather bought it for me. He died when I was five or so, but one of my only memories of him was this car. When he gave it to me, it was very windy outside and one of the hubcaps blew off. We spent the entire day in his garage pretending to work on the car and he fastened the hubcaps. I haven’t seen one of these in years. If memory serves, it came with a top as well. Thanks for posting. This made my day!

    Like 5
  6. John

    Looks like a Bantam!

    Like 1
  7. Mark

    Not familiar with this exact model, but should run thru the std list of questions…..

    “Nicest One Left?: Yes, until a nicer one pops up.
    “1 of 1?” Doubtful. One-offs aren’t the norm from toy companies (matter of ROI).
    “Rod or Restore?” Would think a good washing will suffice.
    “Worth Saving?” Yes, would bring a child somewhere great joy.

    Like 1
  8. Jag6736

    Wow! I had one of these too. Forgot all about it. Brings back memories; and yes they had a top that came with them, more like a vinyl awning. There were 4 metal poles that would go into the 4 holes you see on the car where a windshield frame would be and on each side behind the seat. The plastic front hood panels also lifted so you could pretend to get to the engine. Forgot what was in there, probably a big sticker that looked like an engine. lol Have no idea what ever happened to it.

    Like 2
  9. DougB

    Oh wow, I still have mine, the first thing I bought with my own money, probably in 1974. It’s been outside for a while, though…doesn’t look nearly as nice as this one. I need to restore it and try to get it in the hands of a child who might appreciate it in its un-powered glory.

    Like 1
  10. DeeBee

    Finally! a restoration project I can afford!

    Like 1
    • stu

      Needs a new ball joint on the left side…..

  11. Kaydee D.

    I was a “Big Wheel” kid myself.

  12. rustylink

    the molded plastic era cars will never hold the same value as pressed steel ones….just saying..

  13. Steve Clinton

    Wait a minute. I need to check my calendar…it must be April 1st.

  14. Pietro

    To me it’s uncle Donald’s car!

    Like 2
  15. 67Firebird_Cvt Member

    Good to see an underside pic!

    Like 2

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