Xmas Gift Idea: 1957 Thunderbird 7Up Go-Karts

As part of a promotional strategy in 1988. the manufacturers of 7Up ran an advertising campaign in conjunction with MTV. This promotion included a host of giveaway prizes, including audio cassettes, t-shirts, hats, pedal cars, and a pink 1957 Ford Thunderbird. While I have seen a number of the 7Up pedal cars, I have never seen the go-karts that are featured in this story, so I have to thank Barn Finder Pat L for bringing them to our attention. These go karts are located in Bangor, Pennsylvania, so if you fancy something different in the way of a toy, you will find them listed for sale here on Craigslist.

The owner has two of these little go-karts, and they look to be in pretty decent condition. They are powered by 3hp Briggs & Stratton engines. Because I’ve never actually seen one of these I’m unsure what the bodies are made from. The pedal cars used a steel frame with a plastic body, and these might be the same, although the proximity of the engine to the body may also indicate that steel was used to prevent melting from engine heat. If one of our Barn Finders knows, please enlighten us. I also like the wheels on these go-karts, which really look right, and don’t look like any go-kart wheel that I’ve ever seen before. This was not the first time that 7Up had featured go-karts as part of their promotional campaign, having featured one in an advertising poster back in 1962.

These go karts are something different, and I’m really unsure how rare they are, as I can’t find any information on them. However, if you want your own 7Up go-kart, the owner has the two, and you can buy them off him for $1,500 each. That may sound like a significant amount of money, but merchandising memorabilia can fetch some pretty respectable money down the track, especially if it’s rare.


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  1. IkeyHeyman

    My granddaughter would love it if I bought her one of these (mostly because they’re pink), but Grandma would probably kill me if I did.

    Like 5
  2. Mark

    What’s the car with flat tire under the tarp. ?

    • Jbones

      Looks to be a 1965 Chevrolet Malibu.

      Like 1
    • Chebby Staff

      Based on the front fender contour, my guess is 1964 Chevelle/Malibu.

      • Little_Cars Alexander Member

        65 Comet

    • Little_Cars Saul Member

      Looks like a Mercury Comet, 1965-66. Or some other Ford product 1965-67.

  3. Joe Machado

    53-54 Chevy Bel Air. Noticed the cars are 57, but not fins

  4. gbvette62

    I’d guess is that the body is fiberglass, since most of these kinds of replica go-karts, usually have fiberglass bodies.

    The wheels look like mini 84-87 Corvette wheels. I vaguely remember an early 80’s Corvette go-kart with those wheels, though I don’t know who the manufacturer was.

    I’ve had a few different Corvette go-karts, including a 78 (which I still have ) and an 88 that I sold at Corvette Carlisle 2 years ago. I’ve also had a couple Model T Ford go-karts, but I’ve never had the Corvette kart with those wheels, or a 7Up T-Bird.

    Like 1
  5. steve Member

    If these were closer to me (west coast), I’d probably be all over them. Definitely easy to work on and clean up…even repaint. Do they run?

    Like 1
  6. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Like….they show up every now and then but on the pricey side….bought my 58 Corvette go cart – for the great nephews – for $500 and hardly driven at the swap meet….have the body in storage !

    Like 1

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