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Pedalmania

The Wonderful World Of Pedal Cars and Tin Toys

All G.M

GM’s sales and marketing organization was obviously aware of the popularity of the pedal car.

GM sales literature also took advantage of pedal car popularity as we can see from the cover of this 1944 sales brochure.

 

Below a GM auto show display

Driver Training

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Pedal Cars at GM

Since their inception in the late 1890s, pedal cars have been one of the most popular children’s toys. They have ranged in scope from homemade ride-on carts to sophisticated copies of expensive and high-performance automobiles and trucks. They reached the height of their pre-World War II popularity in the 1920s and 1930s as the public developed an awareness and interest in all things automotive.

Pontiac Silver Streak pedal cars

GM’s sales and marketing organization was obviously aware of the popularity of the pedal car as we can see this photograph from the GM Media Archive of a company event where some very happy children have just received their new Pontiac Silver Streak pedal cars.

Pedal cars were also used in dealerships to create interest in the new products for the entire family. What child refuses to go to the dealership if they knew they could drive around the showroom floor in their very own Silver Streak coupe.

Footnote:

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Additionally, General Motors LLC makes no representations or warranties with respect to the right to consent to the services of those persons appearing in the Archival Works, to the music and lyrics contained therein, or with regard to the use of names, trademarks, trade dress, copyrighted designs or works of art or architecture which are not the intellectual property of General Motors LLC. Accordingly, the requestor must satisfy itself that it has obtained all necessary consents and releases regarding any of the above have been obtained.

 

Holden made toys  like Ezy-Bilt and pedal cars they could tool  up within a month or so, and have a good, quick cash flow.Instead of manufacturing a car that might take a year to produce.

Made by Holden

Holden Pedal Cars

I have just received the info on Holden pedal cars! Yes that's right Holden pedal cars, it seems long before you drove the FX came the first series Holden, a pedal car!
Before the war G.M. was on the verge of creating a fully fledged local manufacturing operation, however, the war intervened  and by 1940 with the fall of Paris, local automotive manufacturing was deemed irrelevant, so for next few years the company joined the war effort like most of Australia's industries to meet Australia's defence needs. The Labour Government in 1944 encouraged the Australian automotive industry to make the next step n forming a local car manufacturing company, this also would be an excellent step forward in our national defence capability, for there was a widespread feeling that peace would be short lived.
Making up for wartime austerity G.M. then produced their first post-war toys, and yes that included a pedal car. Fortunate for many adult Australians this was short lived (I can't imagine pedalling to work in a Commodore.) and G.M. began making the real thing, (Holden) and well, the rest is, so they say, history!

 

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