Hands up who had a pedal car when they were a kid?

I’d love to know what happened to mine. Like a lot of things, my prized water pistol included, they have become lost in the sands of time.

In the UK Bicester Heritage will play host to a one-off auction on March 21 that will see more than 140 rare and unique pedal cars go under the hammer from the Jaguar Land Rover Classics Collection.

While it’s not unusual for the odd pedal car to turn up at auction, rarely do you see a whole collection up for sale at one venue.

Mirroring the history of the automobile itself, the pedal cars span virtually every decade of the past 130 years, ranging from highly detailed miniature vintage Bentleys and pre-war racing cars made from metal, to a modern BMW Z4.

In the early 1900s, pedal cars were widespread, especially in the heartlands of motorcar manufacture powerhouses like America, Britain, Italy and France.

Although they were ostensibly aimed at children, most of these pedal cars were just as well made as their full-size brethren with enamelled steel bodies, opening bonnets and boots, working brakes, steering and headlights, leather seats and adjustable pedals.

Some even had miniature electric engines.

Managing Director of Bicester Heritage, Dan Geoghegan, said: pedal cars are a part of our motoring and social history.

“The no reserve auction represents a potentially once in a lifetime opportunity to snap up some fascinating rarities,” he said.

Full details of the cars can be found online at www.brightwells.com. Visit www.bicesterheritage.co.uk/events for more information.

Nb. The water pistol by the way was a black machine gun with a huge, battle-winning water reservoir that outlasted everyone. I miss it to this day.

 

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Has anyone seen my pedal car?

Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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