Source: Antiques Roadshow: "Pioneer Packard Toy Pedal Car"
Antiques Roadshow: "Pioneer Packard Toy Pedal Car"
A full Teacher's Guide accompanies this video on the Antiques Roadshow Web site.
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In this video produced for Antiques Roadshow, toys and games expert Noel Barret looks at a toy pedal car made in 1914 by Pioneer, a leading toy manufacturer of the time. A miniature replica of the luxury cars being produced at that time by The Packard Motor Company, this toy is in beautiful condition, though Barret points out that collectors may value it less than they would a 1920s model with fenders.
By the early 1900s, cars powered by gasoline had begun to sell widely throughout the United States. Oldsmobile launched mass production of automobiles in 1901; Henry Ford improved the assembly line and was able to churn out his legendary Model T in just 93 minutes. But while Ford was selling cars for $440, the Packard Motor Company focused on luxury cars whose prices began at $2,600. Many dignitaries and heads of state took great pride in owning a Packard.
Soon after cars began to catch on in the U.S., toy manufacturers started producing miniature versions for children to ride in and play with. Pioneer was a leading producer of children's riding toys, including the Packard car presented here. It dates from 1914 and features pedals that allowed children to propel the car forward.
GUEST: It was sent to my grandfather from his brother around 1914, and it's been in our family ever since.
NOEL BARRETT, Appraiser, Noel Barrett Antiques & Auctions: This is in absolutely extraordinary condition for a piece of this age. The wood-and-pin pedal car was made by Pioneer. You can see the decal on the back. One of the major makers of pedal cars was Pioneer, which became Gendron, which became American National. They made cars into the '20s. Curiously, everybody thinks something that's really early would be worth more than, say, something from the '20s. Oddly enough, the collectors really decide what they like. And, as early, and as in beautiful condition as this is, they don't like the fact that it doesn't have fenders. I just think it's spectacular. It's a Packard, great condition. Probably worth in the $5,000 to $6,000 range
GUEST: All right.
BARRETT: at auction. Now, if you had an American National pedal car from the '20s, with fenders the same size, you'd be more than double that.
GUEST: Oh, wow!
BARRETT: So it's not about age. It's really about... ! What they want. ...what the collectors want.
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