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White Chevrolet Co: 1960 Corvette Child’s Car – 1956 Showroom Photo

Today’s lead photo showcases a 1960 Corvette child’s car and a mother with her children in it posing in front of one of the showroom’s side windows at White Chevrolet located in or around the Greenville, North Carolina area.

Not having much knowledge about automakers children’s cars we surmise that independent companies produced these vehicles under contract and we will rely on our readers to tell us the specifications of this little Corvette. We assume this small car is operated by pedals due to its open bottom or was it powered by a battery, or gasoline?

This second picture (below) contains three 1956 Chevrolet’s on the showroom floor. Even though White Chevrolet was housed in a modern building, it was laid out the old-fashioned way. Just behind the convertible in the middle of the image is the parts room which is also visible through the side window in the lead photo. Note the used car lot in the background.

Share with us what you find of interest in the photos courtesy of the East Carolina University Collections.

14 responses to “White Chevrolet Co: 1960 Corvette Child’s Car – 1956 Showroom Photo

  1. The tires and undercarriage on the convertible make it look thoroughly used–and those oil stains on the carpeting aren’t very confidence-inspiring, either.

    • What’s surprising to me is there are not drip pans under the engine / transmission on the showroom cars. Little drops of oil were pretty common on cars until the 90’s. I worked at a Chrysler-Plymouth Mazda dealership from 78-96 and we used drip pans up until late in my time there.

  2. There were so many contests in the ‘50s to win one of these “pedal” cars…many were truly pedal cars but some were battery operated and some even had small 2-stroke gasoline engines. The first one I recall was for a ’55 T-bird offered in a Crystal Sugar contest in the Minneapolis area. They sponsored Axel and His Dog with Clellan Card on a local TV station and every kid in town wanted one of those T-birds that he had on the program….hounding their parents to buy nothing but Crystal Sugar so they could send in labels to win it.
    One Sunday afternoon drive, we spotted some guys zipping around on a side street downtown with one of those T-birds. With my brother and me jumping up and down and screaming in the back seat, my dad had to stop the Buick and let us out so we could run over and ogle it. I think I remember it being fairly quiet so it was likely run by a battery…and it was turquoise. The best Sunday drive ever!

    • I second Pat on the propulsion. One look at the width of the tires on that car tells us that pedaling it would be very difficult, indeed. I had a wealth childhood friend (her dad owned a large funeral parlor ) who had similar and her’s was powered by two auto batteries.

      Also surprised at how poor the quality of detailing on the body is. A better paint job on the bumpers and grills would not have gone amiss. Seating looks primitive and the back of the passenger compartment is poorly handled. The baby’s feet hanging out the bottom means that there is a limited floor pan. Looks like a death trap to me. I think mom is okay with it for a photo op but wouldn’t be caught dead letting her kid have one.

      • “Pedaling it would be very difficult” not with the correct sprocket ratio.
        One would think that the faster moving powered versions would have a floor to limit injuries. Due to the size of the front sprocket and the diameter of the two pedal cranks most pedal cars have no floor which appears to be the case here with the toddlers feet showing.

    • I remember Axel…my grandmother lived near the Twin Cities and I’d see him when we visited. Scandinavian guy with a funny mustache, right? It might have been on KSTP…or the independent station.

      Ford did an official Mustang pedal car you could buy at the parts counter, and sold an expensive, something like $500, electric T-Bird in the mid-60s. They sponsored the sitcom “Hazel” and in the opening credits the co-star (Don Defore) would drive up in his new T-Bird and so would the boy.

    • Pat W,
      Lots of pictures of Jr cars, including the Crystal Sugar contest car on on the Jrcentral website dedicated to these neat little cars. Even a picture of a turquoise one!! 🙂

  3. This is not the 1st time we’ve seen these Corvette models. A parade in Custer, S. Dakota on one of the Friday Kodachrome series, featured one. I believe they were made by Yardman and originally had a 2 1/4 hp Tecumseh motor.

  4. Austin did the same for many years .The story of the A40 pedal car is very revealing of how employers behaved after the war.

  5. Is that a brake bar behind the rear wheel? I had a Craftsman go-kart in the sixties — the brakes were a metal bar that pressed against the back wheel. If it had a brake pedal, wouldn’t that make a powered drivetrain more likely?

    • I’m wondering whether that might simply be a mechanism to prevent the car from rolling as kids get in and out of it… Then again, the driver side rear wheel is held on by 6 lug nuts – which seems kind of stout for a pedal car. Also hard to tell if the flat piece under the front valence might be some sort of battery tray as well.

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