Eye Candy: Ron Pratte’s pedal car collection

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1933 Steelcraft Auburn pedal car

Photos by Larry Edsall

Like so many youngsters of the baby boom generation, I had a pedal car. My recollection is that it was modeled after a fire truck, and it was much more maroon than red in color. I remember pedaling it up and down the sidewalk on our side of Richmond Street, the dead-end block where we lived until I was in second grade.

I don’t have any recollection of the pedal car after we moved, though it’s possible that it went with us and was simply worn out and discarded after it was handed down from me to my younger brother.

What I wouldn’t give to have it now.

Like so many things from our youths, pedal cars are worth many times more than they were when they were bright and shiny and new. They have become cherished collectibles, in many cases the subject of concours-quality restorations.

Recently, we visited Ron Pratte’s car and automobilia collection, all of which is headed to Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction next month.

Much is and will be made of Pratte’s car collection, which includes vehicles such as a GM Futurliner, a Motorama concept car, muscle and custom cars, and Carroll Shelby’s own Super Snake. But what captured my attention as I toured the collection were the neon signs, the hundreds of immaculate gas-pump globes, and the amazing array of pedal cars, plus some toy cars and scale models.

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We’re featuring 46 of Pratte’s cars on this blog in the days leading up to the auction. We also have taken an Eye Candy look at some office signs and gas globes.

Today, we feature some of his pedal cars and remember our own — and wonder if someone was wise enough to preserve them after we were finished with them.

 

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.