Steelcraft toys were made by Murray Ohio Manufacturing Company, a Cleveland firm that opened in 1919 to make parts for that recent invention, the automobile. By 1923, Murray was also making toy cars using the steel and production methods it used to manufacture full-size car parts. The toys were marketed as Steelcraft Wheel Goods. That diversity helped Murray survive the Depression. The company’s pedal cars, aeroplanes, coaster wagons, bicycles and smaller wheeled toys were marked ‘Steelcraft’ and are highly collectible today.
This Steelcraft pedal car replicates a 1935 Pontiac, which ushered in significant new designs and features for the auto manufacturer. A new ‘waterfall’ grille that continued over the top of the bonnet to the cowl, dubbed ‘Silver Streak’ trim, became one of the motifs that defined Pontiac until the mid-1950s.
This is a very deluxe pedal car, with its battery-powered working headlights and genuine upholstery and convertible top. It is a past pedal-car concours Best of Show winner.
It’s displayed with a Mullins Utility Trailer, designed in 1935 and with approximately 2000 units manufactured in 1936 and 1937. A 1935 Pontiac hood ornament is also displayed, along with the first Chief Pontiac mascot radiator cap from 1926 and the last Chief Pontiac hood ornament from 1955. Pontiac was unique in that it featured a different hood ornament every year. The owner has a collection of every Chief Pontiac mascot/hood ornament from 1926 to 1955, and is a serious Pontiac automobile collector.