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Thursday, October 13, 2016

The "Memories Of My Youth Come Alive At The Pedal Car Museum: Part I - The Classics" Story

Darren standing next to the 1932 Chrysler Series
CP Cabriolet Classic Car with the replica of the
car done as a children's Pedal Car. Click to enlarge.  
It was an ordinary day. Talking to Darren at the Seiverling LLC Car and Pedal Car Museum in Ephrata, Pennsylvania.  Wasn't more than a minute or two ago that I entered the door of the museum and was surrounded by one of the most outstanding collections of memorabilia I have ever seen.  The museum, which is housed in an extremely large garage that at one time belonged to Richard and Ethel Seiverling, before they both died, and is now administered by their great nephew, Darren.  This place has 140 pedal cars as well as three of Richard's Classic cars from his collection.  The building was constructed in 1991 to hold Richard's five classic cars.
One of my favorite pedal cars, a 1925 Hudson.
Three years later he found a pedal car he loved and purchased it which led to his selling off a few of his classic cars to be able to afford and house his new love of pedal cars.  The majority of the pedal cars I am viewing have been restored by restorers from all over the country.  There is one original car as well as a few new cars in the collection that takes up the majority of space in the museum.  
These are pedal planes that hang from the ceiling in the museum.
Word got around that Richard enjoyed pedal cars and as restorers would complete a car, they would send him a Polaroid photo of it, and if he liked it, he would call them and buy the car.  They would package it and before long it was sitting in this garage.  Collection began to grow so much that he had to get rid of the classic cars to allow more space for the pedal cars.  
This is a complete collection of Classic Hallmark Miniature
 Kiddie Cars that can be seen at the Museum.
Pedal cars from the United States are joined by cars from France, Italy, Great Britain, Canada and even Russia in this wonderful display.  Brought back memories of the Seinfeld episode where Jerry had a girlfriend who collected old-time items and Jerry, George and Elaine sedated the girl so they could play with her collection.  
I enjoy this car since I had a full size 1958 Chevy Impala
convertible just like this pedal car.  Wasn't the same color though.
How I would love to be able to ride a few of these pedal cars around the museum.  I had several pedal cars as a child and can still remember them and the fun I had riding them along the sidewalk on North Queen Street in Lancaster, PA.  I have so much I would love to share with you from my visit, but fear it would be too lengthy, so today I will tell you about the three magnificent Classic Cars that remain in the museum and tomorrow will show you my favorite pedal cars I had the honor of viewing today. It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

This is a 1930 Graham Special 8 Sedan.  It has an Inline 8 cylinder with a four speed transmission.  The company began in 1927 when the Graham brothers, Joseph B., Robert C. and Ray A. Graham purchased the Paige-Detroit Motor Company.  This car is amazing and the trophies standing in front of it tell the tale of its success.  I love the chrome louvered vents on the side of the engine compartment. The car has a built-in rumble seat and cost $1,495 when built.  Only 396 were built and this car is one of only 13 remaining. 
This is the hood ornament on the car.
The 1932 Chrysler CP Series Cabriolet, Inline 8 Cylinder with a four speed transmission with freewheeling.  There are very few of these vehicles remaining.  My favorite item on the car were the spoked wheels.
The hood ornament of the Chrysler.  
This is a 1967 T-5 Ford.  You probably recognize it as a Ford Mustang, but is wasn't called that when it was built in 1967.  This is #1 of 167 that were produced.  The name T-5 originated when Ford decided to export their Mustand to Europe, primarily to Germany and France, and found they could not use the name Mustang since a European trucking manufacturer already had that name in use in Europe.  This is one of a very few fastbacks that exist since most were coupes or convertibles.  U.S. servicemen, stationed in Europe, bought many of them and returned them stateside when their tour of duty was finished in Europe.
This car had the 8-cylinder, 289 c.i. engine which yielded 225 hp.
You can see the T5 logo on the side of the car where the Mustang logo usually would be seen.
If you look closely you will see a split down the rear window.
The original bill of sale for the car which was sold to a U.S. serviceman.  Click on the photo to enlarge it.

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