Photo Credit: CarStories.com
For those people who were young kids in the 1950s, being the proud owner of this Kiddie Corvette would surely have been a big thrill.
General Motors, in the midst of promoting its products in a big way in the mid-1950s, commissioned the Eska Company of Dubuque, Iowa to manufacture a one-third size pedal car of the 1956 Corvette, which had just been redesigned for the first time.
Two kids could motor their way around the neighborhood in the white over red Corvette, complete with a red steering wheel and two-speed rear axle and floor shifter.
Fittingly, the replica was made of plastic just like the real Corvette and even had chrome side trim pieces attached with sheet metal screws.
In 1956, kids actually had a chance to register and win a Kiddie Corvette at a NASCAR Speed Week event in Daytona Beach, where the cars were even used in “races.”
We did a little research on the Web and discovered that one of these Kiddie Corvettes was actually awarded to Lambrecht Chevrolet in Nebraska for sales excellence that year.
If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Lambrecht was all over the news in 2013 when a big auction was held to auction off his collection of real Chevrolets, some with just a few miles on the odometer, that had been stashed in various buildings and fields during the 50-year career of Ray Lambrecht.
This Kiddie Corvette belonging to the Lambrechts was actually auctioned off along with the real cars and drew a winning bid of a whopping $16,000! The new owner also got a neat photo of Ray’s children, Jeannie and Mark, riding in the car on their front lawn right across the street from the dealership. Their dad had stored the car with the rest of his collection after they outgrew it.
According to Myrideisme.com, no one seems to know how many of the Kiddie Corvettes were made, though apparently the plastic bodies were assembled by hand so quantities were probably limited. They note that “GM’s styling department was directly involved in its development and downsizing, so the replicas appear to be dead ringers for the real thing, but a whole lot smaller.”
The Kiddie Corvette sold at the Lambrecht auction for $16,000