In the early 1950s, my spinster aunt bought some toys to keep me amused during family get-togethers at her home. Among the toys in the toy box were a collection of small cars (about 3.5”(89 mm) long) whose overall shapes resemble a ’48 Hudson, yet whose emblems look like those of contemporary Buicks. These cars are a small but important part of my toy car collection.
Apart from form and color, what made these little dime-store tin cars attractive was a feature that could be activated by moving the car along a floor or table top: The red and blue sedans have side windows that raise and lower.
Poking through the hood of the ambulance is a bell that moves back and forth as it rings.
The Fire Chief’s car does the same, but with a different paint scheme.
If the Fire Chief’s monochromatic car is a bit sedate for your taste, why not try a red-and-white variant? This one does the same thing-ding, ding, ding.
In the Police Chief’s car, a gun protruding from the windshield moves back and forth while the car makes rat-a-tat noises. Straight from Dragnet.
The taxi cab has a “meter” in the windshield that revolves as the fare is rung up. 55 cents?
There’s even a taxi in New York livery that predates the city mandate for all cabs to be painted taxi cab yellow.
Lastly, there is another sedan whose windshield wipers move. As you can see, the wipers are made of sharp metal that can damage the painted windshield.
These cars are nearly mint, with minimal paint loss and scratches. Similar Argo cars in far poorer condition than mine can be found on eBay, and the asking prices are painful. These cars are part of a collection that I never will sell. Too many memories.