Now here’s something I would have died for as a kid. But that was never going to happen.
“TAKE THE WAGON AWAY FROM YOUR CHILDREN”
(Modern Mechanix, 1952)
Calling all the class action liability lawyers!
At first glance I thought you said “Now here’s something I would have died in as a kid.” Guess it would depend on the size of the motor.
I would’ve loved to have something like that too, but for my generation it would be a motorized Big Wheel.
Never saw that ad as a child. The huge deal in my childhood generation was a Briggs & Stratton powered mini bike.
I don’t know how much a kid’s wagon cost 60-70 years ago, but even today that $18.75 price would be a substantial price to add to a toy. I think the cheapest wagon that I found recently as a substitute for a wheelbarrow was $100, I would imagine it would have made a wagon about $20-25 in 1955.
With a small motor AND the requisite battery in the (add-on) back, I would think you might be very particular about the ability of a kid allowed to pilot this speedster.
BUT, I agree, as a boy of 8 or 9 I would have put this on my Christmas or birthday list months ahead of time to insure my parents definitely got the hint.
Read closely- The $18.75 gave you everything you needed “If you have wagon and motor.” “Price includes all pulleys, belts, shafts and instant clutch,” and apparently nothing else.
The kid in me thinks this would have been awesome!
The parent in me thinks “oh good! A way to transport their lawn darts and wood burning kits!”
How did we oldsters manage to make it adulthood? Guardian Angels must have been made of some pretty tough stuff in those days.
I also would have loved this. It reminds me of the Smith Flyer (subsequently Briggs & Stratton Flyer) that I read about in Popular Science when I was a kid.
Lots of fun for junior but at that price I can understand why I’ve never seen one. $18.70 in 1952 was real money and you supplied the wagon and motor.
$186.91 in 2021 money according to BLS.
I think lots of kids wished for a wagon like that.
Bet the handling may be tricky though.
Tricky is quite an understatement. The kid would end up face down with the wagon on top the first time he made a sharp-ish turn.
I lived at the top of a half-mile hill. My dad had built me a gravity powered go cart out of wood and it was a lot of fun to take the four minute ride down at age 8 or so. My friends had to use their wagons on our “race days”, so I’ve seen it first – hand.
When I grew up in Dallas, Texas during the late 1970s, there was a street that resembled a ski jump ramp, not far from our home. It was very popular with Evel Knievel wanna-be kids.
The caveat with that “ramp” is that the end terminates suddenly at the T-intersection. The abundance of wild bushes and trees at the end makes it harder to decide ahead of time whether to turn left or right as to avoid the cars coming in from either side. This forces you to decide quickly at last minute which direction to go.
Some kids who were either low on sugar or just slow thinkers panicked and made poor decisions with painful or injurious results. We’ve seen kids kamikazing into the approaching cars a several times. Sometimes, the kids panicked and froze up then crashed into the parked cars or into the uphill front yard in front of the ramp. That made the whole thing so exciting and fun to watch (yeah, from the kid’s perspective).
Ah, what the glorious old days!
Where’s Junior?….He’s pasted onto the front end of a Buick.
Looks like fun, but that would have gotten a guaranteed hard no from my parents. There were fields with hills of dirt from construction on them in our neighbourhood. We rode our bikes to them and let gravity do the rest.
That would have been fun as me and my brother always had wagons. Being electric it would not have been very fast if it worked at all.
Any brakes on that thing?
Read the ad again – there was a gas version, too: “Any small gas engine is suitable.”
Depending on the size of the engine, THAT thing might have been fast enough to propel a small child into low earth orbit!
“Learn many lessons they can use later.”
That seems like a bit of an understatement.
Well, they just said they were lessons that could be used later, but not necessarily in this lifetime.
Obviously 1952 was a totally different era. I remember when riding with my parents back then, I would frequently stand on the front seat between the parents when we were traveling-back then nobody apparently thought anything about it, today something like that would get you thrown in jail for child endangerment.
I couldn’t possibly count the number of people of my generation who laid down on the rear parcel shelf of their parents’ cars on long trips.
A crash could take out the child AND the parents in one fell swoop!
Come on that is not that different from the mini bike craze in Southern California in 1966-1967. No helmets, shorts, and a 13 year old as that was the age I rode a friends. What could go wrong?
I know it says private property but who doesn’t stretch the rules a little? We did on the small side streets of Canoga Park.
Something tells me that this was not a good idea.
WHEE ! .
I wonder how many minutes until I’da crashed in this thing I well remember going ass over tea kettle in regular wagons back then .
Yeah, I would have rolled it within minutes, at that point it would have been pretty easy to get the wagon back from me.
I know this because I made a plywood and lawnmower parts go kart in my teens, which I rolled within minutes. 🙂 🙂 🙂 good times!
This would not have ended well. Tiller steering on a pivoting axle was a crash waiting to happen plus wheelstands aplenty. At least go carts and home brew minibikes had proper steering and more effective brakes.
My youthful experiences involved factory built carts and minibikes on an actual track and we still hit the tire walls a lot.
I’ve never heard of them before, but would have lusted after one as a kid, despite, or perhaps because of the potential for grievous injury. In the unlikely event that I was able to get the money and get it built, there would not have been very many rides. It is hard to imagine outrunning the police with such an unstable device, unable to jump curbs or make fast turns.
When my son (now 16) was young, I would build up wagons from parts picked up at the dump. When the mood struck, we would take thrill rides down our hilly street and driveway, with me steering and him sitting in front of me. Wagon steering is scary at high speeds and over bumps, sticks and stones. My shoes provided the braking, Flintstone-style. It was very exciting for both of us. He wasn’t old enough to realize the danger we were in, so the wife never interfered.
A motorized wagon would have made the uphill trips a bit easier.
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