Nearly 800 pedal cars among 2,000 items at toy museum auction

1925 American National pedal car

(September 2, 2022) WALWORTH, Wis.— Following months spent taking inventory, capturing photography, performing research and preparing the nearly 2,000 lots that make up the Elmer’s Auto and Toy Museum Collection, the full list of consignments has been announced by Mecum Auctions for the entirely no-reserve sale to be held Sept. 14-17 in Fountain City, Wis.

Nearly 800 pedal cars, pedal planes and pedal tractors, more than 230 bicycles and tricycles, 120 classic and collector vehicles, an estimated 120 sleds, carriages and ride-on toys, and more have attracted global attention for their historical significance and provenance by the most discerning of collectors.

Among the coveted pedal cars and planes to be auctioned are a 1927 American National Lincoln Pedal Car that, with its windshield frame, hood ornament, headlights, bumper, fenders, suspension, spotlight, horn and spare disc tire, is considered to be one of the finest original pedal cars available; an original 1925 American National Pedal Car that was previously used as a barber shop chair; and an original 1920s Steelcraft Spirit of St. Louis Pedal Airplane  with a metal body and chain drive mechanism.

1927 American National Lincoln pedal car

The 120 cars and 160 motorcycles from Elmer’s collection will be auctioned on Saturday, Sept. 17 all at no reserve, and the selection is headlined by a 1971 Dodge Challenger R/T showing just 55,787 miles on the odometer and powered by a matching-numbers 383 CI Magnum V-8 engine and original TorqueFlite automatic transmission, a 1970 Ford Torino GT Convertible showing 36,020 miles with a 429 CI V-8 engine and 4-speed manual transmission, and a one-owner 1978 Chevrolet Corvette Silver Anniversary Edition showing just 5.4 miles.

A 1951 Harley-Davidson Model S 125  from the collection shows just 21 miles, and other enticing motorcycle offerings include a 1950 BSA Bantam D1 with a 1948 Harley-Davidson 125cc single-cylinder engine, as well as a 1959 Indian/Royal Enfield Chief (Lot S68) with a 700cc carbureted OHV parallel-twin engine and 4-speed manual transmission.

1951 Harley Davidson Model S 125

Known worldwide as a preeminent authority and collector of pedal cars, the late Elmer Duellman purchased his first pedal car in 1971 and ultimately amassed one of the world’s largest and most encompassing collections of its kind. Throughout his time collecting, Duellman became so knowledgeable about the hobby and so well-known within its realm that he contributed to a series of books on the topic and was sought out by others compiling reference and price guides for contributions of information and imagery from his collection.

Elmer and his wife, Bernadette, even gifted one of their pedal cars, a circa-1953 Kidillac, to the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. in 2003 to be featured as part of a display called “America on the Move” within the National Museum of American History.  

Take a look inside the Elmer's Auto and Toy Museum Collection hosted by John Kraman and Matt Avery within the five videos posted below.

Bidder registration starts at $100 and can be completed online and on-site at the auction. For those unable to attend in person, enhanced remote bidding options are available, including both online and telephone bidding. Only registered bidders will be permitted on the grounds during the auction; no general admission tickets are available.