By Christopher P Clark

There are many pedal car models that are today regarded as classics and coveted by collectors. Murray is one of the more collectible pedal car manufacturers; countless Murray pedal cars were produced over the years. Among these is the Murray pedal version of the 1948 Pontiac. This was much the same as the later Sad Face model, with the exception of the trademark front end of the Sad Face. However, this model was actually designed after the 1948 model year Pontiac, while the Sad Face was not designed after a particular model. This pedal car included such variations as a fire truck, fire chief’s car, and station wagon.

The 1948 model was discontinued in 1950 with the introduction of the Champion. The 1950-51 Champion, also known as the ‘dip side’, was a very popular pedal toy model, with countless variations. In contrast to pedal cars of the 1940’s, including the ’48 Pontiac, the Champion featured straighter sides with fewer curves. The Champion ‘Straight Side’ featured even less curving, particularly around the fenders.

The Murray ‘Sad Face’ car was manufactured from 1950-1951 to 1958, and today remains one of the most popular pedal car lines ever made. These ‘Sad Face’ cars are so named because of the shape of the front of the car, which forms a downward curve. The rounded curves made the Sad Face design a very strong body, so many have survived to the present day.

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Originally, the sad face pedal car came in three versions, including a sedan, a fire truck, and a station wagon. Other models included a dump truck and a fire chief’s car. Unlike many other pedal cars of that era, the Sad Face was not designed to replicate any specific real car model. A steel car, this toy also included chrome hood ornaments, chromed hub caps, and other classic details. It is known for its graceful curves and classic look. Today, the classic ‘Sad Face’ design is one of the most popular reproduction models.

The Murray ‘Flat Face’ of the late 1950’s was designed to look more modern than the curved-line versions of the 1940’s, continuing the trend from rounded sides to flat sides. It was made in many different variations, and reminds many of the ’59 Ford.

The ‘V’ Front Murray, first produced in 1960, was named for the design of the front of the car, above the bumper. It was produced in several variations until the line was discontinued in 1967. The ‘V Front’ is one of the last popular all-steel pedal toys produced.

Although these are the most popular Murray pedal cars, there were countless others, including a very unique boat-shaped pedal car variously sold as the Dolphin, the Skipper, and the Jolly Roger. The Three Wheeler, introduced in 1955, had only one front wheel, and was sold in three variations: Airport Jet Service, Radar Patrol, and Good Humor. The Murray Jet, also with one wheel in the front, included versions sold as the Atomic Missile, the Supersonic Jet, and the Sky Rocket.

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