When the Metal Specialties Company, Incorporated, of Cudahy, Wisconsin, came out with this nifty sidewalk cruiser in 1946 they decided it looked like a cross between a pedal car and a bike, hence the name ‘Kar-Bike.’ There were single tube and double tube models.
The biggest selling feature for this toy was the pivoting front axle. When you took a corner a little too fast both front wheels stayed on the ground. This was accomplished by a simple bearing where the frame tied into the front axle. A drag-link mechanism enabled the steering to function as the body tilted.
In April of 1947, Metal Specialties announced another model designed for children 18 months to 4 years. It featured enclosed pulleys and a pedal housing. It is not known if this version, Model S-2047, was ever built. The ad stated they were to be released in June of 1947.
By February of 1948 the Kar-Bike was still on the market, but was now being sold by Weller Products, Inc, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. E.J Weller Jr was the original patentee, his design being filed with the patent dept on 14th October, 1940 – presumably initial production was halted by the war.
Weller Products Inc labeled their 1948 version as ‘Model No. 1000.’ Weller continued production of the Kar-Bikes until at least February of 1949. It is not known how many were produced or when production finally ended.
1948 Kar-Bike Quadricycle
Single Tube Version
This Kar-Bike is an older restoration. The steering wheel, seat and wheels were replaced. The most famous feature is its ability to tilt, which allows it to be ridden at an angle around corners.
1948 DOUBLE TUBE KAR-BIKE