This coin-operated ride was originally created in 1956 by the Lion Manufacturing Company, operating under the brand name Bally, and marketed as giving "youngsters a big dime’s worth of fun.” Rides like these were designed to appeal to a child's imagination, and they came in a wide variety of styles including rocket ships, racecars, horses, dinosaurs and police bikes, like the present example. When turned on, the fiberglass bike creates a realistic bumpy ride with a slight sway from side to side, giving children the illusion they are part of an exciting, high-speed police chase.
“Kiddie rides,” as they are commonly called, got their start in 1931 when Missouri inventor James Otto Hahs built a mechanical horse as a Christmas present for his children. He went on to create a commercial coin-operated version cast in aluminum called the Hahs Gaited Mechanical Horse, and he teamed up with Exhibit Supply Company to distribute it across America. By 1953, kiddie rides were described as America’s fastest-growing business by Billboard Magazine. Today, vintage children’s rides like this are extremely difficult to find, especially in such excellent working condition, and they are highly coveted by collectors of antique toys and Americana.
27" wide x 41" deep x 48" highClick here to view a video of this item.