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  • #16
    If you would like a good history of the "Junior" Tbird, Mercury, Mustang, and other makes, read Lee's history of the "Junior" cars. There he gives us the full account, as he knows it, of the history of the Powercar company. Here is that webpage.

    www.jrcentral.com/powercar.html

    Ford worked with Powercar, in Mystic, Connecticut to produce "Junior" versions of their 1955-1966 Tbirds. As Ford built Tbirds, and Mercury's, Powercar would incorporate the changes made on each car year. When the Mustang came out, Ford had Powercar add it to their production list. In 1967 the assets of the Powercar Company were sold to Conval Industries. They continued making the older body styles for a couple of years. They also worked with Ford to produce another car in 1970 or 1971, for the Mustang. However, in the early 70's they declared bankruptcy. Lee has told me that after that, they destroyed the molds they had, unfortunately... Apparently, no one back then realized how important it might have been to keep the molds for future use. Eventually, years later, Lee acquired the assets of PowerCar and has been making and providing parts for them, and on occasion put together kits to make a complete one.

    Lee also commented that often times when he would show completed "Junior" models at shows, the comments were that not many people never knew, and still do not, that they actually existed and were made for Ford and other brands.. Many thought they were something that someone just made in their garage... They had no knowledge that they were being made in conjunction with Ford as a marketing ploy to sell their cars. They were Vintage Promotional cars used primarily by automobile dealerships to attract customers to the showrooms to sell them a full sized car. Other companies also used them in promotions and the Shriners bought them also for their parades. Think of the number of times that you have seen Shriners in parades driving their mini "Junior" cars! I am told that some still do!

    Apparently, after the demise of PowerCar and Conval Industries, the Shriners had to find a new source for making new "Junior" type cars. Many continued to use what they had bought, but then started using the J.C. Penny Micro Buggy (which I never knew existed!) as replacements. Over the years, you will see how their mini-cars progressed in style, detail and size! Enjoy the video's!

    Here is a link to the JC Penny Micro-Buggy

    http://webdebris.com/70s/2011/04/jc-pennys-micro-buggy/

    Shriners Parade 2011
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZ6yjLxVwo0

    Here is a short video taken in 2013 of Midwest City, OK, Shriners and their "Juniors"!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vynalu4NtJI

    Sudbury Shriners 2014

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivm3CdZZELw

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCZSBw4uSVU

    https://bestride.com/news/entertainm...t-shriner-cars

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBe35HmGct0

    Click on the video to watch this, and look at the right side to see the different mini cars being used.

    https://www.wawashriners.org/the-little-red-cars.html

    Daytona Shriners 2018

    https://www.news-journalonline.com/n...tinctive-style

    Shriners Parade, Nashville, TV 2019

    https://www.tennessean.com/story/ent...ow/1560561001/

    Lee tells me that some years ago, he provided 2 bodies and parts for a Squarebird to be put together for a Pee-Wee Herman movie and shipped them out to be built. One for Pee-Wee and one for the stuntman to drive. I do not know the name of the movie, but he said it was on Netflix. It might be Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. He said the Junior Squarebird is displayed at some length. Here is a picture of the JC Penny Micro-Buggy and one of Pee-Wee driving the Squarebird! I mislabled it as a Babybird, but that is a Squarebird he is driving.
    Last edited by YellowRose; August 4th, 2021, 02:08 PM.

    Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
    The Terminator..... VTCI #11178
    Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

    https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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    • #17
      If you are having a casual day of it, you may enjoy watching some of these video's that I have found of "Junior" and Mini-cars, of various types and sizes! Here is a list, and there are a lot more out there on the internet to enjoy! Most of them are short videos.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WA_WN2-7lA

      This next video was made by Lee ~ roadkillontheweb the now ex-owner of JrCentral, showing his '66 Mustang he built from the Powercar parts he had acqured.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxe39me1J1s


      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRDRWQY4UQU

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgibGN4i6Uk

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hV8ee5lAhfM

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jO82DWFp3s

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OK8DcBoN6Q

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G34uS0ZRNr4

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4o-jvlr2eE0

      Tesla Mini!
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6K_nTNvyTtE

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCCjg0xxdOg

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D28z2fOYhxQ

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yDaxsEzulI

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovXWEE0iX1c

      Last edited by YellowRose; August 1st, 2021, 11:59 AM.

      Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
      The Terminator..... VTCI #11178
      Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

      https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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      • #18
        Power Wheel Cars for Kids available today. If your pocketbook will not allow you to buy a "Junior" Tbird, Mercury, Mustang or other brand of car, restored, or for you to restore, consider this...

        Power Wheels has a variety of battery powered (6 or 12v) cars for kids to have fun with. You can get a Tobbi Jaxpety for $155 and a lot of other Power Wheels like a 6v Mustang - $200. A Mercedes-Benz 12v 2 seater for $260, a 12v Huffy Monster Truck - $200, a 12v Talking Jeep - $310, a 6v Audio TT RS for $180. Or if ya gotta have a 12v Mini McLaren 720S - $388! And there are more! Google Power Wheel cars available today!

        Now, what can ya do to jazz up these Power Wheel cars? If you want more speed and power, consider this modification... Replace the OEM 12v battery with an 18v Milwaukee Drill Battery, a Amazon 2 wire adapter for the Drill Battery, a 30a fuse and if you wish, a voltage regulator to drop the 18v down to 12v for a younger child. You will see the difference in speed in time between a test with the 12v battery in use, and the 18v drill battery. A big improvement in timing and speed. First is the video when the Mustang GT500 was given as a birthday present. There will be other videos that show them with about a dozen more Power Cars they now own!

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q17MwF08zFs&t=1s

        Battery modification
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A34jVGXZpdI

        He screwed rubber treads onto that Mustang to see if rubber tires would be better, because of the wearing of the plastic tires due to a lot of drifting. I did not post that video because, after testing, he said they don't make much difference in timing and speed apparently. To prevent having to replace the plastic tires so often due to the increased voltage, speed and drifting, you can just stay with the OEM 12v system...






        Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
        The Terminator..... VTCI #11178
        Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

        https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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        • #19
          I see that the dissembled 1967 Green Mustang Gas Powered Junior for sale on JrCentral FB in Oklahoma for $5K has sold! Also, the JrCentral website is down and Brian knows it. He is working on fixing it, and updating it... The FB page is up and running.. If you have not looked through their FB page, you should, and scroll down to see all the pix and comments available. Here are a few to enjoy!

          Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
          The Terminator..... VTCI #11178
          Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

          https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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          • #20
            Check out the new Ad in the Advertisements Forum for Bernie's "Junior" Restorations! Lots of restorations that he has done over the years! Unfortunately, he does not have any for sale...

            Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
            The Terminator..... VTCI #11178
            Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

            https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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            • #21
              Peter Pope just posted a picture of his 1959 Junior Squarebird in the 1958-1960 Squarebird Forum. Here is that picture! IF anyone else owns a "Junior", regardless of make or model, please post it!

              Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
              The Terminator..... VTCI #11178
              Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

              https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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              • #22
                Peter, I think you said your "Junior" has the Powercar tag on it. Look and see if it has the serial # also. If not on the tag, it should be on the body shell somewhere. Brian may need to know that so that he knows exactly which model it is. Like is it a 1/3 or a 1/4 model. He may need to know that to know which seat to send you or what other parts you might need.

                Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                The Terminator..... VTCI #11178
                Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

                https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                Comment


                • #23
                  Here is additional information on "Junior" Power Cars, and pix to enjoy... Apparently, the Pee-Wee Herman pictures of him driving the Junior Squarebird that Lee shipped to them for the movie was from "Big Holiday" in 2016 instead of Big Adventure...

                  The Silvestri Art Company, was the company who made the 1956 Pontiac Star Chief Jr. Sold for $14,900!
                  https://www.hemmings.com/stories/201...ior-star-chief

                  https://www.mecum.com/lots/RM0519-37...-electric-car/

                  The Barry Toycraft Company was a division of St Paul Corrugating Co. They contracted Barry Toycraft to produce 1200 of these 1963 Vette's to be distributed to several thousand dealers. Chevrolet used these cars as giveaways in a national promotion. The first showing of this Kiddie Corvette was in New York at the Toy Fair March 11th - 16th, 1963.

                  The Donalson Manufacturing Co. was based at 3150 Dodge Rd. Kansas City, Kansas. Every part was "road tested" from bumper to bumper. The 1957 Sunliner 500 Jr. came with a high impact styrene plastic body with the color built in. They also were offered in two versions pedal and electric powered. In 1958 they offered the Sunliner 500 Jr. and the Edisel. They were offered in electric and Pedal powered like the 1957. But these bodies were made in Fiberglass. All three models use the same frames, bumpers and hub caps.

                  1966 Powercar Junior Shelby-GT350-H
                  https://silodrome.com/shelby-gt350-h-junior/

                  If you read through this article, you will find that this 1966 Powercar Junior Shelby-GT350-H was sold by Sothbys in Arizona for $15,600, 17 January 2020!
                  https://rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/a...unior/836355#/

                  Junior Power Car Manufacturers...
                  http://www.dspedalcars.com/Manufacturers.html

                  http://www.dspedalcars.com/photo_gallery.html
                  Last edited by YellowRose; August 6th, 2021, 02:24 AM.

                  Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                  The Terminator..... VTCI #11178
                  Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

                  https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Many people know the story of how Lois Eminger rescued some of the records from being destroyed by Ford, when she was working there. Then she provided that information to Marti Auto Works so that they could be shared with those who wanted that information. They have the production records for FLM cars from 1967-2017, and some Ford Original Invoices for 1962-1966 Tbirds. Lee ~ roadkillontheweb has come through with some pix of Lois and her Pink Petunia "Junior" and her Pink Lady Babybird! Here are the pix he sent!

                    Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                    The Terminator..... VTCI #11178
                    Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

                    https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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                    • #25
                      Lee has just pointed out to me that there are Powercars (which were created with the full support of Ford) made by Powercar of Mystic, CT, and there were powered promotional cars that were created by other companies for GM and other brands of cars. Ford, in 1954, when the word got out that Ford was about to bring out a new Ford model, at the urging of George Ford of Powercars, jumped on the idea of creating a promotional "Junior" version of their 1955 Tbird. Ford realized that they had a dream of a promotional gimmick dropped in their lap, fully cooperated with Powercar, and provided them with the mini-version model of the 1955 Thunderbird to use to make a mold and market the "Junior" Tbird. Then each year, they provided Powercar with the new year model that was coming out, so they could build a "Junior" for it! GM and others saw the success that Ford was having with their "Junior" promotion and they joined in also to have "Juniors" made for their brands... So many people out there do not realize that this was started by Ford as a means of kicking off the introduction of their new 1958 Thunderbird. Ford did heavy advertising regarding the new Babybird and the matching "Junior" that could come with it for the kids! They held drawings to win a new "Junior" and kids did! They offered the "Junior" for sale to their new Tbird owners and buyers bought the matching "Junior" for their kids. Things were going great for FLM and Powercar until after the Mustang was introduced. In 1967, George Ford passed away... After that, and a short interval with Conval Industries, the marketing and manufacturing of Powercar "Juniors" ended...

                      Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                      The Terminator..... VTCI #11178
                      Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

                      https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        A lot more pix and info on "Junior" Powercars & powered promotional "Juniors"...

                        Power Car Restoration Company (Not the original Powercar Co.)

                        https://m.facebook.com/Power-Car-Com...1936772243164/

                        Restorations by Power Car Co:

                        1959 Divco Milk Truck by Robel Corp, Berwick, PA, Electric version. They also came in gas powered but there are fewer electric versions. Restored to reflect the Borden Milk Truck.

                        YouTube video on Pedal Cars & Powercars ~ D&S Pedal Car Restorations I think some of these mini-cars are not pedal cars, but power cars...
                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzesCN7i0MY

                        Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                        The Terminator..... VTCI #11178
                        Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

                        https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Ray, you really took this search to heart. Thank you for all the knowledge!
                          Jim Kowal
                          Thunderbird Registry #82613

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                          • #28
                            Hi Jim, Yup, it looks like I have! lol... Lee just told me that someone put a Junior Desoto powered car for sale on the internet for $125 I think it said, and it sold in an instant! lol..

                            Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                            The Terminator..... VTCI #11178
                            Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

                            https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              I'm Buffalo NY, and as you know I'm looking for a fixer upper 60' jr. bird. However, if you hear of any cheap fixer upper jr's regardless of model show up in my region, within a couple hours drive, please let me know.
                              Jim Kowal
                              Thunderbird Registry #82613

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                              • #30
                                Jim, here is what I suggest.. Look on eBay and Craigs List (be careful of that) which you probably already have. See if you can find anything there. Contact all the local car clubs in your area to see if anyone has one that they want to get rid of. Often they have been sitting in a shed, garage, in storage for years because the kid who used to ride in it, has grown up, got married, and it just sits there forgotten... Check with any company in the area that restores old stuff. Network with ALL your friends to see if they have one they want to get rid of. Many times over the decades they were wrecked, damaged, worn out, the battery died, or the engine quit and they are just sitting there.. Check with all the Tbird or Mustang, or other owners of other makes to see what they might have. You never know who might have one in your own backyard, so to speak. Check the classifieds to see what you can find there.. Check the Goodwill stores, Red Cross stores. Check out all the flea markets in your area to see if you can find one there.. You might get lucky and find one that someone would just like to get rid of... Keep in mind that if you find a pickerupper, as someone in Ohio just did, it might cost you a good chunk of change for a restoration shop to restore it to operational use again.. Let me know how it goes...

                                Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                                The Terminator..... VTCI #11178
                                Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

                                https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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