c.1924 Strauss, Mechanical Green Racer in Original Box

c.1924 Strauss, Mechanical Green Racer in Original Box

Fantastic tin litho, mechanical Green Racer manufactured by Ferdinand Strauss Corp., NY. Outstanding excellent+ to near mint condition complete with original illustrated box. It's one of the highest grade early tin litho American racers I've seen. I also could not find any reference for this toy and that includes Freed's, Guide to  American Transportation Toys.

Strauss produced torpedo versions of its red and yellow race cars, but I was not aware that a "boxier" Green Racer existed. Its scarcity may have been due to legal problems. Prior to starting his own company Louis Marx worked for Ferdinand Strauss from 1912 to 1920. The Marx company produced their first mechanical tin litho racing car in 1924. Called the "Rex-Racer" its identical to Strauss's Green Racer except for litho differences in the color of the body, wheels, and driver (see photo below). 

The driver and car body slant forward to give it an appearance of speed without moving. It has a mechanical spring powered motor and is complete with all original parts. It's all lithographed tinplate; emerald green accented with black trim, lemon yellow disc wheels and matching trunk mounted spare tire. The driver and steering wheel are integrated together and colored solid blue/gray. The entire rear trunk hood was lithoed with the Strauss juggling clown logo.

One unique aspect to the toy is its early design. Every part is a separate distinct piece. Even the floorboard/interior was separately tabbed to the underside of the body.  The radiator has a hole in the top, but it was not originally produced with a hood ornament. The front wheels and axle are attached to a disk which can be swiveled right or left.

The Green Racer comes with its wonderfully illustrated original box. Two panels show one corner of a crowded dirt race track. Hundreds of fans line both sides of the fence and bleachers. Three men on a stilted platform above the crowd judge the competition. Five autos are about to cross the checkered flag. The Green Racer is leading. The other two panels show the Green Racer on his day off. Incredible as it may seem the car is towing four children on its rear bumper. Two kids on roller skates and two more sitting in separate tow wagons are pulled up a hill along with a kite. The endflaps are blank without any text or graphics. 

Size: 8ΒΌ". 

Sold: Jul. 2006

Price Sold: $ 1511


 

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