1925 Marx, Whee-Whiz Auto Racer in Original Box

1925 Marx, Whee-Whiz Auto Racer in Original Box

Very fine example of one of the earliest and most difficult to find Marx tin litho clockwork toys. This is the Marx, Whee-Whiz Auto Racer. It's complete with all four original auto's plus its original illustrated box. This is only the second example I've found in this condition. The patent was applied for in 1924. 

The Marx Company manufactured many track, highway, and speedway toys, however the Whee-Whiz Auto Racer was the very first one produced in this category. The toy uses a 13" circular dish with four color coded embossed lanes with matching racers. It sits on a base with a central rotating arm which rocks and spins the dish simultaneously. This makes it uncertain which racer will win.

It features some of the finest lithography found on an American made toy. Beautifully detailed in the center of the dish is the the racing club house. Eight automobiles including several touring cars are parked nearby, while a zeppelin hovers overhead. Several women carrying sun parasols can also be seen. The reverse side of the dish was lithoed a solid light blue color. The 7½" diameter base was designed to simulate a circular race track from the spectator's perspective complete with track, speeding 1920's racers, a fence, trees, and sky. The name of the toy also appears with speed lines trailing from each letter. Seven racers are lithoed around the base at various points along the speedway. Cheering spectator's dressed in period clothing gives the toy a feeling of genuine oldness. The attached key and stop/star lever also protrude from the base.

The four racers differ in color (obviously), but they also have another subtle difference. The front axle and wheels on each auto are turned very slightly to the right so they can make their circular turn. Racer's closer to the center require a tighter turning radius so their axles are set at a greater angle than those on the outside. For this reason the racers are color coded for specific lanes. 

The toy works beautifully without any hesitation or irregularity. All parts are original and it hasn't any repairs. It was available through the Sears Fall/Winter catalog 81 years ago for 89¢.

The box is absolutely fabulous. The cover includes a full panel color illustration of the racers going full blast around the course. The lower right corner shows a well dressed crowd looking over one another to get a good view. The hat styles on the two women are especially interesting. Fenced off inside the center of the track are the club house and judges booth. Several neat auto's including a convertible are parked off to the left. A huge barricaded crowed watches the race in front of the club house. In addition to the cover four speeding racers are also illustrated on each side panel. The back of the box is blank. 

Size: 13" dish. 4" high when mounted onto the base. 

Sold: Nov. 2006

see also McDowell Mfg. Co., "The Speedway"

Price Sold: $ 2500


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Subject: 1925 Marx, Whee-Whiz Auto Racer in Original Box

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