1936 Wolverine, No.29 "The Mystery Car" in Original Box

1936 Wolverine, No.29

"The Mystery Car" manufactured by Wolverine has to be one of the most beautiful streamlined art deco toy automobiles ever designed. Sleek long front hood, oblique slanting grill, sweeping crescent shaped front bumper, rear luggage rack, embossed spare tire, and even its overall shape.... all add to the illusion of movement even while it's standing still.

First produced in 1936 it uses a unique self-winding mechanism instead of a key to power the clockwork motor. Pushing down on the rear trunk winds it up, while releasing it allows it to move forward. Great idea, but despite its sheet steel construction kiddies frequently found this method confusing. Pressing down too hard could easily produce multiple dents, cracked tires, and breaking the motor.

It appears that very few of these cars were produced or sold. Combine that with its hard-pressed motor and you can see why it's really tough to find one of these in high grade condition. This spectacular near mint+ example is only the second I've seen over the past 7 years!

It also comes with its original box. The box had nearly completely disintegrated. Fortunately it was brought back from the dead. Although it's in poor to fair condition at least it exists.

Most importantly......The research I did on this car indicated that it was produced in metallic green (see photo below). Incredibly this is the first example I've ever seen with a deep cherry red body in any condition!

Details such as the streamlined hood louvers and door outlines were lithoed in thin black lines. The head lights, radiator and grille were accented with silver. The underside was completely finished with brass. The tires are solid wood painted silver.

....and best of all it works beautifully!

The box features an awesome illustration of the Mystery Car speeding through a large question mark. The toy name was printed in jagged type. The advantages of "no battery, no winding, etc.," are prominently featured. Direction were printed on the bottom.

Size: 13½". 

Sold: Jun. 2013

Price Sold: $ 505


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Subject: 1936 Wolverine, No.29 "The Mystery Car" in Original Box

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