IN THE CHARLES NEARBURG FAMILY GALLERY PRESENTED BY
Little cars have come to be a big deal. In an era when many adults have begun to wonder whether owner-driven full-size cars will continue to be a part of our motoring landscape, scaled down, motorized children’s cars are all the rage among the very young. Tiny, kid-sized electric- or gas-powered vehicles populate the shelves, catalogs and online inventories of toy and game retailers worldwide, making it a $430 million per year industry as of 2015. From the 1908 Brownie Car to the 2017 Junior Dragster, vehicles in the exhibition will represent a range of old and new, electric- and gas-powered, basic and sophisticated, affordable and expensive. With a focus on cars that could be “raced” by adolescents in competition, the exhibition Sidewalk Speedsters: The Grown-up World of Children’s Cars examines the development, purpose and meaning of vehicles that were often campaigned in friendly competition, but because of their tiny size, effectively preclude their use by adults.