One of the less heralded places was the village of Deinze in Belgium where, from about 1900-50, prams and pedal cars were a local stock in trade.
Les Usines Torck, a firm that began as a pram maker in the 1880s, began producing pedal cars in the late 1920s. Until the 1930s cars were made predominantly in wood and cardboard and it was one of these inter-war models that took €7200 (£6050) as part of the Carlo Bonte (27% buyer’s premium inc VAT) Torck Pedal Car Auction in Bruges on November 24.
Pictured above, guided at €2000-3000, is the inter-war Torck Nr 1 Baby pedal car, 4ft 1in (1.25m) long, in black lacquered wood and carton bouilli (boiled cardboard) with a distinctly pram-like metal chassis.
Also shown is a later model, an “extremely rare” 4ft 8in (1.43m) Torck Jaguar E-type style red lacquer polystyrene and metal pedal car, 1963-68, designed by Jos Fred Smith, a Belgian artist who worked as a designer for Torck. It sold for €6600 (£5540) against an estimate of €4000-5000.
Torck promotional material did particularly well such as a “unique” 3ft 3in x 20in (1m x 50cm) enamel advertising sign, c.1930-35, designed by Francis Delamare of Delamare & Cerf, Brussels. It sold for €10,000 (£8400) against an guide of €7000-9000.
Top-seller was a truck and trailer – a miniature versions of the real Torck delivery truck – specially produced as a promotional eyecatcher on the Torck stand at the Brussels world fair in 1958. Estimated at €6000-8000, it took €12,000 (£10,080).