June 2022

​Vintage Discoveries

Toy car had the look of a Chrysler “Airflow”

by Ken Weyand


Back in the mid-1940s

Back in the mid-1940s, my wife’s dad, a physician in Hamilton, IL, had acquired a couple of toy metal cars. My wife, Karen, said her dad gave the “sporty one” to one of his patients, a boy about 6. Karen, about the same age, got a sedan.

Although she doesn’t remember many details about playing with the car, she kept it, and it eventually followed us to our present home in a large box with other “old stuff.”

Metal car

The metal car measures 14 ½ inches in length. It’s five inches wide and about 4 ½ inches high. Its body is painted a dull green, which survives in fairly good condition, and it has its original white rubber tires. Several parts are missing, including an open area that appears to have been a battery compartment. The battery may have powered the headlights and a single taillight. A flat-spring motor in the rear of the car would have made it go, but it’s no longer functional.

1936 Chrysler Imperial Airflow

1936 Chrysler Imperial Airflow

1936 Chrysler Imperial Airflow. (image provided by the author)

Toy replica Chrysler Imperial Airflow

Toy replica Chrysler Imperial Airflow

Toy replica made by Kingsbury Toys. (photo by Ken Weyand)

Pressed Steel Metal Toys

According to the Pressed Steel Metal Toys online museum (www.pressedsteelmetaltoys.com), the car was made by Kingsbury Toys, of Keene, NH. The company was founded in 1890 by James S. Wilkins and began producing toy cars at the turn of the century. My wife’s car closely copied the 1936 Chrysler Imperial Airflow, a model with an aerodynamic design that was ahead of its time.

The museum website stated that Kingsbury continued making toys until the outbreak of World War II, then sold the tooling to the Keystone Manufacturing Co., of Boston, MA.

Many examples of Kingsbury toy cars can be found on eBay.

Ken Weyand is the original owner/publisher of Discover Vintage America,  founded in July 1973 under the name of Discover North.

Ken Weyand can be contacted at kweyand1@kc.rr.com Ken is self-publishing a series of non-fiction E-books. Go to www.smashwords.com and enter Ken Weyand in the search box.