Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Reader Sends Photos of His Identified Arcade Coupe

Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Overcast, very windy, and very cold

A Reader Sends Photos 
of His Identified Arcade Coupe

It's always great to hear from readers. I can see from my Google statistics that there are people who visit my website each day, however, it's always great to actually have someone write to me.  A few days ago, I heard from a Canadian reader - right "next door" in Ontario, the province next to mine, which is Quebec. Mr. Ken Keenan had written to say that he had a 70 year old (at least) cast iron toy car given to him when he was 3 years old. He was searching for the identity of his toy, and came across my blog and found his answer. As it turns out, it is a nice Arcade cast iron coupe from the 1930's or even earlier.

In His Own Words

I was given a cast iron car when I was three years old, that would be 70 years ago, how time goes by, and decided to look it up on the internet when I came upon your web site.
 
  There it was!  I couldn’t make out the name of the company stamped underneath so I made up some modeling clay and pressed it on the logo, and after tapping some flour on it and using a mirror to read the name I saw the word Arcade  and a serial number that looks like 13, but the serial number is hard to make out but two numbers for sure.
 
  When I was in my 40’s I took it from the curio cabinet and decided to paint it black as it looked pretty drab.  Years later I thought I would try to take the paint off with some paint remover and now it looks a speckled green more like when I got it originally.
 
  I once had a cast iron bank too that looked like the empire state building,  but somehow it got lost or thrown out.  I couldn’t seem to save money anyway.
 
  Your site was very helpful in identifying my car.  I remember many years ago on a radio program that they said cast iron cars some day could be worth a hundred dollars so hang on to them.  
 
  Anyway, thanks for the pictures and info, and if you would like some pictures of mine I would be only too glad to send you a few.
 
Yours truly,
Ken Keenan

I was going to do my  "usual" whitening effect for Ken's photos, but decided to pre sent all variations of Ken's photos.  Below is my usual "whitened" effect. Because the toy was on red, I had to remove the foundation. Once that was done, I removed the red colour that bounced from the  nice red fabric that Ken used on to the sides of the car. I should have removed  the red colouring of the fabric and leave something for the car to rest on.

As for the car, it certainly had been kept "as is" over all those years.  It really looks like something very old with the remnants of the green paint flakes.

Ken used this nice white material with a rectangular grid pattern on it. I removed the background, but left the grid as the foundation (what the item sits on). This foundation is a fine choice to photograph the toy. If you look at the rear of the car on this photo and the one below, you can see a "rumble seat". What's interesting here is that the rumble seat has been placed into 2 holes on each side of the car. It has small projections that rest in the holes, that allow for the seat to open and close.



I removed the area behind the black letter bin, but left the bin ad the foundation.  Black works well to present the toy, and since it's dark, the toy shows well  being a lighter colour. In the 1930's and earlier, Arcade made some of their cars with totally= cast iron wheels. Later cars and trucks would have metal rims with whitte or black rubber tires.

Here's Ken's car resting on the red fabric. I left the red on the side of the car to illustrate how a foundation will reflect colour on to the car.  Red also worked well, but a good idea would be to try to limit light on the car and darken the red. The red will be less noticeable, but allow for the red regal  to show the car as a "regal" item.

 What's great about these cast iron toys is that it takes forever for them to really rust out and return to the earth. 

The length of this car is 6 1/2" or  165 mm. If you do  a search on Liveauctioneers for 
Arcade Cast Iron Coupe or Arcade Cast Iron Rumble Coupe
you'll find images of the same toy, in various degrees of condition.



You may find  this toy in better condition when you go to Liveauctioneers, but for Ken, and for myself, the personal meaningful value is more important that the condition of the item.  I have some old fishing reels that my father gave me and my brother, and some that We inherited when my father passed on. They're not in the best condition, nor they are the most valuable, but there were my father's.

What's more is that they still work and can catch fish, and they're all metal, not the plastic that one finds today.

Some things are not worth changing regardless as to how old or in what condition they are!


Thanks for visiting and as always
have a great part of the day or night,
wherever you may be,
Stacey Bindman
toysearcher@gmail.com