PTM Highlight for January: 1933 Pontiac Pedal Car
This is a car than inspired a career – now that is what we call a “barn find”!
Tom Nissen grew up in Sioux City, IA and received this pedal car as 3 yr old birthday gift. Tom was born in 1930, and the car styling is essentially made to resemble a ’33 Pontiac. It was a favorite, and accumulated a lot of driveway miles on it!
After graduating from college, Tom had a brief stint with Pontiac Engineering – but then was off to flight school, spent a couple years navigating aircraft across the Atlantic, leaving the Airforce as a Captain. Then he returned to Pontiac Engineering in 1955 for 32 of the “glory years” and is quite sharp recalling personal stories about John Delorean, Pete Estes, and many others. He contributed in many different Pontiac Engineering assignments including Milford Proving Grounds, Checking Chassis (a mock-up verification process), carburetor and fuel engineering. Tom subsequently worked as Pontiac Service Engineer for 12 yrs, then in GM Aftersales Support for several years before retiring in 1987. Here he is posing with this treasured toy (who among us can say they kept a toy this long?) just prior Christmas 2019 when he donated it to PTM!
We’re pleased to welcome the pedal car to the PTM collection! This is Pontiac durability at it finest! Most kid’s toys have a somewhat shorter life and are perhaps not quite as inspiring! Although missing its original Indian Chief hood ornament, it is still in working order and can tell 86 years of Nissen family stories – note Tom’s grand-daughter driving the car a few years ago! We are hoping it inspires her as yet another Pontiac devotee!