Monday, February 4, 2013

Marx Big Wheel at Grant City 1969

Remember the first time you saw one of your friends screaming down the sidewalk on a Big Wheel? Most kids back then didn't know that Marx manufactured Big Wheels in Erie, PA, unless one of their relatives worked at the plant. 

The Big Wheel was billed as the world's first three-wheeled speed cycle. The ad to the left ran in the Erie Morning News on November 3, 1969, just in time for children to add the toy to their Christmas wish lists. The Big Wheel was on sale at Grant City at 12th and Pittsburgh Avenue for only $8.88. Good luck finding one for that price today.

The Big Wheel was "Low-slung for no-tip stability, modified longhorn handlebar for quick, positive turns, on-off engine sound, rear wheel racing slicks for action turns, 38" long; for ages 3 to 10."

I only knew a couple of kids that had Big Wheels, and from what I remember, the front wheel quickly developed a flat spot from jamming on the pedal brake or doing the Tokyo Drift. 

Marx Toys were made by Louis Marx Company. They had a plant at 1816 Raspberry Street in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Enjoy more Erie, PA facts and photos at:


  1. Sadly, for whatever reason, I never owned a Big Wheel. I was 10 in 1969 and probably would have been too big to ride it anyways.

  2. If you hadn't worn a flat spot already, you knew you were too big for your Big Wheel when you sat on the back end seat and pedaled, only to find that the big wheel in front didn't connect with the sidewalk enough anymore to move! Alas, I, too, was too old for a Big Wheel.

    1. I remember that the seat had two pegs so you could pull it out and change the position as you got taller. The seat would eventually be left off completely. I had forgotten all about that until now. Thanks for jogging my memory!