One Tank Trip

One Tank Trip: Seiverling Antique Car & Pedal Car Museum

It looks like an office building with a clue on the front door as to what's inside.

"There were a total of six cars in this building," said Darren Seiverling of the Seiverling Antique Car and Pedal Car Museum.

Antiques and classics that were collected by Darren’s great uncle, Richard.

"That was his whole reason for this building initially," Seiverling explained.

That was in 1991. A few years later, Richard downsized in a way, picking up a tan and orange 1947 Murray Pontiac at auction. It was a little smaller.

"He just fell in love with the pedal cars because of the features of some of them and the color schemes," Darren recalled. "He just literally fell in love with them, and that's what most collectors so when they get into this hobby."

And you can fit a few more pedal cars in there.

"Yes. If we have 146 real cars in here, it would be a bigger building, probably more parking garage," Darren said.

One hundred forty-six and counting, plus three antique cars at the Seiverling Antique Car and Pedal Museum in Ephrata, Lancaster County.

Pedal cars go back to the 1890s, when most were modeled after their life-sized counterparts, the manual version of today's power wheels, but don't try to pedal it like a bicycle.

"Most of the pedal cars, they actually go like this with your feet, not like this," Darren said. "Usually takes kids about 30 seconds to figure that out."

They are all original, restored with names you'll recognize: Dodge, Chrysler, Ford. The oldest one is from 1918. There are racing cars are from 2004.

"We have not only cars, we have boats and airplanes," Darren said. "We have pedal planes."

There are also a jet and a spaceship, tractors and trains.

As Richard's collection grew, the antique cars were sold to make room.

"It's just a broad range of the history of the pedal car, and if he did that by design, he did a great job, because I don't know that I could do that if I was in his place," Darren said.

Darren has been at the helm since Richard passed away in 2006 with the same passion for the pint-sized automobiles.

"This has full suspension, doors that open and what they call a fat man steering wheel, so it was easier to get in and out of," Darrens aid. "It's little features like that that made it fun on the sidewalk. Those are the cars that I fell in love with myself and there's just history here."

And some pop culture. Mickey Rooney played with one. Teddy bears drive them now, originally his great Aunt Ethel's idea.

"So we have just as many bears as we have cars," Darren said. "My daughter's in charge of rearranging."

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