These vintage cycling toys bring back memories of my first solo adventure. Just after college I toured around Europe, skiing and visiting museums and friends, my only luggage a backpack and a ski bag.
I made two memorable purchases that trip. One was a down duvet for my bed (they weren’t available in the U.S. back then), which I crammed into my ski bag, and a toy model of a Tour de France team vehicle. The latter became slightly problematic as I didn’t want to remove the lime green Renault from it’s box, for fear that the tiny bicycles and extra wheel sets clipped to the roof rack would snap off. I ended up awkwardly hand carrying that box around, including in my lap during the flight home. It was a perfect metal replica of the Renault-Elf-Gitane team car and had doors that opened. Team and sponsor logos were plastered on its body and hood. I had never seen a toy like it before and was ecstatic that it represented Bernard Hinault’s team, my cycling hero at the time. For the life of me I can’t remember what happened to it. I hope that eventually I’ll open a long forgotten box and find it again. If I do, I’ll post a photo here!
French board game celebrating Velodrome d’Hiver, the great indoor race track of Paris.
Toy Tour de France peloton riders
1950’s toy Jeep bicycle racing team service vehicle
Tour de France pinball game
Vintage toy that operated on batteries to roll across the floor, alternating lead riders, and which featured cycling champions
Toy broom wagon
Photos: Cycling’s Golden Age
If you like this post, you may also like Man Tows Airstream Trailer on Bicycle.