These 25 vintage tricycles were a pretty thrilling mode of transportation for generations of toddlers

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Do you remember that very first taste of freedom? The wind in your hair… the scenery flashing by as you trundled along… your ever increasing thirst for speed…! And you didn’t even need a driver’s license to experience this thrill.

Of course we’re talking about your first wheels… a tricycle!

Over the years and across the miles, a tricycle has been a rite of pedaling passage for generations of toddlers and preschoolers. Check out our collection of vintage pictures of old trikes, along with some cute snapshots of kids and their beloved three-wheelers. And tell us in the comments: What was your first ride like?

The Hugger sporty vintage tricycle from the 1970s

The Hugger features a large scoop seat with back rest… A sparkling metalized fender with red trim… step-up-Econopack frame with sturdy top step deck

The Hugger sporty vintage tricycle from the 1970s


Retro purple AMF tricycle (1971)

VINTAGE TRICYCLE — DUO-DECK SERIES: Featured Step-Up Econopak frame / Sturdy top step deck / 2″ tubular steel head 11/4″ tubular steel backbone / Chrome plated head fittings / Chrome plated steel Gothic fender / Ball bearing pedal wheel / Chain tread 15/s” whitewall tires / Adjustable 3/4″ chrome plated handlebars / Spinner type plated hub caps / Adjustable contour-styled white saddle with flamboyant magenta trim / Flamboyant magenta finish with white trim

Retro purple AMF tricycle (1971)


Cute vintage green trike from the 70s

Cute vintage green tricycle from 1971


Vintage red firetruck-style tricycle

DUO-DECK FIRE TRIKE: Step-Up Econopak frame / Sturdy top step deck / 2″ tubular steel head / 11/4″ tubular steel backbone / Chrome plated head fittings / Chrome handrails with two 4-rung white ladders / Fire Chief windshield and fire bell mounted on handlebar / Metallized fender with red trim / Ball bearing pedal wheel / Chain tread 15/s” whitewall tires with red inner stripe / Adjustable 3/4″ chrome plated high-riser handlebars / Adjustable contour-styled white saddle with flamboyant red trim / Flamboyant red finish, white trim

Vintage red firetruck-style tricycle (1971)


Little boy riding his trike in the house on the carpet (1970)

Little boy riding his tricycle in the house on carpet (1970)


Tony’s little red trike (c1970s)

Tony's little red tricycle (c1970s)

Photo thanks to Daniel M. Hendricks


Retro red kiddie trikes

Retro red kiddie trikes


Cute vintage red-orange tricycle from 1971

Cute vintage red-orange tricycle from 1971

DON’T MISS: Vintage Big Wheel ride-on toys helped millions of kids move on from tricycles


Nancy takes off down the driveway

Santa Rosa, California – around 1974

nancy-on-tricycle-vintage-c1973


A shiny new trike for Christmas!

Vintage Christmastime in Hawaii

A shiny new trike for Christmas (1970s)

The Happy Cynic


Fast-Trac green tricycles from the seventies

Fast-Trac green tricycles from the seventies

ALSO SEE: Vintage 1970s Playskool toys, dolls, ride-ons & other fun for kids


Two kids waiting to take their new trike home (1969)

Two kids waiting to take their new tricycle home (1969)


In the nursery schoolyard

San Mateo, California – 1963

chain-drive-tricycle-1963

Photo thanks to Pip R. Lagenta


Kids riding trikes by the carport (1960)

Kids riding trikes by the carport (1960)


Mark on a tricycle (c1950s)

Mark on a tricycle - Vintage fun for kids


Boy taking his trike to the Ford dealership (1953)

Boy taking his trike to the Ford dealership (1953)


Boy trying to stand on a tricycle (1951)

Boy trying to stand on a tricycle (1951)


Vickie & Nick riding around Seattle

Pictures from around 1947-1948

MORE: 47 dangerous old playgrounds that our great-grandparents somehow survived

nick-tricycle-c-1949

Nick and Vickie riding tricycles in the 1940s


Roger on a trike (1941)

“I am on my tricycle in front of our home… in Rockford, Illinois. My father probably took this photo around August 1941, when I was five years old.

“My brothers (twins) had been born in June. I had been sent off to Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin while they were born. I figure that my cousins Pearl and Punk, who rented my grandfather’s farm, gave me this expired license plate. I must have been proud of it.”

roger-on-tricycle

Photo (and story) thanks to  roger4336!Photo thanks to Quinn Dombrowski


4-wheel Kar-Bike – like a tricycle (1940s)

Speedy! Smooth! Safe! It will not tip even on downhill corners! Watch their eyes light up when they see this Kar-Bike!

Fast…as they like it, with the kind of safety you’ll approve! Streamlined… modern, in bright red with white, and all the engineering features to delight children 2-1/2 to 7 years.

ALSO SEE: Wonder horses! See vintage ride-on spring horse toys from the ’50s to the ’80s

4-wheel Kar-Bike - like a tricycle (1940s)


Twin girls on trikes

This snapshot dates from about 1940, and was taken in Petersburg or Wrangell, Alaska.

twin-girls-on-trikes-1940

Photo thanks to Tom Brandt


John’s outstanding on his trike

john-standing-on-tricycle

Photo thanks to Akuppa John Wigham


Learning to ride in Florida

Sometime in the 1940s or 1950s

riding-a-trike-florida-1940s


Trike with wooden blocks on the pedals!

Tricycle with wooden blocks on the pedals

Photo thanks to Weibel Kids


Boys with a tent and a trike

two-kids-tent-tricycle-vintage-photo

Photo thanks to anyjazz65


Terry on his tricycle

On reverse: To Coinne – Terry P Campbell, 2-1/2 yrs old to the day

Terrry P Campbell2 1/2 yrs old to the day

Photo thanks to anyjazz65


Baby on a trike

Her feet can’t yet reach the pedals!

baby-tricycle-cant-reach-pedals

Photo thanks to anyjazz65


Learning to ride a tricycle (1928)

On the reverse of this picture: “Dec 30, 1928 / 2 yrs, 3 mos, 9 days.”

Boy on a tricycle

Photo thanks to anyjazz65


Antique photograph: Trike with a passenger

antique-tricycle-photo-elaine

Photo thanks to Elaine

NOW SEE THIS: See 50 vintage banana seat bikes for kids from the 60s & 70s

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