The Spirit of '76

Powered Miniature Car

The AW Spirit of '76.

     This is the special edition, Old Tin Lizze.  Named "The Spirit of '76," it is a half-scale replica of a 1910 Ford Model-T.  Manufactured by Crue-Cut, miniature cars such as this have been constructed by the company since 1959.  Often used, and proven to be very successful, in sales promotions, fund raising and advertising.  These miniatures were also used by hundreds of Shriner's throughout the country in parades and also by groups such as the Kiawani's and Lion's Club. 

     Originally, "The Spirit of '76" refers to the United States declaration of liberty from the United Kingdom in 1776.  While many different things have been named by the somewhat famous "Spirit of '76" slogan, this car was given the special paint job and name to, "serve as a reminder of our heritage, both now and beyond 1976," according to a Crue-Cut brochure.

     These miniature cars run and handle just like a real car, with thrills galore for youngsters and the young at heart.  They operate in yards, playgrounds and paved areas, helping youngsters learn how to drive.  They came with a 3 horse power, 4 cycle engine, and could reach speeds of 25 MPH.  Also available from Crue-Cut were half-scale miniatures of several other models, including:  The Ford Lotus, Stutz Bulldog, Antique Chrysler, Indianapolis 500 and The Firefighter.

     This is the second Tin Lizze Greg Rhomberg has owned. The first one was a 10th birthday gift from his parents in 1976. Greg enjoyed countless hours behind the wheel of his miniature Model T. Greg's father Jerry Rhomberg was a dealer for the miniature car company in the 1970's. It was stolen in 1980.  The present vehicle was a gift from his cousin to Greg for his children to use. It was a new old stock (NOS) car from the original dozen of limited production cars purchased to sell back in 1976.

     Click here to view a sales brochure from Crue-Cut featuring this and several other models.

The information used to compile this article came from Crue-Cut brochures.

Below are a few images of the Spirit of '76, part of the Antique Warehouse collection, click on any of them to learn more about this toy.

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