National Mini Car

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Another Mini Car being restored by Dave Bagne


This National juvenile roadster, JHC car as its known was manufactured  by the National Sales & Manufacturing Company of Des Moines Iowa. There is much more History to this company that has been obtained & given to me by Mike Davis who had his National restored. The car  was bought new for Mike Davis in 1935 by his Dad. I have much more paper work & the paten pictures which I will include after I have finished the restoration. The car uses a Y Briggs engine lever start & has a forward & reverse lever.  It uses a drive shaft & enclosed rear end. The drive is similar to the Ariens lawn mowers. Instead of an drive friction  plate moving the driver in or out to obtain ration of speeds & going past center for the reverse. The National uses a drum for the driven & two sets of   movable friction rollers inside the drum  to accomplish the forward & reverse. I obtained the car from collector friend of mine, Thanks Glen. W. Hope have restoration done b/4 the national Motorcycle swap meet in Sept at  Davenport Iowa. The rims have been casted from the original which is shown in back of the car  along with the original tire & did come equip. with a spare tire.


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National Sales  juvenile car . Company records show there where  22 made. Of the 22,   5 are in the hands of collectors. Of the five cars  three have been restored. I have  copies of the original rims but chose to use wire spoke rims instead. Imposable to find the air pneumatic style that would fit this rim. The head lights used originally where imitation. I chose to use an AC  6 volt generator plus a horn. The drive used is nothing more than drum connected to drive shaft  that is  driven from the engine plus an idler  pulley mounted on a swing arm with a spring setting the tension, idler pulley is inside the drum. The rear end has a bevel gear drive live to one axle. The little  car has  forward & reverse which  is accomplished by moving the lever arm forward which pushes the drive shaft down so that the drum comes in contact with the engine friction pulley for clockwise rotation. For reverse you pull back moving the driveshaft up which then comes in contact with the idler pulley which puts the drum in a counterclockwise rotation. Most of the cars were  sold in the color red with green inserts but did not have the block number 8 for racing. Three of the 22 made where sold to a carnival vendor who loaded the black little cars with the number 8 on each in back of a 31 Chevy coupe with the trunk cover lid  removed & a platform made to haul them around. 10 cents a ride.

Number 2 & this one is correct. Bought this from Brad Mahalak.

 Really only three I know of that have been restored. Two by me & one from a person In KC. That one was given to him by his Dad brand new. After many years of fun to which I have many of his pictures showing him driving it around pulling other kids in the neighbor hood wagons. Latter his brother in Law resorted it for him.

Dave Bagne

1935 National finished 7/9/16

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This car was purchased by my Grandfather for his three kids in 1942. It is believed

(uncle bill in the car) got it from the owner of a building he was renovating in Alpena, Michigan.

Family lore has it as an RC Cola advertisement and in a Worlds Fair parade in addition the hours of fun had by several generations of kids in the family. Only recently did we come across the photo of "Cronin's Special"...these details are pretty fuzzy. Brad Mahalak


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National Juvenile Roadster

Eric Lavigueur Victoria, BC Canada

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National at the Mid America Auction

By Dick DeBuse

Note: National posted by Dick was really mine, I had sold it to a gentleman in Wis.

 Donít know who did paint but it was painted with red over black with scalloped.

Dave Bagne