Cultural Time Capsules
Vintages ATV’s are downright cool, but the culture surrounding the unique era is just as historically important. Advertisements, toys, and even clothes are the representation of social and technological advances of the time. Numerous manufacturers of the late 1960’s to early 70’s released accompanying products alongside their ATV’s, ranging from branded oil cans to racing jackets. At times, these items are rarer than the ATV’s themselves. Trophies, oils, patches and even a handmade Amphicat made in an elementary art class, we collect it all.
Even kids had their own sets of wheels. Arguably one of the most interesting parts of our collection, ride-on toys were sold as gasoline, electric, or good old fashioned leg powered. Of course we have tested the Roamobile with 4-stroke engine. It’s just as fun as it looks.
When customers walk into our showroom, we often hear stories of owning “that exact toy” sitting on the shelf. One of our favorites are the miniature Attex toys. These were often sold at national racing events where kids would play in the dirt next to the track. Often times they would be customized with roll cages made of bailing wire.
ATV’s were the rave in popular culture. Characters from the Bannana Splits to GI Joe were sporting their very own amphibian. C’mon, you know the Tra La La song.
Both manufacturers and dealers created large advertisements to draw in customers for ATV sales and services. We acquired most of these items through the remnants of old dealerships. The multi-piece Attex sign is one of these, and is designed to hang from a double sided billboard. Max banner was hung at one of the very first Max dealerships. Amphicat light up sign was displayed at an Amphicat/KIDD dealership in Michigan, just to name a few stories.
Perhaps the rarest items of them all aren’t exactly materialistic, but rather video footage. Unfortunately, these are few and far between since video cameras weren’t as widespread as today. Luckily, we have obtained the NATVA (National All-Terrain Vehicle Association) video archives thanks to the Fischer family, whom helped start and operated the association alongside Scrambler and Pine Lake Raceway. These films are fragile and require conversion to digital media formats. They will provide an authentic look into an era gone by.