AMF Pedal Car Restoration




About: Husband, Father, Woodworker,

I have been fascinated with the older generation style pedal cars. Obviously being to big to ride one myself it was always just a interest with no need. Now having a son my dream comes to life of buying restoring and gifting a pedal car with a purpose.

Sit back and relax look through the photos and I hope everyone enjoys this instructable.

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Step 1: The Hunt

While searching endlessly online and marketplace I came up empty handed. I was told about the Hillsville VA antique show and this is where I found it.

1960's AMF fire chief car 503!

In decent shape over all. Missing hub caps and the bell all parts mostly there a little bit of rust but was not through or missing and metal!

Step 2: Testing It Out!

I couldn't wait to show it to him! (Just Look at that smile!)

I know he is a bit young but he will grow into it.

I will say he sat in it and looked like he knew what he was doing.

Step 3: Keeping It Original(ish)

The original lettering is painted on I will be sanding all this off and replacing with a custom / exact decal.

I took as many pictures as I could measuring in as many ways as i could to maybe help someone else down the road.

Im sure these are out there for purchase but I will be adding my sons name to them as well so went with the custom route and local printer.

Step 4: Separating Body From Chassis

Pretty simple

4 bolts on the seat.

2 bolts both sides of fender

2 bolts lower under grill

Remove steering wheel and slide apart!

Step 5: Wheel and Tire Removal

To remove the wheels you have to pinch the lock washers. I used a pair of vice grips pinch and lock them down and start pulling and rotating and should pull right off.

Pulling the tires from the rims start on on corner and slight stretch over the lip once you get it started should just keep working its way around.

Step 6: Disassembly Pictures

Here is a few more disassembly pictures close up.

One thing i was amazed to find out was the pedal cars are one wheel drive. Only one wheel is actually locked to the axle.

Step 7: Sand Blasting Parts

I have personally never sandblased a thing.

I borrowed the harbor freight cabinet and used my works compressor and went to town.

It all in all was pretty painless but a little time consuming if you are as picky as I was.

Very happy with the out come at this point!


I am sorry but all the pictures here are gone.

I will jump to the photo after it came out painted and before buffing.

Step 9: Buffing

buffing out any dirt or imperfections that may have happened during paint or clearing.

Look at her starting to shine!

Step 10: Assembly Time

Here you can finally see all the parts laid out together and how good it all turned out.

I tried to be sure each piece was taken care of even though hardly any of it will be seen again after this step.

Step 11: Bolting the Car Together

Here is where you can finally see it all coming back to life!

Step 12: Adding Decals

I got my custom decals to be identical is inside and almost a replica but I wanted this to be special to my son so I changed the car number from 501 to 2018 his birth year and added his name to the front fender.

I want this to be a collector to him so i did not mind these little changes.

I used Gtape as its a solid tape and leaves no residue. Love this stuff

Step 13: Photo Shoot Time

I am so happy with the outcome of this little pedal car.

I would love to hear you comments positive and negative.

If you would like to follow along with some of my future builds and current projects you can find me on Instagram @handcrafted_by_trey

Thanks for sticking around and hope you enjoyed this build as much as I did!

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    10 Discussions


    6 months ago

    Love it!! Brings back memories. Your kiddo is adorable!


    6 months ago

    I had one as a kid. Loved it. As I grew up I remember it cutting my legs as I pedaled - so watch out for that with your son. That is probably why they stopped making them in favor of the Big Wheel.

    2 replies

    Reply 6 months ago

    I have looked over the car pretty well and nothing is sticking out that could easily do this. But I can also see the reason in changing over. plus plastic is much lighter. this is just cooler haha


    Reply 6 months ago

    No problem when I was little, but as my legs grew they hit the dash board as I pedaled.


    6 months ago

    Thanks for the post, you have re-ignited a back-burner prooject for me.

    I have a similar one in my basement that is about 40 years old that I am going to refurbish for my newest grandson, so I second the question on the decals. Also, is there any treatment for sharp edges that you did while this was disassembled? Hey, I had one when I was a kid and I survived but I want to reassure my daughter that my grandson will live to see another day after peddling around the driveway.

    Thanks again for posting this.

    1 reply

    Reply 6 months ago

    That is great! They are such fun projects.
    The decals I had custom printed from a local shop "Live Loud" in Huntington WV Shaun did an amazing job with them.

    as for sharp edges my car didn't really have any I was concerned about. A few spots that had some metal overlapping that could just maybe in the right instance be an issue but like you said. many generations before now played with them and no issues. Just be sure to reuse or get new rounded head bolts and all should be fine. Good luck and be sure to tag me when finished!


    Question 6 months ago on Step 12

    Hi, just wanted to know where you got your decals done. Great work, as usual...

    1 answer

    Answer 6 months ago

    I got them printed by a local shop here in Huntington WV called "Live Loud"

    Thank you for the kind words!


    6 months ago

    That is a beautiful smile on your son, great job on the pedal car.
    He has something to treasure.

    1 reply

    Reply 6 months ago

    Thank you! That was my motivation to make it something that will last and he can have and hold on to for a really long time!