How do you create a nation of automobile owners? Simple.You make toy cars for kids with moving parts and you
wait for them to grow up The maker of the highly collectible
Buddy L toy cars and trucks did just that in the 1921
The Moline Pressed Steel Company in East Moline Ill started out making regular automobile fenders and truck
parts tugboat; red overall; railed cabin; decal on funnel; searchlight on pilots house; possibly the last survivor; 26
1/2 inches long; $30,600. Photo courtesy of Bertoia Auctions  And how do you create a nation of automobile
owners? Simple.   You make toy cars for kids with moving parts and you wait for them to grow up The maker of the
highly collectible
Buddy “L” toy cars and trucks did just that in the 1921 The moline pressed Steel Company in East
Moline Ill started out making real regular automobile fenders and truck parts Then they branched out to sturdy
trucks cars, steam shovels, tugboats, passenger buses, ambulances and moving vans that had real working parts
these incredibly fun vehicles became a rite of passage for the next generation of car and truck buyers.   Like a lot
of inventions the
Buddy “L” line started out simple.  The company’s owner, Fred Lundhal wanted to build a toy for
his son Arthur that was new, unusual and tough He came up with an all steel miniature truck reportedly a model of
an International harvester the kids in the neighborhood so loved Arthur’s truck they convinced their parents to
have Lundhal make similar ones for them.  Being the good hearted dad he was, Lundhal designed and made 3 all-
steel sample toys under the name
Buddy “L”.   The name came from his son who was known to neighborhood kids
as Buddy "L". And was the kids’ way of distinguishing his son from another Buddy in the neighborhood. Pleased
with the outcome Lundhal took his toys to the 1922 New York toy fair and received halfhearted interest. Toy buyers
liked the size and quality but balked at the price. Never one to be discouraged, Lundhal went ahead and launched
the first large American
pressed steel toys anyway, Buddy L was born. The toy business was so strong in 1922
Moline Pressed Steel stopped making full-size auto parts and focused on toys. By 1925 the toy line expanded to 20
items, including fire engines, tanker trucks, lumber trucks and overhead cranes The
Buddy L Toy Factory
continued to manufacture and prosper well into the latter 1920s Free
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