Looking for Info on Junkyard Tricycle Find

Q: got this old tricycle at a junk yard in va looking for car parts , haven’t been able to find out who made it , never seen one with the c shaped backbone like this . sure could use a little help thanks

A: You’ve found a vintage Murray Thunder Rod tricycle from the 1960’s. It’s pretty scarce. If you were thinking about fixing it up, you’ll probably wish you would have left it in the junkyard when you start pricing parts (there was an old stock unused motor in original box on eBay for $245). Below is photo of what your Thunder-Rod is supposed to look like.

Early Murray Mercury Tricycle from 1930’s

Q: I have this tricycle. It has a metal badge on front with Mercury in large letters and murray ohio and other things that I will tell you about. could you please help me with info on when made, cost at time and value today? i would really like to know about it.

A: Your tricycle is a Mercury that was made circa 1930 by Murray Manufacturing. Murray made a number of different brands of tricycles, including the Mercury line. We don’t give values, but originally it probably cost around $15 retail. To find the exact year, you’d have to have the exact year’s catalog to match the size and paint scheme, and even then you wouldn’t know if the same style/model was made for more than that year.

Mystery Tricycle Says Troxel on the Seat

Q: I found my younger sister’s tricycle while cleaning out my parent’s garage. My sister was born in 1966, so I am assuming the bike is from the 60’s. However, what confuses me is that while the seat says Troxel, there is no name of the bike manufacturer, only a decal that reads “ball bearing” on one of the two steps. I thought it was a Murray tricycle, but what do I know?!

A: It’s amazing how many emails we get with questions about Troxel tricycles. And you can usually find someone on eBay selling “Vintage Troxel Tricycle.” Troxel, as you clearly understand, is not a tricycle manufacturer. Troxel makes seats/saddles and helmets.

Your tricycle is most likely a mid-late 1960’s tricycle made by Murray. It was probably one of the tricycles they made for a department store chain like Western Auto (in which case it would have been advertised as a Western Flyer). Your tricycle looks to be in pretty nice condition for its age.

Parts Needed for Double Z Framed Murray Tricycle

8xiQ: I have found a Murray tricycle that is in very good condition, there is a tag on the front fender that indicates that the tricycle is a Twin ZZ frame. The ends of the frame are open on the front and the rear. On the front there is still one of the clear plastic head lights in it and of course one is missing. On the rear it appears that there should be what I am assuming should be red plastic tail lights. These items are the only pieces missing from what is a unmolested tricycle. Where would you suggest searching to obtain these missing pieces and is this tricycle worth having restored to its original glory

A: Parts are probably going to be very hard to find for this tricycle. We’ll post this story and put a note on our Facebook page, maybe someone might have something. We’d normally say to get another parts tricycle and make one nice one, but your tricycle is pretty scarce.

As far as restoring it goes. A perfect restoration would increase the value, but likely not as much as you would spend in time and money doing the restoration. It looks to be in pretty nice condition as it is. Some cleaning,  Simichrome chrome polish and the missing plastic pieces would make it look a lot nicer. Often times people end up either finding something to work in place of the plastic caps, or making their own out of wood or some other material. While not original, if done right, this option will look better than having nothing there, and you can always take out those pieces if you find originals.

Is This Rough Murray Tricycle Worth Restoring?


A: You have a 1960’s Murray. Finding the exact year would probably be impossible, even if you had all of the Murray catalogs from the 1960’s, as this frame / fender design was probably used for several years and you would have no way of identifying the color scheme…as there is no color left.

I think this tricycle really falls into the category of “flower garden decoration.” Lots of people put old rusty tricycles in their flower beds for decoration…and in that case, the rustier the better.

The cost to restore something this far gone would be enormous, and that’s if it is even possible. Go to eBay and search for ‘Murray Tricycle’ and you will see what tricycles of similar ages are going for in better condition. If you really wanted a restoration project, it would be better to get one that wouldn’t result in sandblasting causing a hole in the frame.

Retro 1970’s Road Runner Themed Tricycle


Q: Can anyone give me any information on this Road Runner by Warner Bros. Inc. tricycle?

A: Your tricycle is a 1970’s Murray trike. They made quite a few different models of this type of pressed steel tricycle with hollow hard plastic tires. Some of them had themes like Road Runner and CAT and some where plain with built on trailers/beds. Check out our Murray manufacturer’s page for a bit more info and some pictures of similar tricycles.

Restoration of 1966 Murray Thunder Rod Tricycle

9psRestoration & story by John H. – A few months ago I was at my parents house and found my old Murray “Thunder Rod” tricycle in the attic. I received it for Christmas in 1966, I was two years old.  Since I have a 2 year old son, I thought I’d let Santa give it to him.  The chrome only needed polishing and I just waxed the frame, leaving it original. The wheels were rusted so I masked off the tires, sanded, primed and painted the rims. The seat was rusted so I sanded, primed and painted it.  Then I took the seat to an upholstery shop and had it recovered with a thin layer of padding underneath.  The handgrips and leather streamers were purchased online and were not cheap.  I looked for a bell at many stores and found this one at K-Mart.  It’s large and has an authentic look.

This project was a lot of fun and I hope one day my son will appreciate the old tricycle as much as I do.

If you have a restoration or reburb of a tricycle that you’d like to show off, send us an email and we’ll post your work.



Questions About Murray Tricycle Restoration

9unQ: this is my murray, is it all origional? is the fender supposed to be a lighter color or is that just faded? I noticed that on a pic on the internet, the seat was black, is that replaced? I would like to restore it for fun.  I would like to know some basic things and where i could find some accurate info on the restoration on this trike.

A: The fender looks to be a different color, but the easiest way to know is to check the paint on the underside of the fender, it shouldn’t be faded.  The seat looks original, but they would have used different seats on slightly different models or years.  Here is an article about retiring your wheels.  As far as I know, there is no book or site devoted to how-to of restoration of tricycles.  There are books and sites about restoring classic bicycles – the same principles and techniques would apply to restoration of trikes.

Is My Western Flyer Tricycle Worth Restoring?

9uvQ: We came across this Western Flyer tricycle and I wanted to see when it was made and if I should spend the time cleaning restoring it?  Would you have parts for this one if I need them?

A: First, all the parts we currently have available are listed in our online catalog.  We sometimes get parts and add them to our catalog, but a lot of the parts are pretty hard to find.

Your tricycle looks to be a Western Flyer chain driven trike made by Murray circa 1940’s/1950’s.  They were sold in Western Auto stores.  Pinpointing an exact date would be nearly impossible as they probably made very similar tricycles for years.

Whether or not you should restore it depends on what you are trying to accomplish by doing so?  If you are doing it for nostalgic reasons, for a child or grandchild to ride, or for a “fun” project….it is probably worth doing – provided you feel it is worth your time and effort.

If you are planning on restoring it to increase the value or for resale, it is not a good idea.  You will never get your money back out of a restoration and certainly never make a profit.  The type of tricycle that it is, isn’t a super valuable type and isn’t something that collectors are yearning for, plus many collectors like to do their own restorations.

Our advice would be to refurbish the tricycle as best as you can.  A wire brush to the rust and some chrome polish such as SIMICHROME POLISH-8OZ 390250 will go a long way to making your tricycle look not quite so rough.  After you use a wire brush, use Permatex Naval Jelly Rust Dissolver on bare metal parts, like wheels and handlebars.  Naval Jelly will remove virtually all rust.  It will only take you a couple of hours and your tricycle will have a huge improvement.

Good Luck!

Wondering About Age and Value of Murray Tricycle

9uzQ: I bought a little Murrary trike the other day. Looks to be in really good shape. I was just wondering what year it is and what it is worth?  Thanks

A: Your tricycle was probably made in the early 1970’s or possibly even late 1960’s.  They made similar models for a number of years.  To pinpoint the exact year you would need to have the catalog from the exact year of that paint scheme.  As far as value goes…we don’t normally comment on values on this blog, but I will say that the value is severely diminished due to the home paint job that covers up much of the original paint.  The cost and effort to restore it to even just the original paint job would be great.