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Champion Kiddie Ride Restored

September 2nd, 2008 · 19 Comments

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Champion Kiddie Ride

“Ride the Champion” — Kiddie Horse Ride

Children’s coin-operated rides first appeared on the scene in the late 1940’s. At that time, cowboys were all the rage, and the most famous of all was Gene Autry. For every child aspiring to be a cowboy, there was the coin-operated ride named after Autry’s horse, “Champion”. We restored this 1950’s “Ride the Champion” Kiddie Ride here at Vintage Vending. It was working when we got it. It was stripped and repainted. The base was powder-coated and the horse was airbrushed and then clear-coated. The sign was fabricated metal that was meticulously hand painted. We no longer own this whimsical piece, but we’re sure kids still get a great deal of enjoyment from it.

These very popular rides for kids are still being manufactured and used today.

Champion Kiddie Ride

This item is not for sale. We show restored items in this blog to encourage discussion, prompt questions and further the hobby. To view more pictures of the completed restoration visit the RetroPlanet.com Museum.

Tags: Coin Operated Rides · Restorations by Vintage Vending Inc. · Unique & Unusual

19 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Rapid T. Rabbit // Feb 13, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    Wow, I love Bally Champion horses…they give such a realistic ride when they’re cranked up that way, and I used to practice for riding real horses on one that used to be near Times Square in NYC. Today I own one that is stabled in Wild West City NJ.

  • 2 TOM FULLER // Mar 10, 2009 at 1:49 am

    WELL I HAVE ONE OF THESE HORSES IN MY FOYER. I’VE HAD HIM FOR ABOUT TEN YEARS AND HE IS METICULOUS. HE IS PAINTED THE SAME COLOR AND MARKINGS AS THE REAL “CHAMPION”. I WAS A BIG GENE AUTRY FAN AS A KID, AND WHEN I SEEN THIS HORSE I KNEW I’D BUY IT. BUT IT’S TIME FOR HIM TO GO, AND I’M OFFERING “CHAMPION” FOR SALE. I ADMIT HE WON’T BE CHEAP. IT HAS THE ORIGINAL 1957 ELECTRIC MOTOR, TWO SPEEDS. LARIET, PLAYS THE LONE RANGER THEME SONG WITH SHOOTING GUNS……WHY THE LONE RANGER? I HAVE NO IDEA….LOL! AND THE MUSIC CAN BE TURNED OFF IF DESIRED. HAS ORIGINAL COIN BOX, THE ORIGINAL HAS A ROUND PIPE, WITH THE BOX FACING THE RIDER. SOME OF THE BOXES WERE CUT OFF AND REPLACE WITH A SQUARE STOCK PIECE OF STEEL, BECAUSE IT WAS EASY TO STEAL THE COINS WITH THE ROUND PIPE TYPE BOX MOUNT…..PIPE CUTTERS, YA KNOW. YOU CAN’T GO WRONG WITH THIS GREAT HORSIE, HE’S A GREAT LITTLE PONY, AND DOES’NT LEAVE A MESS ON THE FLOOR! IF YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THEM, YOU’LL OFFER A GOOD PRICE……IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN! TOM FULLER (nascar@pacifier.com)

  • 3 W. Gillmore // Jul 29, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    This is a very cool looking ride. Much more modern looking than the original. I saw some originals at one of the shows down in IL. The guy was from WI I believe. Coin Op Rides i think it was called.

  • 4 J. Lowkiwicz // Sep 7, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    I have seen him at a show out west. Here are some of his ebay items.

  • 5 Tony Gardner // May 11, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    I recently acquired an old Champion, it’s pretty rough though.one of the hoofs is split, the saddle is hard and curled, the coin box is gutted, and it needs refinishing. the good points are ; all original mechanics…..and it works,original coin box(and round tube), however, the sign says “Ride Trigger at Gold strike”.

    I’m giving these details in hopes that someone could give me an approximate value for Champion the way he is. Based on my preliminary research my guess is around $1500. I’m trying to decide weather to sell him now or try my hand at restoration. Any input would be helpful. And thanks, in advance.

  • 6 Teri Amos // Jun 21, 2011 at 6:59 am

    Was wondering if you could help me or at least point me in the right direction? My friend’s father left him 6-10 coin operated rides like this one and we are getting ready to put them up for sale. A few he has restored (he’s an Auto-body man by profession.) I know one is a rocket….there’s I believe an elephant, a car and 4-5 more. Going to photograph them tonite. Do you have any suggestions as to where would b the best place to have this type of item for sale at, etc. ANY info would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

  • 7 Graeme // Jun 24, 2011 at 8:12 am

    Hi,

    I have an orginal one of these in working order and am looking for information on it. It has the original paint and saddle but needs some tlc. Email me for info – gcross@plaintree.com

  • 8 Anna Lebold // Oct 6, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Hi! I just received a coin operated horse from my husband. We’ve owned a bowling center since the 60’s and it has been in the attic of our building for about 35 years. I’ve been begging my husband to let me restore it and bring it home and he finally said yes on my birthday Oct. 2. It is in good condition except for the leather stirrups which need some restoration. I believe it still works but haven’t plugged it in yet. It has a 10cent coin op on it. It is also a 2 post machine with a square base. I’d love to get some info on where to get some of the leather that’s missing on my little horsie and also what the original paint looks like. Please let me hear from anyone who might give me some info. imeternallyhis@yahoo.com

  • 9 roger // Dec 5, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    I have a junior horse that is in pretty good shape, and I was just wondering what he is worth, he takes dimes and works very well

  • 10 Victor // Dec 6, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Hi. My dad has a number of old/vintage/classic kiddie rides that he wants to sell. Pages 3, 4 & 6 have kiddies rides on them (The website is active and being updated) eg. Champion Horse, He has 2 of them. He also has a set of Lusse Dodgem cars he wants to sell and antique games from 1930 – 1975. If you are interested in any of these items then please let me know and I will have him contact you. He is not a collector, he operated all these games many years ago.
    Thank you.

  • 11 gus apple // Dec 20, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    I’m interested in talking to Victor about his Champion horses

  • 12 john johnson // Apr 13, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    looking to purchase a working coin operated horse for my grandkids. I live in the houston area.

  • 13 Lindsay Trowell // Aug 25, 2012 at 10:28 am

    I am looking for a Ride the Champion ride for a lady I support with autism, she has crafted ones out of old used bouncy horses and painted it to look like the one from the childhood grocery store. She would be thrilled for something like this. She has been in and out of heart failure for sometime and I would love to help her make this wish come true. Any leads on an affordable ride would be appreciated. lptrowell@yahoo.ca. We live in Victoria BC Canada.

  • 14 Banks Glover // Aug 29, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    My wife purchased a 1950 Bally Ride the Champion which I am in process of restoring. My question is this:
    There is a wire leading from the horse to the motor lift platform via a 2 pulley system. I don’t know what this is or why it is there – is it a sort of safety mechanism or could it be attached to the bridal as a braking mechanism?
    Thanks

  • 15 edward // Feb 16, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    I’m looking for a stage coach coin opperated ride. Cannot spend a lot but I can restore it myself if the price is right! I want to give my grandchildren my memories.

  • 16 Victor // Feb 17, 2013 at 2:05 am

    Hi. My dad STILL has a number of old/vintage/classic kiddie rides that he wants to sell. Pages 3, 4 & 6 have kiddies rides on them (The website is active and being updated) eg. Champion Horse, He has 2 of them. He also has a set of Lusse Dodgem cars he wants to sell and antique games from 1930 – 1975. If you are interested in any of these items then please let me know and I will have him contact you. He is not a collector, he operated all these games many years ago. We are in South Africa and we have shipped games to England and New York before.
    Thank you.

  • 17 Rob // Feb 24, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    Beautifully done! I have dreamed of owning my very own Champion since childhood, and the dream has finally arrived. Found one in Utah for a very reasonable price and had it shipped to Oregon where it is in the process of a complete 0ff-the-frame restoration. Mechanism is now fully restored, sand blasted, treated, primed and painted and re-assembled, requiring only two items to be replaced/machined. These rides are a study in mechanical genius simplicity. The horse is now in the shop for complete restoring.

  • 18 penny newman // Apr 24, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Hi, My husband passed away in sept. of last year but before he died he bought a Simple simon pie wagon coin operated ride! It is missing the wheels and some other parts! My son-in-law is trying to restore it but we have no idea where to get parts! Can you help us? Thanks, Penny Newman

  • 19 Gene Zick // Jun 14, 2013 at 6:27 am

    I have a 1957 chevy coin operated ride. Does anyone have any information about them? I have not been able to find anything. I know they were special order. I have seen 2 on ebay but no information.

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All Images are the Property of and Copyrighted to Vintage Vending Inc.