The Washington’s and the King Midget Motor Car

The Washington’s lived 2 doors from us in 1961. I have already mentioned Carol Washington was one of my best friends. The Washington family were Russell Washington the father. Lila Washington the mother. And Carol and Carlos Washington, the 2 children. It was a fun place to play at the Washington’s. A full basement with a pool table, a ping pong table, and most of all a full train set, with all the scenery. Mountains, roads, buildings, and train crossings with working lights and barriers. Such a fun place to play. Lila Washington was a great house cleaner. She would bellow at us to go outside so she could clean the place up. They had a huge back yard, and in it a very tall tree with a tree house installed in it! Such fun! They also owned a very small car made by King Midget Motors.

King Midget was a micro car produced between 1946 and 1970 by the Midget Motors Corporation. Although the company started out by offering a kit to build the car, they soon added completely-assembled cars and later only offered completed cars. Company founders Claud Dry and Dale Orcutt first sold the King Midget as part of their Midget Motors Supply operations in Athens, Ohio.  By 1948, they began to use the name Midget Motors Manufacturing Co., too. In about 1956, Dry and Orcutt changed the name of their company to Midget Motors Corporation. Midget Motors’ primary methods of advertising their cars were through small advertisements in popular magazines that appealed to home mechanics. The ads were tiny but effective; they showed a midget car and some earlier ads contained the phrase “500 lb. car for $500.00” The ads brought in a steady stream of interested customers. Some of the magazines featured articles about the car and several pictured the car on their front cover. This method of direct selling continued for most of the life of the company.

What a fun car this was to ride in. It had a 2 cylinder tractor engine. I believe top speed was about 40 MPH. In the winter of 1961 Mrs. Washington would pile us kids into the car and take us to school that was about 1 mile away. We would head up Jono Road then turn right onto Wattles Road and head towards the school. It was a good car but there was one problem. It was one wheel drive. So if you came across ice, you were done. The car would come to a stop, and the one wheel would spin and whine, trying to find traction. Well this was no problem for us! Us kids would all pile out, find a place to push, and PUSH!!! Up the icy road we would go to the top of the hill! It was no problem from there as the road was flat. The car would come to a stop at the school and off we went! I will never forget this. Mrs. Washington, and her King Midget Motor Car!