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Publication numberUS3311388 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 28, 1967
Filing dateApr 12, 1965
Priority dateApr 12, 1965
Also published asDE1505905A1, DE1943782U
Publication numberUS 3311388 A, US 3311388A, US-A-3311388, US3311388 A, US3311388A
InventorsMacmeekin Robert A, Ryan John W
Original AssigneeMattel Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Three-wheeled velocipede
US 3311388 A
Abstract  available in
Images(7)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 28, 1967 J. w. RYAN ETAL 3,311,388

THREE -WHEELED VELOCIPEDE 7 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed April 12, 1965 March 28, 1967 J. w. RYAN ETAL THREE-WHEELED VELOCIPEDE 7 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed April 12, 1965 jig 7 Sheets-Sheet 5 J- W- RYAN ETAL THREE-WHEELED VELOCIPEDE March 28, 1967 Filed April 12, 1965 March 28, 1967 J. w. R-YAN IQETAL 3,311,388

THREE WHEELED VELOC IPEDE Filed April 12, 1965 7 Sheets-Sheet 4 yffdi/Vifif March 28, 1967 .1. w. RYAN ETAL 3,311,388

THREE-WHEELED VELOCIPEDE Filed April 12, 1965 7 Sheets-Sheet 5 @QX WW March 28, 1967 w, Y ETAL 3,311,388

THREE WHEELED VELOC IPEDE March 28, 1967 J. W. RYAN ETAL THREE-WHEELED VELOCIPEDE '7 Sheets-Sheet '7 Filed April 12, 1965 cit-r xfrzwwna United States Patent 6 3,311,383 TfiREE-WHEELED VELOCIPEDE John W. Ryan, Bel Air, and Robert A. MacMeelrin, Huntington Beach, Calif., assignors to Mattel, Inc., Hawthorne, Califl, a corporation of California Filed Apr. 12, 1965, Ser. No. 447,208 14 Claims. (Cl. zsa-ass The present invention relates to a toy vehicle and more particularly to a new and useful toy vehicle having steerable wheel means, means for steering the wheel means and means for biasing the steering means to a central position wherein the vehicle is steered straight ahead.

Many types of prior art toy vehicle are known. They usually take the form of velocipedes so that they can be propelled by the feet. With one type of prior art velocipede now in general use, the pedaling and steering are both effected through a single front wheel with a pair of rear wheels being rotatably mounted in rigid, parallel relation at all times. While generally satisfactory, this type of velocipede does have several disadvantages.

One disadvantage resides in the fact that the pivotal mounting of the front wheel interferes with the pedaling of the velocipede because the front wheel must be turned at a sharp angle when making a turn.

Another disadvantage resides in the fact that the handle bars, being secured to the front wheel, turn to an objectionable position when the front wheel is turned to execute a turn or negotiate a corner.

Yet another disadvantage resides in the fact that such velocipedes have a high center of gravity which makes them difficult to handle during turning maneuvers.

In an effort to overcome some of the foregoing disadvantages, other prior art velocipedes have been provided with three-wheels wherein the front wheel is used for pedaling only and the steering is effected by a turning of the rear wheels. While generally satisfactory in overcoming some of the foregoing disadvantages, this arrangement introduced the disadvantage that, once a turning maneuver was undertaken, it was diflicult to return the steering means to a central position wherein the velocipede was again steered on a straight course.

In view of the foregoing factors and conditions characteristic of toy vehicles, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide a new and useful toy vehicle not subject to the disadvantages enumerated above and having steerable rear wheels, means for steering the rear wheels and means for biasing the steering means to a central position.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a toy vehicle of the type described which simulates an aircraft in banking and turning maneuvers Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a three wheeled velocipede wherein the front wheel is used for pedaling only and the steering is effected by turning of the rear wheels in such a manner that the velocipede is banked during a turn.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a velocipede of the three wheeled type wherein the front wheel is used for pedaling only while the steering is effected by turning of the rear wheels with the front wheel being connected to the steering mechanism in such a manner that the front wheel leans in the direction of a turn.

A still further object of the present invention is to provide a vehicle of the type described having steerable rear wheels which are actuated through a compound linkage mechanism in such a manner that the inside wheel pivots during a turn through approximately 55 degrees while the outside wheel is pivoting only through about 40 degrees.

3,3 l 1,338 Patented Mar. 28, 1967 A still further object of the present invention is to provide a vehicle of the type described which is constructed in such a manner that the center of gravity of a rider of the vehicle is raised when the steering means for the vehicle is moved away from a central position, whereby the weight of the rider biases the steering means back to the central position.

Another object of the present invention is to attach the seat of a vehicle of the type described to a cam face which co-acts with a cam upon rotation thereof through the vehicles steering mechanism to cause the seat of the vehicle to be raised when the steering mechanism is moved away from a central position so that the center of gravity of a rider of the vehicle will also be raised, thereby biasing the steering mechanism back to the central position.

Yet another object of the present invention is to. provide a three wheeled velocipede having steerable rear wheels with a pedal-actuated front wheel which tilts in the direction of a turn in response to a steering action causing the rear wheels to follow a path of compound pivotal movement.

According to a first embodiment of the present invention, a toy vehicle is provided in the form of a threewheeled vel-ocipede having steerable rear wheels and a pedal-actuated front wheel which are connected to a steering control means in such a manner that the front wheel is caused to lean in the direction of a turn during turning movements but is prevented from turning.

The vehicle includes a front fork which carries a pedaldriven Wheel. The fork includes a shank which is nonrot-atably mounted in a first tubular member which, in turn, is rigidly affixed to a tubular rear axle, thereby forming a T-shaped, tubular frame.

A second tubular member is rotatably mounted on the first tubular member for rotation by a steering control lever which is rigidly afiixed to the forward end of the second tubular member. A bracket depends from the underside of the rear end of the second tubular member and steers the rear wheels through a tie-rod and a compound linkage system connecting the rear wheels of the vehicle to the rear axle.

During steering maneuvers, the compound linkage system causes one rear wheel to swing forwardly and upwardly while the other rear wheel is swinging rearwardly and downwardly. This not only causes the rear axle to tilt and bank the vehicle into a turn, but also raises the center of gravity of a rider of the vehicle so that the steering mechanism is biased to a central position. Since the front fork is rigidly connected to the rear axle, tilting of the axle causes the front wheel also to tilt in the direction of the turn. In addition, the seat of the vehicle is rigidly affixed to the first tubular member so that the seat will also tilt when the rear axle tilts. Biasing the steering mechanism to a central position is an important feature of the invention because the weight of the child opera-ting the vehicle minimizes the force required to return the steering lever to a central position following a turning maneuver.

According to a second embodiment of the present inventiou, a toy vehicle is provided in the form of a three wheeled velocipede having a front fork which carries a pedal-driven wheel. The front fork is rigidly aflixed to a frame member in such a manner that the wheel cannot be turned. The rear Wheels are rotatably mounted on an axle member which is pivotally connected to the vehicle frame by an oblique pin in such a manner that turning of the vehicle by swinging the rear axle also tilts the axle. The seat for the vehicle carries a cam follower which coacts with a cam. The cam is connected to the rear axle in such a manner that the cam swings in an arcuate path when the rear axle is swung by a linkage system which is connected to a swingable steering lever. The cam followor is shaped in such a manner that the cam causes the vehicle seat to be raised when the steering lever is moved away from its central position. Thus, the center of gravity of a rider is raised to bias the steering lever to its central position.

A third embodiment of the present invention is similar to the first embodiment except that the tubular members are replaced with a one-piece, stamped-metal construction.

The features of the present invention which are believed to be novel are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The present invention, both as to its organization and manner of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which like reference characters refer to like elements in the several views.

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a toy vehicle comprising a first embodiment of the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the vehicle of FIGURE 1 with parts broken away to show internal construction;

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged, rear, elevational view of the vehicle of FIGURE 1 showing the relative position of its steering and compound linkage mechanism when the vehicle is traveling along a straight course;

FIGURE 4- is a rear elevational view similar to FIG- URE 3 showing the relative position of the steering and compound linkage mechanism during the execution of a turning maneuver;

FIGURE 5 is a cross-sectional view of the vehicle of FIGURE 1 taken along line 5-5 of FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 6 is a side elevational view, with parts broken away to show internal construction, of a toy vehicle comprising a second embodiment of the present invention;

FIGURE 7 is a bottom view of the vehicle of FIG- URE 6;

FIGURE 8 is a rear view of the vehicle of FIGURE 6 with parts broken away to show internal construction;

FIGURE 9 is a rear view of the vehicle of FIGURE 6 showing the relationship of certain parts thereof during a turning maneuver;

FIGURE 10 is a perspective view of a toy vehicle constituting a third embodiment of the present invention;

FIGURE 11 is a rear elevational view of the vehicle of FIGURE 10;

FIGURE 12 is an enlarged bottom view of the vehicle of FIGURE 10;

FIGURE 13 is an enlarged elevation view, with parts broken away to show internal consrtuction, of the vehicle of FIGURE 10;

FIGURE 14 is an enlarged plan view of the vehicle of FIGURE 10 with its seat removed;

FIGURE 15 is an enlarged elevational view similar to FIGURE 13, with additional parts broken away to show internal construction;

FIGURE 16 is a partial cross-sectional view taken along line 16-16 of FIGURE 15.

FIGURE l7 is an enlarged, partial cross-sectional view taken along line 17-17 of FIGURE 15;

FIGURE 18 is a perspective view of the rear portion of the vehicle of FIGURE l;'and

FIGURE 19 is a diagrammatic view illustrating the difference between the location of the center of gravity of a rider of the vehicle of the present invention and a rider of prior art vehicles during turning maneuvers.

Referring again to the drawings, and particularly to FIGURES 1-5, a toy vehicle constituting a first embodiment of the present invention, generally designated 10, includes a chassis 12 and a body 14. The chassis 12 comprises a front wheel assembly 16, a rear wheel assembly 18 and a steering mechanism 20. The front wheel assembly 16 includes a pedal driven wheel 22 which is rotatably mounted between the arms 24 of a front fork assembly 26 on a crank assembly 23. The crank assembly 28 propels the vehicle 10 by rotating the wheel 22 when oppositely disposed crank arms 35 and 32 are actuated through the medium of rotatably mounted pedals 34 and 36, respectively.

The front fork assembly 26 includes a shank member 38 which is non-rotatably mounted inside a first tubular member 43 by bolts 42. The bolts 42 transmit torque from the first tubular member 4-0 to the front fork assembly 26. One end 44 of the tubular member 40 is bifurcated so that it will straddle a rear axle assembly 46 constituting a component of the rear wheel assembly 13. The end 44- is rigidly affixed to the rear axle 46 by Weldments 48 so that any tilting of the axle 46 will impart a torque to the tubular member 40. It is to be noted that the fork assembly 26 is horizontally mounted as distinguished from some prior art toy vehicle wherein the front fork assembly is vertically disposed. It is to be further noted that the shank 38 constitutes the major, horizontal axis of the chassis assembly 12.

The body assembly 14 is rigidly affixed to the first tubular member 40 by a suitable clamp 50 which encompasses the tubular member 41) and is tightly clamped thereto by bolts 52. The body assembly 14 includes a bucket-type seat 52 having a bottom wall 54 which is secured to the bracket 59 by bolts 56. The seat 52 includes a back rest 58 formed by angularly disposed mem here 6%) and 62 having lower edge portions 64 and 66, respectively, to which arm rests 6S and 70, respectively are attached. The bottom wall 54 of seat 52 extends rear- Wardly beyond the back rest 58 to form a support for a simulated aircraft tail assembly 74 which includes a vertical member 76 and substantially horizontal members 78. The members 78 extend over the wheels $0 and 81 on the rear wheel assembly 18 to protect the rider of the vehicle 10 from mud or the like which may be picked up by the wheels and 81. The body assembly 14 also includes a seat belt 82 which may be secured to the seat 52 between the lower edges 84 of the arm rests 68 and 70 and the bottom wall 54.

The steering mechanism 20 includes a second tubular member 86 which encompasses the first tubular member 49 between the bolts 42 and the bracket 50 in such a manner that the second tubular member 86 may be rotated on the first tubular member 40 without substantial linear movement along the major axis of the chassis 12. The second tubular member 86 may be rotated by a rider of the vehicle 14) by a lever 88 which is rigidly affixed to the member 86 by a Suitable weldment 90. The steering mechanism 2t also includes a depending rod 92 having one end 94 rigidly affixed to the second tubular member 86 by a weldment 96 and its other end 98 rigidly aitixed to a triangular plate 100. The triangular plate 100 includes a pair of apertures 1192 which receive the hooked ends 104 of a pair of tie-rods 106 and 108 connecting the steering mechanism 20 to the rear wheel assembly 18.

The rear wheel assembly 18 includes a first oblique king pin housing 110 which is attached to one end 112 of axle 46 and a second oblique king pin housing 114 which is attached to the other end 116 of the axle 46. The rear wheel assembly 18 also includes a first king pin assembly 118 which is rotatably mounted in the first housing 110 and which has a plate 120 afiixed to its upper end 122. A second king pin 124 is rotatably mounted in the second housing 114 and has a second plate 126 aifixed to its upper end 128. The lower ends 130 of the king pins 118 and 124 are rigidly afiixed, as by a weldment 132 shown for the king pin 124- in FIGURE 2, to substantially U-shaped arms 134 and 136, respectively. One end 138 of each arm 134-136 includes a suitable spindle, such as the one shown at 140 in FIGURE 2 for the arm 136, upon which the wheels 80 and 81 are rotatably mounted. A first strut 142 has one end 144 afiixed at the end 138 of arm 134 by a bolt 146 and its other end 148 afiixed by a bolt 150 to the plate 120. A second strut 152 has its first end 154 afiixed by a bolt 156 to the end 138 of the arm 136 and its other end 158 afiixed by a bolt 160 to the plate 126. The plates 120 and 126 each include a cut-out sector 162 forming spaced-apart stop members 164 and 166 which are adapted to engage an associated stop member 168 mounted on the axle 46. The other ends 170 of the arms 134 and 136 are provided with apertures 172 which are engaged by L-shaped ends 174 on the tie-rods 108 and 106, respectively, to connect the steering mechanism 20 to the rear wheel assembly 18, thereby forming a compound linkage system therewith which is designated generally herein by the reference numeral 176.

The vehicle banks during a turn in such a manner that the rear axle 46 is tilted, as shown in FIGURE 4 for a left hand turn. This causes the front wheel 22 to lean in the direction of the turn as also shown in FIGURE 4. The axle 46 is caused to tilt approximately 10 from the horizontal by the arrangement of the compound linkage system 176 which causes one rear wheel to swing forwardly while the other rear wheel swings rearwardly and downwardly. This causes the center-of-gravity of a rider of the vehicle to rise about Ar of an inch to bias the steering mechanism to a neutral or central position for steering a straight course. This result is accomplished, in part, by connecting the housings 110 and 114 to the axle 46 in such a manner that the major axes A--A of the king pins 118 and 124 form angles of about 19 on two planes (i.e., when viewed both from the rear and from one side) with a vertical line BB passing through the lower ends 130 of the king pins. This oblique positioning of the king pins 118 and 124 combined with the U-shaped nature of the arms 134 and 136 causes the inner wheel to turn approximately 55 degrees while the outer wheel is turning only about 40 degrees during the negotiation of a corner. 10 is negotiating a left hand turn, as shown in FIGURE 4, the wheel 81 will turn approximately 55 degrees while the wheel 80 is turning approximately 40 degrees. In addition, the wheel 81 leans in the direction of the turn approximately 2 degrees while the wheel 180 leans approximately 7 degrees. The end 116 of the axle 46 will dip downwardly while the end 112 thereof rises during a left hand turn. This causes the tubular member 40 and the shank 38 to tend to rotate in a counterclockwise direction, as viewed in FIGURE 4, thereby causing the front wheel 22 to lean inwardly in the direction of the turn approximately 10 degrees to the position shown in FIGURE 4. Since the body 14 is rigidly connected to the tubular member 40, it will tilt to the approximate position shown in FIGURE 4 by virtue of the rotation of the tubular rnem ber 4-0. Thus, the vehicle 10 not only banks during a turn, but also leans into the turn thereby minimizing the tendency of the vehicle 10 to swing outwardly by centrifugal force. The center of gravity of the rider in the seat 52 raises as shown in FIGURE 19.

Referring now to FIGURES 6-9, a toy vehicle constituting a second embodiment of the present invention, generally designated 210, includes a chassis 212 and a body assembly 214. The chassis 212 includes a front wheel assembly 216, a rear wheel assembly 218 and a steer mechanism 220. The chassis 212 also includes a frame member 240 having depending, parallel, spaced apart sidewalls 242 at its forward end and a top wall 244 which is joined to a rear wall 245 by a sloping portion 248. The depending walls 242 extend from the front to the rear and down the back wall of the frame 240 which also has a bottom wall 250.

The front wheel assembly 216 includes a pedal-driven wheel 222 which is rotatably mounted between the arms 224 of a fork assembly 226 by a pedal-driven crank 228. The crank 228 includes oppositely disposed crank arms 230 and 232 having pedals 234 and 236, respectively, rotatably mounted thereon. The fork assembly 226 is connected to the frame 240 by suitable bolt 251 which For example, when the vehicle.

6 connect each of the arms 224 to an associated depending flange 242.

The rear wheel assembly 218 includes a rear axle 246 which has wheels 280 and 281 rotatably mounted on the ends thereof and which is pivotally connected to the frame 240 by a pivot pin 276. The upper portion of the pivot pin 276 passes through a bushing 278 and the sloping portion 248 to top wall 244 and is retained in position by suitable retaining means 280. The lower portion of the pin 276 passes through the axle 246 on a steering lever 282 which is rigidly afiixed to the axle 246. The axle 246 is prevented from becoming disengaged from the pin 276 by a suitable nut 284 which threadedly engages the lower end of the pin 276 and bears against the steering lever 282. The steering lever 282 includes a saddle portion 286 extending rearwardly and upwardly from the axle 246. A cam follower 288 is rotatably mounted in the saddle 286 on a pin 290 which engages apertures 292 provided in the saddle 286 and the axle 246, respectively. The cam follower 288 extends through an opening 294 provided in the saddle 286 and engages [a cam 300 which is rigidly afiixed to the bottom wall 250 on frame 240. The cam follower 288 is normally seated in an arcuate portion 302 provided on the cam 300, but is free to swing with the axle 246 as it pivots about the pin 276 so that the cam follower 288 will engage the depending portions 304 provided on each side of the arcuate portion 302. This causes the frame 240 to rise while it is simultaneously tilting by virtue of the oblique mounting of pivot pin 276.

The steering lever 282 forms part of the steering mechanism 220 and includes a journal box 366 in which a steering knuckle 388 is journaled. The steering knuckle 308 is afiixed to one end 318 of a steering control lever 312 which also forms a part of the steering mechanism 220. The steering control lever 312 is rotatably connected to the frame 240 by a bushing 314 and may be swung from a vertical or central position in a first direction to cause the vehicle 210 to negotiate a left hand turn or the control lever 312 may be swung in a second direction to cause the vehicle 210 to negotiate a right hand turn. Swinging the control lever 312 causes the axle 246 to pivot on the pin 2'76 bringing the cam follower 288 into engagement with one of the portions 304 causing the frame 240 to rise. Simultaneously, the axle 246 is caused to tilt by the angle of pin 276. Since the fork assembly 226 is rigidly afiixed to the frame 240, tilting of the frame in the manner described causes the front wheel 222 to lean over in the direction of the turn, as shown in FIGURE 9. Raising the frame 240 raises the center of gravity of the driver of the vehicle 210. This biases the control lever 312 to an upright or central position minimizing the force required to resume steer-ing the vehicle 210 on a straight course.

The body 214 includes a front fender 316 which serves as a mud guard for the wheel 222. The body 214 also includes a seat 252 which is rigidly affixed to the frame 240 in such a manner that the seat will rise and tilt with the frame during negotiation of turns. Thus, there is a simulation of the banking of an aircraft as the wheel 222 and the seat 252 lean in the direction of a turn.

The embodiment of the present invention which is shown in FIGURES 1018 and which is generally designated 410 is a modification of the embodiment shown in FIGURES 1-5. The vehicle 410 is designed for the average child from ages 3-7 years old including deviations from the means. Thus, the vehicle 410 will also fit the average 8 year old child. The center of gravity of the vehicle 410 and of a rider in position thereon has been lowered approximately one inch in modifying the FIG- URES l-S embodiment. The 10 degree banking has been retained because a child testing program indicated that, although banking from 812 degrees was satisfactory, a child could handle the vehicle 410 better if it was banked approximately 10 degrees. The Wheel base of the vehicle 410 issuchthat more weight of the rider of the vehicle is placed on the front wheel than over the rear wheels. Thus, the child rider is preferably positioned near the front wheel. The vehicle 419 is also designed in such a manner that the largest child can negotiate an 11 degree incline without causing the vehicle 410 to rear over backwards.

The vehicle 410 includes a chassis 412 and a body 414. The chassis 412 comprises a front wheel assembly 416, a rear wheel assembly 418 and a steering mechanism 420. The front wheel assembly 416 includes a pedal driven wheel 422 which is rotatably mounted between the arms 424- of a front fork assembly 426 on a crank assembly 428. The crank assembly 423 propels the vehicle 410* by rotating the wheel 422 when oppositely disposed crank arms 430 and 432 are actuated through the medium of rotatably mounted pedals 434 and 436, respectively.

Although, as will be apparent to those skilled in the art, the vehicle 410 may be made of a number of diiferent materials by a number of different manufacturing techniques, it is shown herein for purposes of illustration, but not of limitation, as being made primarily of sheet metal by metal stamping techniques. Thus, the front fork assembly 426 is formed integrally with a chassis frame 440 from a single sheet of metal. With this arrangement, any tilting of the chassis frame 44f from a horizontal plane will cause a corresponding tilting of the front wheel 422 from a vertical plane. The frame 449 includes a top Wall M2 having a first raised portion 444 forming a seatreceiving island and a second raised portion 446 forming a seat guide. The first raised portion 444 includes a plurality of seat-adjusting apertures 448 for positioning a seat, to be hereinafter described, in such a manner that a rider of the vehicle 416 is properly positioned with respect to the pedals 434 and 436. The frame 440 also includes a pair of depending side walls 450 and an end wall 452 and is given rigidity and strength by forming inturned flanges 4-54 on the lower ends of the side walls 450 and the end wall 452. A plate 455 may be aflixed to the flanges 545 by screws 455a to further strength frame 440. The end wall 452 serves as a rear axle means and slopes down wardly and inwardly toward the front wheel 422 forming an angle of approximately 19 degrees with a vertical line. The wall of axle 452 includs a first outboard end 456 and a second outboard end 458 each of which is provided with a cylindrical, kingpin-receiving passageway 469 (FIGURE 12). The passageways 46B slope downwardly and outwardly approximately 19 degrees from the vertical as well as sloping downwardly and inwardly toward the front wheel 422 19 degrees.

The body assembly 414 includes a bucket type seat 452 and a front fender assembly 464. The front fender 464 includes a top wall 465 and depending side and rear walls 4-68 and 476, respectively, which fit within an opening 472 provided in the top wall 440. The lower ends 474 of the side walls 463 are each provided with an outwardly turned flange 476 which rigidly affixes the fender 464 to an associated flange 454 on the side walls 450 (FIGURE 16). The seat 462 includes a bottom wall 473 from which suitable bolts 4% depend (FIGURE 12) for adjustably mounting the seat 462 on top wall 44-0 by engaging suitable apertures 448. The seat 462 may be secured in posi tion on the top wall 446 by threadedly engaging the bolts 4%!) with suitable wing nuts 482. The seat 462 also in cludes a suitable back rest 484 and outwardly extending members 486 and 488 forming mudguards over the rear wheel assembly 418 and has a seat belt 489 rigidly afl'ixed thereto.

The rear wheel assembly 418 includes a first king pin 494) which swingably connects a first wheel-carrying spindle 492 to the end 456 of the wall or axle 452 by passing through a passageway 469. The wheel assembly 413 also includes a second king pin 494 which swingably connects a second wheel-carrying spindle 496 to the end 458 of the axle 452 by passing through an associated passageway 460. The spindles 492 and 496 may be conveniently made of stamped sheet metal construction and each includes an outboard end 498 and an inboard end 500. Each of the outboard ends 498 include an axle 502 on which a wheel 504 is rotatably mounted (FIGURE ll). The axles 562, are disposed at a lower elevation than the end wall 452 so that the spindles 496 and 492 slope upwardly and inwardly from their outboard ends 498 to their inboard ends 500. The inboard ends 5% are bifurcated having an upper arm 5% and a lower arm 598 which are each provided with an aperture 510 through which an associated king pin passes. The lower arms 508 include steering arms 512 which extend substantially at right angles thereto and which are provided with apertures 514 at their free ends 516.

The steering mechanism 420 simulates the control of an aircraft and includes a joy stick 518 having an upper end 529 and a lower end 522. The upper end 520 is provided with a grip 524 and the lower end 522 extends through an elongated aperture 526 provided in the top wall 440 into seating engagement with a pocket 528 provided in a steering rod 530. The steering rod 530 may be conveniently made from sheet metal by bending it to the approximate cross-section shown in FIGURE 17 while forming substantially cylindrical portions 532 and 534 at its forward and aft ends, respectively. The rod 530 is rotatably mounted in the vehicle 410 by journaling the end 532 in a bracket 536 which depends from the top wall 440 and by journaling the end 534 in a bracket 538 which is aflixed to the rear wall 452. The aft end 534 of the steering rod 53! includes a depending bracket 540 which is provided with a pair of apertures 542.

The steering mechanism 42% is connected to the rear wheel assembly 418 by a pair of steering links 544- each of which has a first hooked end 546 engaging one of the apertures 542 in the bracket 540 and a second hooked end 546 engaging an aperture 514 in a steering arm 516. The length of each steering link 544 is such that, when combined with the geometry of the spindles 492 and 496, the rear wheels 504 will be properly oriented at all times. When the joy stick 518 is swung to the left, as viewed in FIGURE 11, as far as it will go, the spindle 496 will swing the right rear wheel 504 approximately /2 degrees aft while the spindle 492 swings the left rear wheel 504 approximately 56 degrees forward to the positions shown in broken lines in FIGURE 14. Simultaneously, the frame 449, the seat 462 and the wheel 422 will tilt with the outboard end of the seat 462 rising approximately 10 degrees while the inboard end thereof lowers approximately 10 degrees. Thus, the vehicle 410 will bank ap proximately 10 degrees from the horizontal so that a rider comes to rest with a line through his center of gravity forming 10 degrees with his center line. The center of gravity of the rider raises approximately 3 4 to A of an inch, as indicated diagrammatically in FIGURE 19, where it willbe noted that in certain prior art velocipedes the center of gravity of a rider would be lowered M4 to of an inch. With the rear wheels 504 swung to the position shown in broken lines in FIGURES 14, the vehicle 410 is ready for negotiating a left hand turn wherein a line passing through the axes of the wheels 422 and 504 will meet at a common point 550, the inboard wheel 504, which is carried by spindle 492, leans 3 degrees away from the vehicle 419 and the outboard wheel 504, which is carried by spindle 496, leans 15 degrees toward the vehicle 419.

Of course, it is apparent that the joy stick 518 may be swung to the right, as viewed in FIGURE 11, to negotiate a right hand turn whereupon the broken line position of thewheels 422 and 584 will be reversed from that shown in FIGURE 14.

During turning maneuvers, one rear wheel swings forwardly and upwardly while the other rear wheel swings rearwardly and downwardly to tilt the vehicle 410 and to raise the center of gravity of the rider. Both of these features are brought about by the oblique king-pin angle employed in the structure hereinbefore described.

While the particular toy vehicles herein shown and described in detail are fully capable of attaining the objects and providing the advantages hereinbefore stated, it is to be understood that they are merely illustrative of the presently preferred embodiments of the invention and that no limitations are intended to the details of construction or design herein shown other than as defined in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A toy vehicle comprising:

a sheet metal frame having a fork assembly and a depending rear wall, said rear wall sloping downwardly and inwardly toward said front fork assembly and having first and second outboard ends;

a pedal-driven wheel rotatably mounted in said front fork assembly for propelling said vehicle; and

steering means including a wheel-carrying spindle swingably connected to each of said outboard ends.

2. A toy vehicle as stated in claim 1 including a king pin connecting each of said spindles to its associated outboard end, said king pins forming a predetermined angle with a vertical line in two planes.

3. A vehicle as stated in claim 2 wherein said predetermined angle is approximately 19 degrees.

4. A vehicle as stated in claim 2 wherein said spindles extend rearwardly of said rear wall and wherein one of said spindles swings forwardly and upwardly while the other of said spindles swings rearwardly and downwardly when said steering means is actuated to steer said vehicle around corners.

5. A vehicle comprising:

a front wheel assembly having a pedal driven wheel;

a rear wheel assembly including a pair of steerable wheels;

a steering mechanism connected to said rear wheel assembly for steering said steerable wheels;

frame means connecting said front wheel assembly to rear wheel assembly; and

means connecting said frame means to said steering mechanism in such a manner that actuation of said steering mechanism to negotiate a corner causes said frame means and said front wheel to lean in the direction of the turn while said connecting means simultaneously raises the center of gravity of a rider in position on said frame means, said connecting means comprising a cam and cam follower arrangement.

6. A velocipede comprising:

a chassis;

a pedal driven wheel rotatably mounted on one end of said chassis;

a steerable wheel rotatably mounted on the other end of said chassis;

a steering mechanism connected to said steerable wheel for steering same; and

means connecting said steering mechanism to said chassis in such a manner that said steering mechanism is biased to a central position, said connecting means comprising a cam mounted on said chassis in engagement with a cam follower connected to said steering mechanism.

7. A toy vehicle comprising:

a frame;

a front wheel assembly including a rotatably-mounted, pedal-driven wheel rigidly connected to said frame;

a rear axle assembly pivotally connected to said frame;

a pair of rear wheels rotatably mounted on said rear axle assembly;

a steering lever means swinga-ble about a fore-and-aft axis and connected to said rear axle assembly for swinging said rear axle assembly about its pivotal connection with said frame; and

a cam means carried by said steering lever means, said cam means being engageable with said frame to raise said frame when said steering lever means is swung about said axis.

8. A toy vehicle comprising:

a fork assembly having shank means and a pair of spaced-apart parallel arms extending from said shank means, said fork assembly having a major axis lying in a substantially horizontal plane;

a 'ped-aldriven wheel rotatably mounted between said arms;

an axle having first and second ends, the end of said shank means which is remote from said arms being affixed to said axle intermediate said ends;

a king pin rotatably connected to each end of said axle, said king pins forming a predetermined angle with a vertical line in two planes;

a rear wheel swingably connected to each of said king pins;

a steering lever rotatably mounted on said shank means;

linkage means connecting said steering lever to said swingable wheels; and

a seat member affixed to said shank means in such a manner that torque transmitted to said shank means by tilting of said axle results in a tilting of said seat member, said axle being caused to tilt a predetermined amount when said vehicle is turned by the location and arrangement of said king pins.

9. A toy vehicle as stated in claim 8 wherein said predetermined angle is approximately 19 degrees.

-i10. A toy vehicle as stated in claim 8 including U- shaped steering arms swingably connecting said wheels to said king pins, said steering arms co-acting with said king pins to cause the major axis of said rear axle to tilt approximately 10 degrees from the horizontal when said steering lever is actuated to cause said vehicle to negotiate a corner, said front wheel and said rear wheels turning about a common pivot point during negotiation of said corner.

11. A toy vehicle, comprising: steerable wheel means including a pair of steerable wheels; means for steering said wheels; and means for biasing said steering means to a central position; said biasing means including means for raising the center of gravity of a rider on said vehicle when said steering means is moved away from said central position, whereby the weight of said rider biases said steering means back to said central position, said means for raising said center of gravity including swingably mounted axle means for turning said steerable wheels and cam means connected to said axle means, said vehicle including seat means for said rider, said cam means engaging said seat means for elevating said seat means when said axle means is swung to turn said wheels.

12. A vehicle as stated in claim 11 wherein said axle means is swingably mounted on an oblique pivot pin.

13. A toy vehicle, comprising: steerable wheel means, including a pair of steerable wheels; means for steering said wheel means; and means for biasing said steering means to a central position, said biasing means including means for raising the center of gravity of a rider on said vehicle when said steering means is moved away from said central position, whereby the weight of said rider biases said steering means back to said central position, said means for raising said center of gravity including axle means and king pin means connecting said steerable wheel means to said axle means in such a manner that one of said wheels swings forwardly and upwardly while the other of said wheels swings rearwardly and downwardly during a steering maneuver, said steering means also including swingable lever and linkage means connecting said king pin means to said lever, whereby said wheels may be turned by swinging said lever, said steerable wheels comprising rear wheels and wherein said vehicle includes a single, pedal-driven front wheel; said 1 l 112 vehicle including a sheet metal frame and said axle 1,283,942 11/ 1918 Spanovic 280-469 means comprising the rear wall of said frame. 1,550,133 8/1925 Whitehall 280267 14. A vehicle as stated in claim 13 wherein said vehicle 1,784,875 12/ 1930 Iesswein 280-268 includes a T-shaped tubular frame and said axle means 1,845,044 2/ 1932 Curry 280-269 comprises the cross-bar of said frame. 5 2,755,095 7/1956 Douglas 61 al. 2301-1 2,764,423 9/ 1956 Gaddie 286-269 References Cited by in Examiner 2,983,522 5/1961 Kirk 230 267 UNITED STATES PATENTS 87,713 3/ 1869 Sermll 280-267 KENNETH H. BETTS, Primal Examiner.

455,220 6/1891 1 Lessells 28O-258

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Classifications
U.S. Classification280/269, 280/282, 280/1.12, D12/108
International ClassificationB62D9/00, B62K9/00, B62K9/02
Cooperative ClassificationB62K9/02, B62D9/00
European ClassificationB62D9/00, B62K9/02