Toy racing car

While serving with 2/2nd Australian Infantry Troops Workshops in Australia and New Guinea, Lieutenant William Albert Cartwright used the materials and equipment available to him to make his son a toy racing car as a birthday present.

The austerity measures of the Second World War meant that new toys were a luxury for most Australians. The factories that produced toys, and the materials that were needed, had been dedicated to the war effort. The scarcity of toys made these gifts from his father even more special for Brian, who later said they “held pride of place in my bedroom for many years. During the war, and for the five to ten years following the war, times were tough and children were lucky to have more than a few precious toys.”

The aluminium skin of the car and the copper exhaust pipes were likely salvaged from an aircraft, the seat is made from brown leatherette, and the wheels were commercially produced.