You Gotta Be Kidding Me: 1954 Eshelman CSC 54

Unfortunately, most cars intended for children these days are pixelated. But back in the 1950’s, there was a firm out of Baltimore that wanted the whole entire family in microcars, so much so that the CSC (Child’s Sports Car) that raced Timmy around the cul-de-sac sat on the same platform as the ASC 54 that ol’ dad would abandon in the front yard after emptying a half dozen rocks glasses at the local pub. Find this 1954 Eshelman CSC 54 for sale in Bound Brook, NJ for $3,295 via craigslist.

Following on the success of other tractor manufacturers that went on to make high performance sports cars a-la Porsche and Lamborghini, Eshelman decided to give it a go with whatever was around. Aside from looking like a puffer fish being de-hooked, the Eshelman had some stylish elements in addition to performance. Though some may say it was for looks, this particular example has had some sort of bustle affixed to the rear, most likely for combating extremely high speed corner entry oversteer due to a localized low pressure zone at the back of the previously bobbed tail.

Steering the solid rubber tires of the CSC or the soft pneumatic units of the adult version was a stamped steel tiller unit. Though the wheel is large, the rack ratio is an extremely quick 1/3 turn lock to lock, giving immediate response in countersteering situations. One common complaint of the Eshelman was that the clumsily located hand throttle was often inadvertently blipped on turn-in, sometimes resulting in a early-to-mid-corner push that was difficult of overcome without substantial trail braking via the scrubber paddles.

There are no engine shots but when you’ve seen one lawn-and-garden derived exotic car engine, you’ve seen them all. With up to 3.75hp available, it was not surprising that both rear wheels were driven via a speed-synchronizing jack shaft, a large improvement over the outgoing single-pegger models which were notoriously difficult to launch without massive tire flare-ups.

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Matt, a self-proclaimed bottom-feeder of the classic car market, spends half of his time buying cars, half of his time retrieving them, and the remaining third on keeping them on the road.