Swan-Hill most likely developed their straddle
carrier in direct competition with the Druge
Bros. toy. Their advertisements stressed
things like; "simplified," "shorter-radius
steering," "unitized construction" and "tracks
by towline" -- points of comparison to the
only other straddle carrier out there - Druge.
Today, Cari-Cars are not held in nearly the
same high esteem by collectors as the
Hyster by Druge. Hysters were better
detailed and of a much higher quality
As can be clearly seen, the Cari-Car is made up of a simple one-piece casting with separate wheel
carriers slipped into the chassis. Effective enough, but lacking the authentic detail of the Hyster.
Each carrier came with six 3/4" x 1-3/8" x 11" pieces of wood (a little shorter than the Hyster). The steel
load pallet is often missing from these toys as well. This one is painted a forest green color.
Shown with the Ideal toy for size comparison, this yellow Cari-Car was manufactured at the same time as
the red version. Both colors were offered simultaneously. The wood on this one is not original.
Here we can see what is meant by "simplified" steering (also cheaper and less durable). "Tow-line"
steering referred to the single rod protruding toward the front. A string attached here controlled direction.
This toy is sometimes advertised for sale as a
"Gari-Gar." Note lack of cleanness in molding.
An apple pie for a steering wheel?
Here's a look at both sides of the load pallet. Seems simple enough for someone to make reproductions.
So many carriers are without them. This one is more of a pale green.