Man, if you were a kid in the 1970s, there was no cooler ride than the Huffy Green Machine … er, I mean, the Marx Green Machine.
See, back then, most kids spent most of our day tooling around from house to house, touring the neighborhood, generally looking for fun or maybe a little harmless trouble.
And, while most of us rode bicycles of some sort most of the time, there were occasions that called for something a little more chillaxed. Or occasions when you were too small for a real bike, or couldn’t ride one yet, and just couldn’t be seen riding a tricycle.
Enter the Big Wheel from Marx, which was basically a big, plastic trike that let you tear the holy hell out of the road without much fear of wrecking — low center of gravity, easy steering, low top-end speeds.
But then, Marx upped the game with the Green Machine — another low-slung offering, but one with a bigger body and, holy crap, levers for steering. It was positioned as the Lamborghini version of the suddenly Pinto-esque Big Wheel, and you had to be cool, super cool to drive it.
The primary driver in single-digit-aged boy drooling in those days were commercials like this one:
Of course, only a select few actually got Green Machines. They were the James Deans of the blocks, and I suspect most of them ended up wrapped around a tree or at the bottom of a kiddie pool, never to see adulthood.
They were rebels without causes, and they lived fast and loose.
Adding fire to this supposition of mine was that you never, ever found a Green Machine for sale at a garage sale.
It was, and remains, forbidden fruit.
Marx went out of business in 2001, but childhood staple Huffy thankfully picked up the Green Machine line.
Of course, in this day and age of safety and play-nice, you don’t really see the serpentine marketing and bad-boy image of these, well , bad boys in modern advertising or vernacular.
But us old-timers know.
If you wanted kid wheels in the 1970s, and you wanted those kid wheels to come with a whisky chaser and the smell of danger, only the Huffy Green Machine … er, the Marx Green Machine … would do.