Sorry, Kids: Kettler, Maker of the Iconic Kettcar, Is Bankrupt

Kettler, maker of the iconic Kettcar, is bankrupt

-Sad news for anyone who spent endless summer vacation days perfecting the plastic-tire handbrake turn: Kettler, the German company behind the iconic Kettcar, has filed for insolvency.

The privately-owned sporting goods and toy maker announced the move “to avoid a hostile takeover and realign the company,” Reuters reports.

Kettler has been building the Kettcar since 1962, with over 15 million of the pedal-powered dream machines sold worldwide. The wee vehicle has become something of a motorsports icon in its own right: A quick scroll through Kettler’s 50-year history shows numerous special editions named after famous race courses, like Monza, Hockenheim, Monaco, and Imola.

There’s even an active Kettcup racing series, open to drivers age 3 to 15, with races throughout Germany in the 2015 schedule.

But the most important role of the Kettcar has been the way it’s introduced generations of emerging gearheads to the joy of driving. With its direct steering, firm suspension, drift-encouraging tires, and a handbrake that falls readily to hand, the traditional Kettcar is a driver’s dream. Later models even featured a center console shifter, letting you coast in neutral—or for the more daring, perform thigh-punishing neutral-drops, the original launch mode.



The Kettcar is the kind of stone-simple, utterly engaging toy that you’d continue to unabashedly play with long after you’d outgrown its dimensions or “cool” factor. Seemingly every garage, backyard, basement, or driveway in suburbia has at least one Kettcar, waiting for that perfect summer day when the sun is shining, the sprinklers are spraying, and the lemonade is ice cold.

Please, corporate titans of the sports equipment industry: Please do not perform a hostile takeover of our childhoods.

This story originally appeared on roadandtrack.com.

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