Dwarf Car Story

The Dwarf Car Story

Front Stretch Photo

Dwarf cars are 5/8 scale replica models of vintage 1928-1948 American made automobiles. They have full steel roll cages; sheet metal bodies, and powered by 4 cylinder motorcycle engines up to 1220cc. They have full racing suspension and are capable of speeds over 100 mph on the straight-aways. With their size and quickness, they are perfectly suited to dirt track oval racing.

Dwarf cars started as a hobby during the 1980’s in Phoenix, with the original idea of providing economical racing to people who were just starting out or who could no longer afford to keep up with the escalating costs of full size classes. The hobby has grown quickly to become the hottest class in auto racing today.

The reasons are simple:

Dwarf cars have a look that appeals to a wide variety of fans. Their “antique” look brings back the glory days when open wheel hotrods were the stars of the show on Friday and Saturday nights. For the younger fans, their size and shape makes them interesting to watch and cheer for.

Dwarf cars use motorcycle engines as power plants, bringing interest from outside the normal “auto” racing crowd. Not just Fords and Chevy’s fighting it out, but Suzuki, Kawasaki, Yamaha, and Honda as well. The sound of 4 cylinders at 11,000 rpm has quite an appeal! The weight to horsepower ratio is even greater than a full size late model stock car.

Dwarf cars are “real” racecars, not family go-karts. With modern design suspension, Dwarf cars are achieving speeds similar to the fastest full size cars.

Dwarf cars are inexpensive to buy. A brand new roller car, complete less engine, drive shaft, and headers is $6,995. Most engines are supplied through the salvage pool and typically cost between $1,500 and $2,500. Sometimes you can find a used dwarf car ready to race for under $3500.

Dwarf cars are economical to operate too. The costs to race a competitive full size car range from $200 for a sportsman type late model to $1000 in a sprint car per race and that’s if nothing gets torn up! Dwarf cars, on the other hand, cost less than $25 per race, for fuel and an oil change. The cost-per-racing lap is the lowest in motorsports today.

Desert Dwarf Car Club members are “everyday people” that love to race dwarf cars who understand NASCAR or CART probably isn’t in their future. However, we’ll race wheel to wheel even rub some paint too and then afterwards laugh about the racing while enjoying a cool refreshment


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