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Ernie Adams grew up near a dump in a small Nebraska town. As a youngster he showed a quick interest in all things mechanical and started putting motors on just about anything he could find with at least two wheels.

Later on he started making miniature replicas of classic cars. Most are just 46″ high, and built by hand with virtually all the materials coming from the scrap heap. Ernie even makes his own dies and machining tools, shaping the scrap steel into Lilliputian bodies for his cars.
dwarf-car

With his friend and colleague Daren Schmaltz, Ernie coined the term “dwarf car.” They started friendly competitions with each other which spawned an entire Dwarf Car racing phenomenon with its own rules and specifications.

As Ernie grew older he settled down at his place in Maricopa, Arizona and opened up the Dwarf Car Museum. He has seven of his dwarf cars on display, many of which are even street legal. The tenacity of Ernie the automaker shows in his vehicles.

Michael Colombo

In addition to being an online editor for MAKE Magazine, Michael Colombo works in fabrication, electronics, sound design, music production and performance (Yes. All that.) In the past he has also been a childrens’ educator and entertainer, and holds a Masters degree from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.


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Comments

  1. Denbo says:

    Great license plate in the pic…. “Wanna V8″

  2. asciimation says:

    Once you learn the skills and practice a bit it’s amazing what you can make from metal with the simplest of tools and techniques. The funny thing is these ‘dwarf’ cars are probably bigger than the full sized car I am making (a baby Austin 7). Very cool! Nice to see people out there with these skills still. Nice English wheeling!

    Simon

  3. Audrey Burtrum-Stanley says:

    I am wild for these cars – they are marvelous! Earnie has lived ‘The American Dream.’ What a grand talent. His son is a ‘beautiful boy’ with a good heart and skilled wisdon – but then, he was taught by ‘The Master’ here in the video.
    Now…show us a film featuring ‘The Momma’ – the one ride’n Shotgun in the convertible.
    (And here I thought the only thing that area of the country had to make a headline was the famed boloney-sandwiches-&-pink-underwear-for-crooks ‘Sheriff Joe!’)
    Super presentation!

  4. John B says:

    Holy smokes, those cars look awesome! I’m actually from Arizona and didn’t know there was a dwarf car museum there…nice.

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