Ernie’s Handmade Dwarf Cars

Cars CNC & Machining
Ernie’s Handmade Dwarf Cars

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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.

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.

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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.

View more articles by Michael Colombo