The very name of these cars indicates small, and that's exactly what these Dwarf cars are. Actually, they are 5/8-scale models of '28-'48 vintage American Stock cars, both in coupe and sedan, and even pickup styles. And more recently, sub-scale modified-bodied Dwarf cars called Mod Lites have been developed.

Dwarf car racing is popular across the U.S., with both dirt and pavement racing. There is, however, no formal national sanctioning body for the cars, so rules vary slightly in different locations. The biggest rule differences occur in the engines, but for the most part, the cars are standard everywhere.

These are sturdy little haulers with steel rollcages and frames, along with heavy sheetmetal bodies. A complete five-point racing belt system and approved helmet and fire suit are always required. Even with their ultra-compact sizes, these cars are safe to race. There are currently about a dozen car builders.

Dwarf cars started in the late '70s in Arizona. Executive Editor Glen Grissom recalls seeing them race in the mid-'80s in southern New Mexico and Arizona, when they were typically the support class to Street Stocks, and Late Models were the featured show. They were quite a novelty at the time, but passed from that stage rather quickly.

In 1987 two Phoenix area Dwarf car builders, John Cain and John Proctor, started the Dwarf Car Company, which was the first national Dwarf car manufacturer. Cain also established the first official sanctioning body for Dwarf cars, Dwarf Car U.S.A. The little cars spread across the U.S. and even appeared on ESPN's Saturday Night Thunder.

Drivetrain

We're talking motorcycle power, the most popular engines being Suzuki, Kawasaki, and Honda engines, with capabilities of up to the 200hp range. The engines range in size from 1,000 to 1,250 cc and are both air- and water-cooled, depending on the manufacturer. Also, both gasoline and alcohol are used for fuel.