Dwarf cars are different in that they do not use a typical chaindrive powertrain (although the first ones did), but instead contain a normal automotive-style powertrain setup with a five/six-speed motorcycle transmission, and a modified Toyota automotive rearend.

These little hummers also sport a racing-style suspension system, which consists of coilover shocks on all four corners and a three-link rear setup, which enables 100-mph capability on the straightaways of some longer tracks.

These racers provide valuable setup experience for the beginning racer. One might be surprised to learn that at many of the smaller tracks, the Dwarfs run as fast as the headline classes.

NOT Legend Cars

Before going further, it must be noted that these Dwarf cars are not to be confused with the other type of small vintage Stock cars: the Legend cars. There are many similarities between the two types, but the major difference is external, where the Legend cars have the stock-style fenders, omitted on the Dwarfs, and the Legend bodies are fabricated of fiberglass.

You might conclude that the Dwarfs have an appearance more like that of an early Modified-type race car. As you can see by looking at the overall Dwarf chassis design, it is truly an open-wheel racing machine. But large nerf bars between the front and rear wheels, and a large rear tube bumper help prevent jumping-the-tire-type accidents.

Dwarf cars use hard-compound, 13-inch diameter x 8-inch-wide tires (or in some cases even street tires) and normally run on oval tracks that are 1/5 to 3/8 miles in length. The tires last a long time rolling under these 1,000-pound (without driver) machines. Put the driver in the seat, and the minimum weight goes up to about 1,240 pounds. The wheelbase has to be 73 inches, with the maximum width being 60 inches.

With only slight changes, the same car can be modified to run on either dirt or pavement. The change normally involves not much more than changing the tires and making suspension tweaks. This is certainly a more economical situation than other types of racing that require two different cars for dirt and pavement racing.