As you probably know, the world of toy and remote control cars is not just for kids. All over the world, diehard hobbyists and gearheads of all ages race in prestigious events with miniature cars that pack WAY more speed than the sort of toys you used to race around in the backyard.
Take the guys in the video below, for example, who are participants in the American Miniature Racing Car Association (AMRCA). These dudes tested their prized speed model car at a track to see what it could do, and while it takes just a little while to warm up, its true potential is absolutely ridiculous. We're talking a blink-and-you'll-miss-it type of top speed. 205 MPH!
What Is Tether Car Racing?
Now, if you're wondering why the above style of collectible car racing looks a little bit different than your typical slot car or RC car contest, that's because it is. In tether car racing, where the cars are attached to poles, pure, unadulterated speed is the name of the game. Specs wise, tether cars (also simply known as racers) are equipped with several parts that you'd find in a full-size car, including combustion engine (ranging between 0.0015 and 0.01 liters), exhaust pipe, air intake, flywheel, gearbox, driveshaft, and wheel. Depending on what class they're racing in, the model race cars are anywhere from 11 to 23 inches in length and are about eight inches wide.
Tether car racing first took off in the late '30s, when hobbyists would outfit model cars with model airplane engines. The first races were held in 1937, and by 1948, tether car racing had really taken off, with as many as 3,000 tether car racers and 440 tether car tracks throughout the country.
Though not as popular as it once was, tether car racing is still practiced around the world. In 2009, Italian driver Gualtier Picco set a world record of 214 MPH. Today, there are three official tether car race tracks in use across the United States. They're located in Whittier Narrows, California (where the above video took place) and Seaford, New York, while there's also a portable track in northern California.
This car was originally published on October 21, 2019.