So you want to get a dwarf car? 6 important things to know.

So you want to get a dwarf car? 6 important things to know.

Two dwarf cars racing.

Two Dwarf cars jostle for position during a night time race at Mohave Valley Raceway.

One of the most popular and visually distinct race classes we see at Mohave Valley Raceway are the Dwarf Cars. These small, low budget cars make for a dynamic night that appeals to drivers from across the midwest as they compete for points with the various racing bodies we partner with. This class of racecar is small sturdy, and just as fast as the other classes we race. Here are 6 things to know as you investigate.

1. Dwarf Cars Are (of course) small.

These cars are scaled down versions of 1930-1940 era American hot rod designs which use motorcycle engines instead of the full size engines for which hotrods are often known. Dwarf Cars are just as fast as the full size cars raced on our track, though with a significantly reduced budget compared to other dirt track classes. One racer from our October 2020 Race posted a great on board example of these cars in action, which you can see here. 

2. Dwarf cars are all custom.

This means that new entrants to the racing industry need to buy a used rig, build one themselves, or contact a professional cage builder to have one made. Having a chassis built for you can be an intimidating prospect, but since these cars are small and single occupant, a bare chassis can be acquired in various stages of completion ranging from $3,000 to $5,000. You can see more detail about what goes into a dwarf car from the Metal Manglers.

3. Dwarf Cars have a lot of variety.

Chassis builders vary widely, so prices and parts included will be largely up to the individual provider. Most chassis kits will require additional work to be made race ready, though many dwarf car chassis builders offer the parts needed for a complete build. If you’re just starting out, a good budget for a professional built entry level car is going to settle in around $12,500. With the higher end of the market for professional built Dwarf Cars coming in between $22,000 and $26,000.

4. Dwarf Cars have been around a while.

The first two were built by Earnie Adams and Darren Smaltz in 1979 in Arizona. Their concept would later go on to inspire the legends car classes, but the original dwarf car design remains a popular and common race class seen at dirt tracks across the midwest. Being a smaller overall platform means that younger racers often start out in these cars. Most tracks permit drivers as young as 14 years old, though drivers in this class encompass all ages.

5. Dwarf Cars race under several associations.

Rules for racing are generally controlled by an association of which there are several. Different tracks in different states may use different rules, so you’ll want to decide which association you prefer to race under, and which tracks offer races affiliated with that association. If you are new to the racing scene, it’s best to pick an association with a strong presence in your local area and focus on that association while you learn the ins and outs of the industry.

6. Dwarf Car association rules can change based on the region.

Rules under these associations should be assumed to be exclusionary, meaning that only the things specified in a rule book are allowed in a given race. Make sure the chassis builder you select knows what rules you are racing under, these rules may affect the way a chassis is set up. Chassis Builders know these rules inside and out, so they will likely recommend setups that are acceptable across multiple association rules, but it’s still a good idea to make sure they know which association you plan to race under.

Our rules and times.

Mohave Valley Raceway uses the Western States Dwarf Car rules and typically offers races in the spring and fall, when temperatures and weather permit. Our current season ends this weekend, November 6 & 7th, 2020. The off season is a perfect time to start researching and building if you are interested. Feel free to check our schedule for more information on race times and the full 2021 events list when it become available.