|This article does not cite any references or sources. (February 2012)|
Tether Cars are model racing cars powered by miniature internal combustion engines and tethered to a central post. Unlike radio control cars, the driver has no remote control over the model's speed or steering.
The cars are about 12–24 inches (30–61 cm) long, 3–4 inches (7.6–10.2 cm) wide, run on rubber tires 3–4 inches (7.6–10.2 cm) in diameter, have a cast metal body (usually magnesium and aluminum, but also fiberglass and wood bodies), and have robust gear drives. Engines are nitro or methanol fueled, with displacements from 0.09 to 0.61 cubic inches (1.5 to 10.0 cm3). Early engines (prior to 1960s) had spark ignition systems. Later engines use glow plug ignition. The cars are tethered to a central post hitch by a steel cable and run around a circular track of 65 feet (19.9 m) in diameter.
Tether cars were developed beginning in the 1920s–30s and still are built, raced and collected today. First made by hobby craftsmen, tether cars were later produced in small numbers by commercial manufacturers such as Dooling Brothers (California), Dick McCoy (Duro-Matic Products), Garold Frymire (Fryco Engineering) BB Korn, and many others. Original examples of the early cars, made from 1930s to the 1960s, are avidly collected today and command prices in the thousands of dollars.
Current racing activity in the U.S. is governed by the American Miniature Racing Car Association with three racetracks in NY, CA and IN. Contemporary cars run at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour (320 km/h) or more giving them the reputation as fastest model cars in the world. After push-starting the car the driver decides when to take the speed measurement. As soon as he presses a button the time for 8 laps, which equal to 500 meters (1,600 ft), is accurately measured to 1/1000 s.
- Speedmodelcar.com, most updated website with international results and information
- AMRCA - American Miniature Racing Car Association
- WMCR - World Organisation for Model Car Racing
- Vintage Miniature Gas Powered Race Cars, private website covering the early history of tether cars
- GMBK - Gävle ModellBil Klubb