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Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Dwarf Car Museum in Maricopa AZ - Ernie Adams is a Genius

Ernie with a replica of an old Ford
Ernie Adams getting out of one of his dwarf cars at his Maricopa AZ museum

Last week we visited the Dwarf Car Museum out in the desert south of Phoenix. There is not a brown sign that I am not in love with - I just love the off the beaten path museums. The Dwarf Car Museum is one of the best.

Simply put - Ernie Adams has been building cars from scratch that are about 60% the size of regular cars. Why would anyone do that - I don't know - but these cars take thousands of hours to make - and the guy that built them is still alive and living on his ranch right next to a large pole building which is the museum. 

Admission is free - but a donation jar is available. All the tools are there - some cars are a work in progress. Outside surrounding the museum are all sorts of pieces of Americana. There is a cemetery - also plenty of refrigerators - Ernie's main source of sheets of steel to roll. 

The cars are made piece by piece. If Ernie wants to build a headlight - he will first make a jig out of steel rebar - then he will hammer the sheets of metal over the jig to make the part. Finally he will sand it smooth and either paint it or have it chromed. 

Most of the cars use a Toyota drive train. The shafts are shortened for the smaller frames. All the doors work - all the windows roll up and down. The form and fit matches a fine Mercedes.

Ernie has cruised all over America in these cars. The cars are hits in auto shows and parades. 

Looking at Ernie's work makes me feel inadequate. He can fix or build anything. Almost everything is made with a hammer and a welder. I do not know how old Ernie is - or how long he has been doing this - but he still can get into the cars easily and drive them around. 

This truck is just sitting in the desert.

Dick - Jan - Lulu - Me - in Dwarf Car Museum

This car has lots of add-ons - including a still.

Ernie started by marking dwarf race cars

Replica of a Mercury about 2/3 size.

Ernie in this old gangster car/

Lulu next to the gangster car - it is deceiving.

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