I decided to get a hobby this year, and I’m so disappointed that I decided to get into crocheting and did not instead follow in Ernie Adams’ footsteps by getting really into building tiny, vintage-looking cars out of old refrigerators. Now I just feel like a chump.
Adams is from Maricopa, Arizona and has been building these itty-bitty machines since 1965—which means he’s had quite some time to perfect his craft. Despite the fact that he’s in his late 70s now, Adams is still cranking out 11/16th-scale cars that are all fully legal and driveable. Hell, some of them can even race.
His incredible story has been documented on Barcroft Cars’ Ridiculous Rides show:
Adams calls them dwarf cars, and he even has a whole museum dedicated to his creations because there are just so damn many of them. His first machine was a replica of a 1928 Chevy two-door sedan made out of nine refrigerators. It took him three years to gather his supplies and begin construction with, his website says, “a homemade hacksaw made from a chair frame, hammer, and chisel.”
His first car was pretty crude but still looked damn good for something cobbled together by a dude with a dream. Now, he has beauties like the Dwarf Car Cruiser, inspired by the 1949 Mercury made famous by the James Dean film Rebel Without A Cause. It’s that turquoise beauty pictured in the header image—a car that look so glossy you’d be forgiven for thinking you just went back in time to a slightly smaller version of history.
But I have to say, one of my favorite parts about this guy is how down-to-earth he seems. It’s like he doesn’t even realize he’s doing something exceptional—he’s just chill. In fact, his website lists his favorite restaurant as being the local Waffle House.