This Absolute Legend Makes Mini Cars Out Of Old Refrigerators

Illustration for article titled This Absolute Legend Makes Mini Cars Out Of Old Refrigerators
Screenshot: Barcroft Cars

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.

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.


Yes I drive a 240... Sort of

That’s awesome. I couldn’t imagine building these for nearly the 60 years.