Joie Chitwood

Tether Cars – Then and Now

If you’re a big fan or collector of tether cars, you likely know the history behind how they became popular. But, if Joie Chitwood's Collectibles, Tether Racing Carsyou’re new to tether car racing or collecting tether cars, you or may not know the history behind how tether car racing in the United States became so popular. In 1948, there were approximately 3,000 racers and over 400 tether car racing tracks nationwide. Sadly, the Second World War nearly put an end to the hobby of tether car racing in the States. After the War however, tether car racing in the UK became enormously popular and was a beloved national sport. American Servicemen influenced the sport with American tether car products they introduced which dominated the sport. Although land development in the States led to fewer tracks for hobbyists and racing enthusiasts, tether car racing and collecting made a comeback and it is still enjoyed today Worldwide.

Is a Collectible Tether Car a Good Investment or Just for Racing?

As a veteran racing professional, I’m extremely knowledgeable and passionate about vintage racers and miniature tether cars. If you have questions about the engine powered tether cars, collectible scale model race cars or racing memorabilia offered on our website, please feel free to ask! Whether you are purchasing an item for pleasure, or as an investment, I would be pleased to guide you in the right direction.

How Did Tether Car’s Become Popular?

tether cars, history, collectibles, for saleModel cars and airplanes were a popular hobby in the 30’s and 40’s and after Charle’s Lindbergh flew is plane over the Atlantic, innovative hobbyist Tom Dooling and his siblings, figured out how to put a model airplane engine in a model car. This was the birth of the tether car! In Fresno, California in 1937, the first official miniature car race took place and by the next year, they had built a tether car that reached a speed of 64 miles per hour! Tether cars were offered and sold to the public in the 1930’s and 1940’s and they were a big hit.

Tether Car Racing and Collecting Today

Today, tether cars can regularly reach speeds of over 100 miles per hour with speeds possible in excess of 200 miles per hour. Tether cars are a source of pleasure for hobbyists, professional miniature car racers, tether car collectors and racing enthusiasts worldwide.

Learn more about tether car racing :

American Miniature Racing Car Association

Racing the Small but Mighty Tether Car



  1. Ed Minas
    January 2, 2019 at 3:13 pm

    I want to purchase a DVD of Joie Chitwood history and the shows. Where can I obtain one?

    • January 16, 2019 at 8:09 pm

      Ed, Thanks for your interest. I will have a new batch in about 3 weeks. Thanks. Joie

  2. April 10, 2019 at 7:40 pm

    Ed, I finally got copies of the Chitwood DVD “50 Years of Thunder. If you are still interested, please let me know. Thanks Joie Chitwood