For car buffs, fans of Americana, affecionados of the quirky and unusual, and those who appreciate amazing, hand-crafted creations and feats of engineering, the Dwarf Car Museum south of Maricopa, Arizona, is a wonderful find. (If you need your tourist stops pristine, amenity-laden, and easy to locate, skip this one.) Ernie Adams' hobby is to hand-build fully operational scale models of classic American cars, down to the finest detail inside and out (such as the exact number of slats in the car's grill). These approximately half size cars are drivable in every sense of the word. They are street licensed and Ernie folds his 6' frame inside and drives across country! His shop/museum features several completed cars and currently one in progress, plus an abundance of auto-related memorabilia on the walls and shelves. An excellent video runs in the museum sharing Ernie's history and his ingenious processes for creating these astonishing and beautiful replicas. Admission is currently free (donations cheerfully accepted). While the cars are Ernie's project, the whole family is involved in what is clearly a labor of love to make the museum a showplace – eventually. For now it is a terrific find. We were there 2 ½ hours but my husband is a serious serious car buff, so you might spend less time. (Do watch the video!) Note that the map on the museum's website is not to scale; follow the written directions and it's easier to find.
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