Memories And Fun With Vintage Bumper Cars

Many of us remember riding bumper cars when we were kids. These small, electric cars whirred and spun and created a lot of fun. Today, most vintage bumper cars are often found at country fairs and carnivals and still provide fun for people of all ages.

The oldest and most traditional bumper cars are powered by a conductive ceiling and floor, each with its own power. There are contacts under the car which touch the floor. A pole mounted to the top of the car touches the ceiling and combined, these form a complete circuit.

Today, some bumper cars are powered with strips of metal which alternate across the floor. Insulating spacers separate the strips and there is no grid in the ceiling. The strips carry the current to operate the bumper cars and the cars are large enough to continually cover at least two strips at all times best digital stage piano. The cars have an array of brushes on the bottom and these brushes are in contact with the strips on the floor.  

The floor is metal and is typically set up in an oval or rectangular track.  Graphite may be sprinkled on the floor to reduce friction. Each car has a rubber bumper, and some vintage bumper cars also have grills and lights.

The drivers try and ram into each other as they drive around the track. Each car has a steering wheel and an accelerator, although none of the cars moves extremely fast. The cars can usually go backwards, as well as forwards, creating pileups of cars all over the track.

The object of the ride is to hit other cars, but many times you will see signs directing the flow of traffic. This is a result of lawsuits over the years which have made some ride operators leery of being sued.

Bumper cars date back to as early as 1920. It was then that the first bumper car ride was invented by Harold and Max Stoehrer. Their new invention was called the Dodgem and proved so popular that they soon had competition. Robert and Joseph Lusse invented their own version of the bumper car and filed for their first patent in 1922.

The most popular vintage bumper cars were Dodgem and Auto-Skooter. Manufactured during the heydays of bumper car rides, these cars were popular for years. The largest bumper car ride in the United STates is located at Six Flags Great America. It is called the Rue Le Dodge and is a total of 6,455 square feet of track. More at

At one time, bumper car rides could be found all over the country, but with changes in ride preferences and updated safety regulations, many have closed. Today, there are bumper rides at Kings Island, Darien Lake, Kennywood, Martin’s Fantasy Island, Six Flags Great Adventure, Fantasy Island, Cedar Point, Genting Highliands, Frontier City, Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, HersheyPark, and Lagoon Amusement Park. There are also children’s versions of the rides at Darien Lake, Galvenston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, and Lagon Amusement Park.

There are few of us who haven’t ridden in a bumper car. It is a fun ride and we are better off for the experience.