Tiny Electric Car Runs 12 m.p.h. on Track (Feb, 1934)

Tiny Electric Car Runs 12 m.p.h. on Track

THIS tiny electric car constructed by Woodrow McCrate of Black, Texas, spins merrily around on its 65 foot concrete race track at speeds of up to twelve miles per hour. It has made a decided hit with the little tots of this Texas town.

Power from the regular house lighting circuit is used to run the car. An ordinary 1/4- h.p., 110 volt a.c. motor is mounted in the rear of the toy automobile, and connected to the rear axle through speed-reducing gears.

An iron pipe pivoted about the center of the track keeps the car running on its circular course, and also serves as a means for bringing the electric power wires to the car. Brushes mounted on a piece of wood fastened to the pipe make contact with two circular brass strips, springs being used to keep the brushes in contact with the stationary rings. The brass strips are mounted on a wood block which is in turn set in concrete. Power wires are run underground in a 3-4″ pipe from the power source to the brush rings.

The tracks on which the car runs are made of concrete, and are 6″ wide by 6″ thick. The two circular tracks of concrete are 18″ apart center to center, and 20′ 6″ in diameter.

The track was made by pouring cement in a trench of the correct size, the finished track being level with the surrounding ground.

Although this car was made for a two year old child, it will easily pull children up to five years of age at speeds of up to 12 m.p.h. This is sufficiently fast for a circle of this size.

12 comments
  1. Don says: February 8, 20085:57 am

    Woody’s kid grew up to race in NASCAR, but he never won any races. He was always trying to go the wrong way on the track.

  2. Roflcopter says: February 8, 20087:59 am

    I recently read a online report about race done in Eastern European where they race thos cars up to 300 kmph… just can not find that darn article link anymore… maybe someone has some informatin in it… the evloved those cars a lot ;-)

  3. blast says: February 9, 20089:27 am

    Nice work! I think that comes out to 16.4 RPM, a good speed for a 20 foot thrill ride.

  4. Maria says: March 31, 20087:44 am

    Watch out for ZAP which is a big power in this segment.

  5. Mark says: April 2, 20085:22 pm

    ZAP should rule !

  6. Lea says: April 2, 20085:25 pm

    look at zapworld.com for more info

  7. Barbara Duderstadt says: January 12, 201011:44 am

    Woodrow McCrate was my uncle. He and my grandfather were backyard inventors and explorers of the new technologies that came in with radio, automobiles, electrical applications, wind power, photography, and many more that I can no longer recall. They were wonderful influences and they left me with exceptional memories of their antics. Life was fun and full of wonder for them. My uncle Woodrow remained active, creating wonderful things throughout his life.

  8. Barbara Duderstadt says: January 12, 201011:51 am

    One more comment. The man who said Woody’s kids grew up to race was mistaken as to his identity. Perhaps that statement was made tongue in cheek. My uncle had no children. He moved from Black, Texas to Amarillo after he married and worked for the Rock Island Railroad as a conductor.

  9. Toronto says: January 12, 201010:56 pm

    Barbara – I’m sure it was meant as a joke based on the direction the car is travelling in the photo (ie clockwise.)

    “Woody McCrate” is an interesting name. Did people ever call him “Box”? (This could be Box’s Car…)

    No offense meant. Based on this very brief article and your comment, he sounds a really great guy.

  10. Don says: January 12, 201011:18 pm

    Barbara; yes, that was meant tongue-in-cheek. I’m glad to hear more about your uncle and grandfather, though . . . they sound like quite the fun guys!

  11. Barbara Duderstadt says: January 13, 20109:29 pm

    I am unaware of his ever being called Box… but with his joking nature and interest in all that life offered, I have no doubt that there is a great deal that I do not know about him. Still, my family was exceptional and they gave me a huge share of their enthusiasm. My grandfather(Uncle Woodrow’s partner in experimenting) came from a very large family with great hardships but a house always filled with laughter. By their example I have come to believe that our lives are controlled by our own attitude.

  12. Firebrand38 says: January 13, 20109:43 pm

    Barbara Duderstadt: “I have come to believe that our lives are controlled by our own attitude”. Well said.

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