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Vintage Tether Car With a Tiny 15cc Radial Engine Looks Absolutely Amazing

It still runs, sure, but you could also just stare at it.
Bonhams

Tether cars are a whole hobby based on tying a string to a tiny motor vehicle, attaching that string to a pole, and letting the car rip around a circle track at extreme speeds. We’ve covered them in the past, and while this particular tether car may not be the fastest ever made, it is certainly one of the coolest. Built in the 1990s, it has a tiny five-cylinder radial engine mounted at the back. What’s cooler than that?

Originally spotted by Silodrome, this particular car is currently for sale at Bonhams. The engine itself was made in the 1940s, and designed by Glen Morton of Morton Aviation. Called the Morton M5, it’s a four-stroke, spark ignition, miniature radial that runs on methanol/castor oil, according to the listing. Sources online place its displacement at 15cc, although that’s hard to verify.

It seems like more than one of these tether cars with M5 engines was built by a skilled craftsman named Don Edmunds, but similar to the Morton M5 engine, it’s hard to nail down an exact figure. What we do know is that the Morton M5 was the first miniature radial ever built for model airplanes, and combining it with four wheels and such a unique space-age body was a great decision.

The little car is rear-wheel drive, to be clear. The gear-driven fan at the back simply assists in cooling the engine. It does make for a really cool look, though. This thing might also be bigger than you think—it’s a full 24 inches long.

This particular example is being auctioned on Friday, October 20. It’s being sold without reserve, and it’s expected to bring between $1,500 and $2,500. Whether you actually plan to get it running and on a tether is irrelevant, this is a cool piece of miniature motoring history that would be awesome to own and display.

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