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Mite Cars
Upon the establishment of the American Miniature Racing Car Association (AMRCA) in 1940, the organization published its first set of rules and regulations for governing tether car racing across the United States.  That first set of rules provided for two different competition classes:  Class A for cars with engine displacements of 0.36 cubic inches or less, and Class B for cars with engine displacements greater than 0.36 cubic inches up to a maximum of 0.625 cubic inches.  The smaller Class A cars were typically referred to as "mite cars".

Model engines produced before World War II used spark plug ignition, which required a coil, condenser and battery pack.  As a result, even though mite cars built before World War II had smaller displacement engines, the cars themselves could not be made much smaller than cars using larger spark ignition engines.

After World War II, however, smaller displacement engines using glow plug ignition became widely available and a coil, condenser and battery pack were no longer needed.  As a result, mite cars could be made much smaller.

Mite car racing had its beginnings in the late 1930s, but did not reach its peak until the decade following World War II when a number of small inexpensive toy race cars were mass-produced and hobbyists started powering them with model engines equipped with glow plugs.

As speeds increased, purpose-built racing mites were designed and built specifically for competitive racing.  While most mite cars raced on circular tether tracks, a small number were built for racing on high-banked oval-shaped rail tracks.  Mite car racing was also popular in Europe, Australia and Japan.
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