Tether cars, also known as speed model cars, originated in California (USA), in 1937. These were homemade vehicles powered by model airplane engines, achieving speeds of around 60 km/h and resembling contemporary automobiles.

Before World War II, manufacturers began producing model car kits and pre-assembled vehicles, priced between $20 and $30. The most expensive model, the B.B. Korn, featured a magnesium frame and was priced at $53.50, capable of reaching speeds up to 160 km/h.

There were primarily two types of tether cars:

Cable- Cars: Attached by a steel cable to a central post on a circular track.

Rail Cars: Operated on a rail system around an oval track, allowing up to six cars to compete simultaneously. However, models with combustion engines became obsolete as speeds tincreased. There were also indoor tracks available.

Currently, this sport is widely recognized as slot racing, featuring electric motors.

Post-World War II

Allied troops introduced this hobby to Europe. Leading to innovation among tether car manufacturers and a global increase in speed. By the mid-1950s, the sport gained momentum in Eastern Europe;, where for many years, European and World Championship titles were predominantly won by Eastern European countries. Participants were often state employees and highly esteemed locally. In the USSR, one could even pursue studies in speed model car racing, benefiting from extensive resources.

Present Day

Today, the global tether car community includes the European Federation (FEMA) with 16 member nations, the American Model Racing Car Association (AMRCA) with three clubs, and the Australian association (TRCAA) with two clubs, all under the umbrella of the World Miniature Car Racing organization.

European Championships occur annually, while World Championships take place every three years on different continents.



The competition starts with the driver pushing the model car using a push stick while standing; this turns on the engine.

A crucial figure, known as the “horser”, stands at the center of the track, holding the line and assisting the car in reaching speeds between 150-190 km/h before getting on a dedicated platform above the line.

The horser continues to play a pivotal role by listening to the engine’s response to increasing speeds and signaling when to measure the speed.

The Race and Stopping the Model Car

Once he feels the car has reached its desired speed, the driver will push a button to commence recording over the next eight laps (500m).

After these laps, a visual or audible signal indicates that the car must be stopped within the next ten laps. The car is typically halted using a brushwood broom or mop, which activates a lever on the model that cuts the fuel supply, thereby shutting off the engine. The average  speed over the recorded eight laps is counted as official result.