Tom Wright’s Street-Legal Bumper Cars

Bumper cars were crazy fun when I was a kid.  Even as an adult today, they still look immensely entertaining and I'd probably be on one every weekend if only everyone else lined up to ride them weren't in grade school.  Instead of drawing power from the floor or ceiling like regular flat rides, these bumper cars seen around the San Diego area not only run independently - you can drive them down public roads.

That's right, these bumper cars, which have been reconfigured to run on four wheels, are completely street legal.  Even if they're not, though, I doubt cops will pull you over for a ticket - they'll probably ask to try it for a spin around the block, instead.

bumper-dmv-ok

Created by California-based builder Tom Wright, the original set of modified bumper cars came from the Long Beach Pike amusement park's discards.  Instead of watching them join the trash heap, he took out the Harley motors, replaced it with 750cc Honda and Kawasaki boxes, and redesigned them to pass city driving standards.  His fleet now consists of eight crazy-looking street bumper cars (culled from different amusement parks), all licensed to give your hottest ride a run for its money.

A couple of the cars can reportedly go up to 160mph, which seems awfully scary for a car with such a short wheelbase.  There's no word on whether he's selling any of these rides, but I doubt he'll have a hard time moving at least a couple hundred of them.  Seriously, who wouldn't want to cruise down the streets on a real bumper car?

Update:  We found some more pics for you on MR38's Flickr Page

Another Update (01/30/2010) : Check out some more info here at Little Guy Street Rods.

[via Jalopy Journal, Jalopnik]

 

188 Comments

  1. Alex maldo says:

    Can i purchase on of the cars you build. If so how much?

  2. Troy Wunderle says:

    Do you sell your street legal bumper cars on the East Coast? If so, what is the approximate cost? They are FANTASTIC!

  3. Carl Sweisthal says:

    Where do i place my order ?

  4. j r law says:

    Hi Tom:
    Give me availability and cost info. please

  5. Richard Auck says:

    I would be interested in purchasing one of these. Are they on the open market for sale?

  6. Sharon Davis says:

    How much? and can you put a convertable top or removable top on them for winter?

  7. Jerry Cunningham says:

    I like the rest of the individuals that have responded to your bumper cars would like to know if you sell them or if you may have kits or prints on how to build one.

  8. Wolfman says:

    Cool American Icon Bumper cars saved from destruction. Thank You Tom Wright

  9. tom yahnke says:

    i live in carlsbad and would like a lot more information about your cars. i’m a fan and am interested in getting one !!! please reply asap… thankyou

  10. Roberta Marochi says:

    Please let me know if there are any for sale and what the cost would be. aloha

  11. Darin says:

    LOVE these Street legal Bumper Cars!!!! What a fantastic way to keep these fantastic amuzement rides alive!

  12. Dan Sherman says:

    Are they available and hoe much?

    Thanks.

    Dan

  13. Kevin McOwen says:

    Where can I get one used to build my self? I’m handicaped and lost my leg so I need to get around to my Dr appt’s. I’ve been looking for some way to get around town to go fishing an such. Thanks for listnig… Kevin
    God bless

  14. bill caggiula says:

    I have 14 bumper cars that i would either convert into street legal one’s like Tom Wrights, or sell as is and let someone else deal with the conversion.
    I wonder if there is a way to get in touch with Tom Wright, to find out what it would cost
    to build these cars, and if there are kits one can buy.
    Thanks
    Bill C

    • guy tucker says:

      Bill, did you ever find out anything about these Bumper Cars?

      Thanks, Guy

    • Bill Sanford says:

      what are the 14 cars that you have and general condition. Could be interested on a couple of them for a personal work project. If pics & price & location are available please send info as well direct contact info.

      thanks for your time

      • bill caggiula says:

        like i mentioned in my comment, i have 14 dodge em bumper cars for sale at $2000 each, or best offer. They are located in Dixville Notch NH. You can buy as many as you like. Would like to sell them all at one time if the price is right.
        Sorry it has taken so long for me to get back to you
        Regards
        Bill Caggiula (cell- 727-409-2455)

  15. bill caggiula says:

    in reference to previous comment, i also have an extensive machine shop where we can make just about anything.
    Again, thanks Bill

  16. Jim Frakes says:

    I’d like info on how to buy. Thanks.

  17. Donna says:

    Where do I get more information, availability, price. These are the coolest “rides” I need one

  18. Charles Mangiaracina says:

    I see many questions to you about buying one of these cars and I do not know if you replied to those questions, but would you just build a chassis for me that I could mount a bumper car to? And if so how much would an assembled chassis cost?
    Thanks. CHARLIE

  19. Peter Wentworth says:

    Would you please add my name to the list of those inquiring about pricing?
    thanks -and great jobs on those bumper cars!

  20. Hans says:

    I am also interested in a street legal bumper car! These are awesome! I will be going to South Cali this winter and I will be making a trip to San Diego to check him out. I will post what I find. Anybody else get any info? From Hans

  21. Guy Pronesti says:

    Count me in, can I get one in all matte black? Please let me know

  22. Geoff says:

    I am really interested in getting one of these. How do I get more information on them or in touch with Tom, to find out details.

  23. Ann B says:

    OMG – I want one – I do I do !
    Baby Boomers should be the ONLY people
    allowed to own one – our appreciation
    level is higher than everyone else’s (lol)

  24. Karen says:

    WoW! WoW! WoW! I love your idea :) Can you please forward me more details of pricing and availability…

    Regards
    Karen :)

  25. Greg says:

    I was in San Marcos California and stopped in a shop, with my Dad, that had these or similar…about 9 years ago. He passed away a couple of years ago and was the Manager of the Navistar store down the street. Dion International. Was this you? Curious and just remember just how cool they were. The gentleman was the owner and builder and took time out of his day to show us around. I was impressed!

  26. Tony says:

    I like these, fantasic idea. Can you tell how much they cost.

  27. Richard Gugliuzza says:

    I am interested in purchasing one of the bumper cars please send me the price and any info. You have.

  28. Jim Acton says:

    Would you sell one of the cars??????? Would like very much to own one

  29. Candaaes says:

    I really love these cars? I also, want to know where I can buy one and how much they cost. I hope you will reply to let me know.

    Thanks So Much.

  30. BENITAH says:

    I’m really interesting to own one of this car if it’s possible

    Please, i’m waiting to ur answer

  31. vicarious1 says:

    Haha having searched to maybe buy one of these fancy bumper cars one discovers related oddities like these:-) Funny to see how China exploits ANYTHING and tries to use the fame and sell crap they want to relate to ..One wonders does Mr. Tom Wright know he has his Brand selling in China on a VERY reputable website. Just go figure
    http://www.alibaba.com/showroom/tom-wright-bumper-cars-for-sale.html

  32. Paul Watt, Sr. says:

    Really interested, however would really like to see pix of the cars.

    Thanks

  33. Michelle says:

    I would like to know how much cost me. I want buying one. I am interested in that sicko Bumper car

  34. Bill Del Biondo says:

    Boy were these moterized bumper cars exciting to see. Brings back the late 1940′s when I was a kid at Lakemont Park, near Altoona PA. Is their anyway to see if these would be available for sale, the approximate purchase price, and hopefully a bit closer to Pennsylvania?

    Great stuff!

  35. Marie says:

    I have a bumper car – looks like a MGB from the 40′s maybe 50′s – has motor etc…was driven under the Toronto Ex’s old Flyer Roll-o-coaster – want to sell it – anybody interested?

  36. Dave C says:

    I have a reconditioned Duce Bumper Car for sale. Frame has been ‘bead blasted’ to remove rust and a base coat primer sprayed on. The body is in excellent shape, repainted, R and L mirrors, newly covered seat, with new power pole and new bumper tire with tube. This is NOT an operational bumper car, but perfect for a conversion. Located in Pueblo, CO. CO state law does not allow an ATV frame to be on the street, so project has been halted. Photos upon request can be attached to your e-mail. Price is set at $1850. Buyer responsible to pick up car.

  37. Dave says:

    I have a restored Duce Bumper car for sale. New paint and new bumper tire. Frame has been beadblasted to remove rust. Newly covered seat. Located in Pueblo, CO. Contact me for full details and photos

  38. Anthony says:

    I am big into off road and Harleys. I am thanking about a new bike, but after seeing a bumper car like this I want one!!!! How much?

  39. Dave says:

    Wade, I have a Duce Bumper car for sale. Located in Pueblo, CO

  40. Dave says:

    Excellent condition Duce Bumper car for sale which includes a new bumper tire. New paint and trim work. Pueblo, CO

  41. Dave says:

    Excellent condition Duce Bumper car for sale which includes a new bumper tire. New paint and trim work. Pueblo, CO.

  42. Dave says:

    Price (firm) is $1850.00

    • Dave says:

      can you send me pics of your B.Car? I have been thinking of building one for a sidehack for my motorcycle.for a few years..
      Thanks ,Dave.

  43. Dave says:

    Price (firm) is $1850.00 (don’t know why, but keeps posting twice).

  44. Dave says:

    Duce Bumper car for sale, ready for conversion. Check e-bay starting November 2, 2013 for details and photos. Ad will run for 10 days.

  45. Theresa says:

    ME TOO! I’m interested in a price on one of these cuties! Let me know ASAP, please! How fun! “Boomers in Bumpers!” That’ll be me……. ;-)

  46. krista says:

    Do you sell them in Houston Texas if so how much i would like to have one Please contact me thanks so much krista

  47. ken mancino says:

    how do i order one?

  48. Jerry says:

    I want info to buy one also , love them cool I’m in Pennsylvania

  49. Keith cameron says:

    I love the bumper car’s,Thank you for saving them.cant wait to look at everything .thanks cousin Lisa for his page.

  50. Derek says:

    Can’t find any info other than these pics, I need one! My wife won’t let me have a Bike so why not have the next best thing.

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