In Memoriam Eric Zausner
Eric Zausner, who passed away recently, was well known, particularly in the United States, as an automobile historian and Hot Rod enthusiast. Many of his own Hot Rod creations have been featured in magazines and TV documentaries over the course of the years. He was also famous for his extensive collection of unique Spindizzies, scale model racing cars fitted with real miniature internal combustion engines. In 2018 Eric graciously donated part of his collection to the Louwman Museum in The Hague. The Eric Zausner Spindizzies Collection has pride of place in the museum, underscoring the historical value of the collection.
Racing these miniature cars (also known as tether cars) started in California in the mid 1930s and it remained a popular hobby until the early 1950s. The cars were powered by a model aircraft engine running on gasoline. The cars initially raced on a tether (cable) anchored to a central point or to a grip held by the owner/operator. As speeds increased one needed to spin round to watch them, resulting in a dizzying sensation – hence the name. Later the cars were raced side-by-side on a rail track. The cars ultimately reached speeds of over 100 mph (160 km/h).