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Bumper cars are fun amusement park rides wherein a person drives a small, typically one-seater, electric car and has the opportunity to crash into objects and other cars. The speeds are limited to prevent injury and seat belts are required. The bumper cars may be battery operated like a golf cart or have a tall pole that has a copper flapper that rides along an electric grid placed above the ride area. 

The walls around the small arena will usually have a thick rubber bumper to hold in the cars. Some more advanced amusement rides have a set of rotating posts that will push off a car that makes contact with it, allowing one to change direction with a right-angle turn.

There are several ways to play games with bumper cars. The first is to see who can get by with the fewest impacts. The second is to gang up on some hapless individual, usually the youngest brother or sister, and to focus all the impacts on their bumper car.

Iron Noder 2017

A very fun game found widespread at amusement parks or annual harvest fairs. Bumper cars have been around for over seventy years. The classic model we have in mind when we think about these vehicles originated as the Lusse Auto-Skooter.
The Auto-Skooter was an outgrowth of the Dodgem, a rear-steering monstrosity invented seven years earlier by Max and Harold Stoehrer of Methuen, Massachusetts.
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A full-page ad in Billboard called it "the repeater of all repeating rides... the Rolls-Royce of amusement devices. It brings them and it holds them." People liked smacking into one another, and for several years Stoehrer and Pratt sold every one they could make.

- Seth Gussow
excerpt from Automobile Magazine, Nov 1997

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