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The King Midget Jamboree Returns to Athens 

Celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of Midget Motors!
August 11-13, 2016 will be the historic return to Athens. Plans feature many of the exciting, 
classic King Midget events that have become legend, including the High Street Challenge, 
a cruise on the Athens famous bricked Court Street. This year we have added a 
100 mile per gallon run for those who may be interested in trying. We will also cruise towards 
Nelsonville, Ohio and take a train ride on the Hocking Valley Scenic rail.
Athens has some local breweries that now give tours, we look forward to viewing how the brew is made.
There will be Midget Motors history displayed in the Alden Library at Ohio University and 
Athens County Historical Society and Museum.
Click to Download The Registration Form




Athens, OH. – King Midgets from across the U.S. and Canada will be returning to their birthplace in Athens, Ohio for the annual King Midget Jamboree this August 11-13th celebrating the 70th anniversary of the dimunitive car’s debut. Midget Motors Corporation produced the “World’s Most Exciting Small Cars” from 1946 through 1969, and their legend has continued to grow as fans and collectors prize the fun loving, street legal cars. 

“(King midgets) can be addictive – it is hard not to draw attention when you cruise down the road in a midget,” said Glen Goins, Planning Co-chair of the 2016 King Midget Jamboree. The Jamboree, held each August since 1991, draws owners, collectors, fans and the curious for three days of events, cruises, and history focused on the several models of King Midgets. “We anticipate roughly 100 cars will be in attendance, including some of the original Model 1s from the late 1940s,” said Ann Goins, Planning Co-chair of the 2016 King Midget Jamboree. 

As with every Jamboree, owners and collectors will drive their King Midgets around Athens and nearby areas, seeing the sights and enjoying open-air cruising. There will be time for admiring each other’s lastest restoration and visiting the complete collection of King Midgets on permanent display at the Market Mall. This year a brand new King Midget will be on display, built from readily available parts, with plans available for building more. And as with every national or regional King Midget meeting there’ll be, plenty of laughter, food and fun.  

A special feature of this summer’s 26th annual Jamboree features a 100 mile per gallon challenge, grand opening of the official King Midget archives in Ohio University’s Special Collections located in Alden Library, and the notorious High Street Hill climb among other events.  

Made using some recycled World War II surplus, early King Midgets were claimed to achieve 80 to 100 miles per gallon, and later models were touted to hit 50-60 mpg, stamping midget motors as a pioneer in the environmentally-friendly car business. The question whether King Midgets continue to lead in automobile energy-efficiency 70 years after rolling off the assembly line will be put to the test this summer. “The cars will run on a measured course with calibrated fuel and we’ll see what the old wonders can do,” said Bob Vahsholtz, event coordinator for the 100 MPG Challenge, adding with a grin, “With proper tuning, careful driving and a big crowd to cheer them on maybe these fine old Midgets can still match their claimed performance. 

The intimidating High Street is part of the Midget Motors tradition. As King Midgets rolled off the assembly line they were driven by one of the company founders to High Street where, if the car successfully climbed the hill, it was deemed ready for shipment. King Midget owners will have a chance to reprise the famous High Street climb this summer (with helpers ready to lend a push just in case). 

Part of the King Midget allure is how the small town of Athens nestled in the hills of Appalachia was able to produce the lowest priced car in the world, consistently turn a profit, and turn down buyout overtures from Detroit automakers. “The founders of Midget Motors, creators of the King Midget, believed in small town values of ingenuity, hard work, family, and building local tradition,” said Lee Seats, President of the International King Midget Car Club. He went on to say, “Like the International King Midget Car Club, the company was people oriented.”


Midget Motors Corp. was founded in Athens, Ohio in 1946 and made the King Midget car, which in the 1960s was the 6th largest car company in the U.S. The diminutive vehicles appeal to fans of all ages and have a loyal following of car owners and aficionados. They will converge on Athens, Ohio August 11-13, 2016 for the King Midget Jamboree commemorating the 70th anniversary of the cars debut. 

This summer’s King Midget Jamboree is the 26th straight year the event has been held, with Athens last hosting the event in 2006. Many events are open to the public, including the Hill Climb, the 100 mile per gallon challenge, the grand opening of the official King Midget archives in Ohio University’s Alden Library Special Collections, and a cruise-in and party on Court Street, right in the center of Athens.

The 2017 Jamboree will be held in Connecticut.


Previous years Jamboree locations and photos:

1991 - Westport, Indiana
1992 - Athens, Ohio
1993-  Athens, Ohio
1994 - Kettering, Ohio
1995 - Alliance, Ohio
1996 - Athens, Ohio
1997 - Manitowoc, Wisconsin
1998 - Richmond, Indiana

1999 - Athens, Ohio
2000 - Westport, Indiana
2001 - Mansfield, Ohio
2002 - St Charles, Missouri

2003 - Springfield, Ohio
2004 - Bristol, Tennessee

2005 - Norwalk, Ohio
2006 - Athens, Ohio
2007 - Holland Michigan
2008 - Coshocton, Ohio
2009 - Concord, North Carolina
2010 - Delavan, Wisconsin
2011 - Oklahoma City, OKlahoma
2012 - Hermitage, PA
2013 - DeMoines, IA
2014 - Teays Valley, WV
2015 - Warsaw, IN

For photographs of some our previous Jamborees, please click the link for the year above. If you have photos you would like to share, please contact Nicholas Barbour at


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