Exclusive family fun on beautifully restored vintage dodgems

9 July, 2020

We are offering a new exclusive dodgem experience in Maidenhead, Berkshire. Have our freshly restored 1960s dodgems to yourselves in 30-minute slots so that you can safely enjoy them with your family bubble. We are strictly following Government guidelines to ensure you can have fun and feel safe too.

There is no other dodgem set like this in the world and that’s why we are so excited to open our dodgem experience to the public. Unlike at the fair, your group will have exclusive access these original 1960s Supercar Italias for half an hour. Our picture-perfect dodgems have been through a lengthy restoration process that has taken 25 years of on-and-off work. We were determined to finish them in time to reveal them at the first event of our 2020 tour but the COVID-19 pandemic meant that this was not possible.


The Restoration

When the late John Carter, founder of Carters Steam Fair, bought these cars in the mid 1990s they were very worn out: the chassis were cracked and the bodies were dented in places. We scrapped the original chassis because they were beyond repair and the idea was to mount the cars on the chassis of the 1970s Supercars we already owned but it turned out they didn’t fit. Over time, other restoration jobs acquired more importance so the project was shelved. Around 2014 Joby Carter decided to take on the challenge of restoring the Supercar Italias in his father’s memory. New chassis were ordered from Italy because there aren’t any manufacturers in Britain. This meant that the pedals were on the wrong side and had to be moved. The adjustments didn’t end there because it turned out that the original bodies didn’t fit on the new chassis as perfectly as we’d hoped. What we thought would take one winter, has taken over 5 years!
It has been such a huge restoration job. Even trying to strip down the fiberglass bodies we had to get them solar blasted and then rubbed down by hand. The dents from heavy usage had to be filled in and new upholstery needed to be custom made. Each car was then painted by hand, just like everything on Carters Steam Fair. The chrome work alone cost over £9,000 for the 18 cars. This is undoubtedly the most expensive set of dodgem cars in the world.
A much simpler process would have been to restore one car to perfection and take a mould from it to create the 17 other bodies. However, at Carters we do not replicate vintage rides, we restore them. Wherever possible, we restore the original rides in a traditional fashion so that you can enjoy riding an attraction from the past as if it had time-travelled to our present day.
These unique dodgems are also Hollywood famous from starring in the award-winning movie Rocketman about the life of Elton John. We managed to finish a few cars last winter in time and they looked fabulous on the big screen. We’ve worked on them even more since then to get the whole set perfect.
YouTube video
The 18 cars were pretty much finished this March and were ready for the big Easter reveal that they never got. Now that the lockdown measures are beginning to ease and amusement parks can re-open, we wanted to offer a unique and safe experience for our customers. We’ve added the final details to the cars and built up the dodgem track at Carters HQ and had it all safety checked.

The Dodgem Experience

Be the first to ride these amazing Dodgems! The VIP experience costs £60 for 5 riders and gives you private access to the dodgems for 30 minutes so you can stay within your own household group or other households that you’ve chosen to join a bubble with. We even offer the possibility to add extra riders for £12 per person and the chance bring along up to 5 spectators for free. You can also add Pick ‘n’ Mix from the Carters Sweet Emporium and a game of Hook-a-Duck to your experience for after you’ve finished riding.

Upon arrival, you will be asked to sanitise your hands and given a short safety briefing. Our staff will be wearing protective equipment and maintaining their distance. At the end of your exclusive slot, the dodgems are cleaned and sanitised ready for the next set of visitors. We have a one-way entry and exit system from the site and as extra peace of mind for everyone we are asking the lead rider of each group to give us their contact details when they make a booking.

The exclusive dodgem experience offers a fun and safe day out for you and your chosen bubble with the chance to capture spectacular photos of your unforgettable day out. More details about how the experience works here.

We are recognised by Visit England’s ‘We’re Good to Go’ COVID-19 Industry Standard which ensures that we follow government and industry guidelines surrounding coronavirus.

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