Each of the little Matchbox cars have a laminated page with statistics on armor, offense, defense, acceleration, braking, and loads of other things that come into play as you negotiate the course versus the other 20 or so players and their cars.
The goal is to destroy all the other cars while racking up points and avoiding getting destroyed at the same time. The game gets incredibly complex very quickly as everyone accelerates to maximum speed while dropping flaming oil, smoke, spikes, mines, and/or paint, and shooting machine guns, cannons, and lasers, while ramming, drifting, turning, and losing control.
After four hours of this (yes four, after an hour and a half I was sure no one could endure this for more than two), Jason won on points and I was third out of about 20. Not bad for a rookie!
Our first official game of GenCon 2008 was Car Wars.