We love a miniature car here in the UK. Maybe it’s because we grew up watching Brum on TV or maybe it’s because the UK were at the forefront of the microcar development in the 1950s & 60s. Either way, it doesn’t take much poking before you realise we’re all just big kids really. So, Here’s my picks of Britain’s “toy” cars for big kids.
Little Legends Cars Ltd.
If you’ve seen anything from Shmee150 in recent months you will already know that he is one of the Directors of the relatively new company, Little Legends Cars. Now, information is fairly limited and they haven’t yet got any form of website but to quote their social media the are a ‘UK distributor & reseller of a wide range of half scale sports cars & 4×4’s. Fully customisable in both Petrol & Electric variants.’
The fantastic range includes many fantastic miniatures that everyone will recognise including an XK120 (XK Junior), Cobra 289, E-Type (Series 1), Aston Martin DB (GB Spirit), Ferrari 250 California (Spider) and Land Rover Series 1 (Land Junior). You can see the full range displayed in the header image, and we really look forward to learning more about these when new information becomes available. They market these for kids but it’ll be interesting to see just hoe many of these end up becoming part of private collections and displays – They’ve even been quoted as being capable of 30 mph!
Tula Bugatti, Tula Precision Ltd.
Tula Precision Bugatti Specialists started production of these fabulous cars back in 2007. Mimicking the original Bugatti produced Type 52 child cars of the 1920s, these cars are a scaled-down version of the ground breaking T35 Grand Prix cars that enjoyed huge success through the 1920s.
The Tula Bugatti has the same wonderful shape as the T35 with the signature horse-shoe radiator, boat tail rear and cast wheels. They are also made to be used, so the cockpit is very spacious for its size and adjustable to be driven by 5-75 year olds as long as they are under 5ft 8”. They use a Comer S-80 engine, which is an 80cc 2-stroke unit often used in go-karts. These have an automatic clutch allowing simple operation via an accelerator pedal with the brake applied via the hand bake to the driver’s right that operates an inboard disc assembly. Starting is simple with a remote electric starter with fits into the engine compartment. Speeds of 20-25 mph are easily obtainable and the car is stable and has excellent handling. Engine restrictors and gearing options control the final speed.
The example pictured was previously listed and sold through the Classic Motor Hub, but according to their website you’re still able to purchase these from factory.
The Road Legal Option – Peel Microcar, P50 Cars Ltd.
Everyone knows the Peel P50 after it’s star-studded appearance on Top Gear when Clarkson famously drove the microcar around BBC’s studios to demonstrate it’s ridiculously small size of only 1,370mm (54″) long and 990mm (39″) wide, gaining it the Guinness Record for World’s Smallest Car.
Before the P50 was invented, Cyril Cannell and Henry Kissacks (original inventors of the Peel P50 and Trident) had envisioned a single-seater called the ‘MANX CAR’. Like it’s more famous siblings it was a three-wheeler. At the time of it’s debut in 1955, it was said to be the smallest, lightest and safest three-wheeled car ever invented. The Manx Car was intended to be sold in both factory built and kit form, “We give the parts, you build it!” Cyril Cannell was famously quoted saying at the time.
Unfortunately, the Manx Car never made it into production and Henry and Cyril moved on to other more notable projects, namely the Peel P50 and Trident microcars. Neither the P50 nor the Trident was ever sold in kit form. P50 cars offer both the P50 and Trident as self-assembly kit cars for the novice car builder and describe them as being ‘mechanically simple, extremely lightweight and small by their very nature’ and ‘a great introduction to the art of vehicle building.’
All that is required are a few tools, a little garage space (as little as 6ft by 8ft area) and patience. Approximate build time is around 50 hours start to finish. Registering your kit once built is also more straightforward than most kit cars as in many jurisdictions they are classified as mopeds or light motorcycles.
You can start your microcar journey for as little as £6,750 if you choose to built it yourself and opt for the base spec P50 option, or if you order your microcar factory built, prices start at £9,000 for the P50, £9,500 for the Trident, or £11,500 for the unique P50 Spider.
In terms of engine options the P50 come with both electric & petrol options. You can spec an original 49cc DKW 2-stroke, a more modern 49cc 4-stroke, a larger 72cc 4-stroke, or a 125cc 4-stroke with their sporting creation, the 125GT. Options are limited, with only a choice of two-tone paint and a handful of seat trim colours, but you can definitely kill a coffee break playing around with the configurator.
What do you think, got anything to add to the list? Get in touch and let us know what your favourite pint-size motor is! Why don’t you join the Infernal Combustion Community group over on Facebook and join in on the discussion.
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