Magnifying glasses at the ready: the world’s smallest road-legal car is here, as crowned by the Guinness World Records 2014 edition.
This open-top machine measures a paltry 2ft 1inches in height, 2ft 1.75 inches in width and 4ft 1.75inches in length and is fully road legal. In the US, at least.
The unnamed car was built almost entirely from the ground up by 29-year-old custom car builder Austin Coulson of Texas. It has fully-functioning windscreen wipers, a seat belt, horn and federally-approved safety glass for the windscreen. Let’s also not forget Department of Transportation-approved headlights, taillights and indicators.
Styling comes from a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air mock-up body, while the engine is from a child’s quad bike. A custom-designed frame ensures it all stays in one piece when cruising about town.
It may look utterly ridiculous, but your only crime for driving it on public roads might be for driving too slowly. It has a top speed of 33mph, limited to 25mph on public highways. This is a good thing, Coulson remarked, as there is no suspension to soak up the bumps.
Given the lack of performance and clown car proportions, you would be forgiven for expecting outstanding fuel efficiency. Sadly, as Coulson explains in the YouTube video below, it can only manage 45mpg (US).
Just to give you an idea how ridiculously small we’re talking, a Pocket Classics toy car is more than 8ft long, while the Suzuki Swift is 12.6ft. Even the Peel P50, which holds the Guinness World Record for being the smallest production car ever, is 4-inches longer than Coulson’s creation.
“When I told my family that I was going to try and get the world record for the smallest road-worthy car, they were a little sceptical at first,” Coulson explained. “And then I ended up buying this body for use in a stroller and I showed it to them and they thought there’s just no way that will ever be on the road.”
Undeterred, Coulson said: “Well I’ve always wanted a Guinness World Record for something… And so I went home and looked up the current record and thought I can beat that”. The rest, as they say, is history.
The Guinness World Records 2014 Edition was released on September 12th.