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Not a Toy Anymore

Tech car1 300x178 Not a Toy AnymoreBy  Sara Boboltz 

You know the one.

Little Tikes’ Cozy Coupe — the red plastic, yellow-roofed model that’s been awkwardly piloted across suburban sidewalks by toddlers everywhere since 1979 — is now street legal. And it might help raise money for charity.

John Bitmead, a mechanic in Oxfordshire, England, spent about $6,600 and 1,000 hours over the course of five months converting a Daewoo Matiz into an adult version of the classic toy. His two-seat car runs on unleaded gasoline and can go from 0 to 60 MPH in 17 seconds. Not bad when the original runs on children’s foot power.

The middle section of the Matiz was sliced out to maintain the correct proportions, and of course the windows all had to be removed. No detail was overlooked — the car even has two giant drink holders like its prototype and its ignition is a big button.

Bitmead, whose brother Geoff and friend Nigel Douglas helped with the project, manages a custom auto shop where the other two work. He explained how the three got the idea for the project when they decided the Cozy Coupe was probably the most-driven type of car, and “it snowballed from there.”

Bitmead would like to tour the nation in his attention-grabbing creation to raise money for London’s Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, he told The Oxford Mail. Although for public safety’s sake he’s a bit wary of taking it out on the highway again due to the surprise factor for other motorists.
“People can’t believe their eyes when we come driving down the street in this red and yellow toy car,” he said.

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