These Miniature Porsche 917s and Crystal-Coated Jaguars Are the Power Wheels of the Rich
A kid-sized Porsche 917 will cost you as much as a brand-new full-size Toyota Corolla.
Behold: The final boss of motorized miniature cars. The ultimate vehicles that will put every Power-Wheels-riding toddler, tiny-Oldsmobile-driving Shriner and poor pleb with a pedal car to absolute shame. Meet the U.K.'s Half Scale Cars, a ride-on model car company dedicated to all the finer things in life, like kiddie-sized Ferrari 330 LMs and Swarovski-coated Jaguar E-Types.
Do car enthusiasts really ever grow out of their fascination with small-scale cars? My experience bringing a Power Wheels Porsche 911 GT3 as a pit vehicle to a 24 Hours of Lemons race weekend would argue otherwise, as would our collective fascination with Grind Hard Plumbing Co.'s kid-car-based creations. Everybody likes a tiny car, and Half Scale Cars' oddly tantalizing mix of classics, race cars and more crystals than Dolly Parton's wardrobe is absolutely drool-worthy.
The prices aren't listed on Half Scale Cars' website—most say "Price on Application"—but according to Top Gear, the Half Scale Cars Porsche 917K costs $19,392 at today's exchange rate. That's as much as a brand-new full-size Toyota Corolla, but would I be adding Salzburg stripes in vinyl and modifying the car myself to better accommodate dumb adults then? No, I'd be starting off with a half-scale 917 that's already in the same livery as my dumb Lemons car. (Possibly with crystal stripes. Duh.)
While the ads for Half Scale Cars' mini-Mercedes 722 race car and tiny Cobra specifies that only one child under the age of seven will fit inside each car (height depending), Top Gear fit noted grown-up in a plain racing suit The Stig inside their 917K. That gives me hope that someone, someday might take one of the larger Half Scale Cars out as a silly paddock vehicle that will be left around to joyride in.
Each commission is bespoke, with a selection of paint colors, classic liveries, and for the Harrods-exclusive Jaguar E-Types, over 50 colors of Swarovski crystals to go on the outside. Each Swarovski-covered E-Type takes two months for the Half Scale Cars team to assemble, and each car ends up with over 100,000 crystals on the exterior.
There are a choice of drivetrains as well, from old-school pedal power for the paranoid moms to gas- and electric-powered options. You can specify interior and carpet colors, and even pick the stitching patterns for the leather inside. On the Porsche 911, you can order one with or without the Targa bar. The roof on Top Gear's Porsche 917K tester was completely removable. Everything is bespoke.
The 917K is available with a 350cc Yamaha engine, rack-and-pinion steering, disc brakes, removable steering wheel and a fiberglass body, per Half Scale Cars' website. There's even a horn and a fan, per Top Gear. The maximum speed? About 28 mph.
The Ferrari 330 LM and Ford GT can also accommodate adults, and offer a 150cc four-stroke engine good for 35 mph as well as an optional carbon-fiber body. (Yes, on a scale model.)
The brand's smaller cars like the Mercedes and the Cobra aren't as powerful, as they're clearly geared towards younger kids. The Cobra is advertised with a 140-watt electric motor good for 6.5 mph or a 45cc two-stroke engine able to go 25 mph. The two-kid Porsche 911 gets a 195-watt electric motor and a 55cc two-stroke engine as options, and has a top speed of 30 mph. You can put a speed limiter on these if you're worried that little Squilliam Fancyson is going to wad up a Corolla's worth of kid car on a tree, however.
Half Scale Cars' gallery of past builds and restorations shows a few extras that aren't advertised, like a tiny Porsche 936. You can view their full incredible range of cars here, but don't blame me if you walk away with the urge to bedazzle your next Barbie Jeep racer.
[H/T Archduke Maxyenko. Baby parsh, doo doo doo doo doo doo.]
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