Oxford

'Little Tike' real life car goes on sale

Adult-sized Little Tike
Image caption The modified Daewoo Matiz also includes an airbag, headlights and mirrors

A roadworthy version of a children's toy car has gone on sale for £21,500.

Brothers John and Geof Bitmead constructed an adult-sized copy of a Little Tikes toy car, which takes petrol, has a tax disc, and can reach speeds of up to 70mph (110km/h).

The modified Daewoo Matiz also includes an airbag, headlights and mirrors.

But Geof said his company Attitude Autos, based in Bicester, was selling the car after it failed to bring in enough revenue.

The brothers said they had the "nutty idea" to build the motoring marvel after noticing the similarity of the front and headlamps of the Daewoo to the Cozy Coupe classic toy.

Image copyright John Bitmead
Image caption The car takes petrol, has a tax disc, and can reach speeds of up to 70mph
Image caption The captivating design is "part of people's childhood", Geof Bitmead said

But while it captivated passers-by, the car which cost about £30,000 to build, failed to turn into the money-spinner they had intended.

"We were hoping it would be out on a regular basis, create some revenue and recoup the money used to build it," he explained.

"But in real life it ended up going out four or five times in two years. So we thought we might as well sell it and if anyone's interested in buying it that will bring back some money for us."

The captivation around their "Big Tike" is down to the design being a "part of people's childhood and their children's childhood", Geof said.

"They're amazed to see the real thing on the road. I've seen people with tattoos all up their arms walking along the road just cheering at us.

"There was that kind of response to it. Everybody recognised it. It's part of our life. We see these things in people's front gardens, and now you can see it on the road."

The car sale does not mark the end of the Bitmeads' wacky schemes. They hope to put the money received towards creating an Addams Family-inspired "creepy" camper van.

Image caption The car only took to the road five times in two years
Image copyright John Bitmead
Image caption The "Big Tike" has gone on sale for £21,500

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