World's Smallest Street Legal Car Isn't Really That Street Legal

Illustration for article titled Worlds Smallest Street Legal Car Isnt Really That Street Legal

The Guinness Book of World Records has announced that there is a new record holder for smallest street legal car: A four foot long, two foot wide ride that is legally registered in Texas. But it can only go on roads with a limit of up to 25 MPH. Is that fair?

Austin Coulson constructed the wee little bastard of a car, which is two feet one inch tall, two feet 1.75 inches wide and four feet 1.75 inches long, has a half gallon gas tank, and has a top speed of 33 MPH. It's based on an ATV, but very heavily modified in order to meet the roadworthy vehicle status.

Kudos to Austin, this is very, very cool. It is drivable, licensed, and registered, which seems to be the only requirement for the record.


But we see a problem.

A top speed of 33 MPH makes it registered as a "low speed vehicle," which means it can only go on roads that have a top speed limit of 25. That's the same registration that golf carts in senior communities have, and is similar to a moped registration. It's legal on some streets, but not on all streets. This sounds like a loophole.

It's kind of like that Terrafugia flying car. That's not so much a flying car as it is a plane with wings that folds in. But because it can drive on some roads semi-competently, it gets to be considered a flying car.

Shouldn't the record holding road legal car be road legal on all roads? Shouldn't you be able to take it on the highway? Highways are roads. What about a village with a speed limit of 30? Technically this car isn't even legal there.


What's next? A car even smaller that's legal on the roads of one retirement community in South Florida? Guinness needs to lock that down.

Photo Credit: Guinness

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Austin Coulson

Hello all, Austin the builder here, I wanted to answer a few of the questions people were posting here, the vehicle fits into NHTSA 49CFR part 571 500, low speed vehicles, its the same for golf carts and utv's. states can increase the speed limits these cars can travel on, but they cannot decrease them. Texas allows low speed vehicles on roads marked 45mph and lower, AZ allows LSV on roads marked 35 and lower. I know this seems like a loophole, but the record is for a car that's allowable to drive on any public road, freeway legality is not required, nor would they accept the title for smallest freeway legal car (my initial idea) The previous record holder from England also had speed limitations on his. The headlight are not the lights in the front but rather the lights on top making them exactly 24"off the ground. The taillights are also above the 15" minimum. Also, crash testing is only required for production vehicles in the US not custom builds.