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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?

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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.

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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.

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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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DISCUSSION

I don't think that a record like this, achieved in this manner, is all that interesting. What is interesting is the smallest car ever manufactured and made commercially available, like the Peel P50. It's interesting because, at a point in time, there was actually a half-way legitimate market for such a thing. With Coulson's car, it was more along the lines of "let's make something for the purpose of breaking a record." With the Peel P50, someone just made a "car" that happened to be one of the smallest (if not the smallest) ever made. There's something undeniably sincere about the Peel P50.

Besides, is it just me, or does the Peel P50 seem smaller than Coulson's creation?