Thanks to crowded roads and tighter laws, smaller cars have become the norm around the world. Thanks to the human thirst for superlatives and recognition, the Guinness Book of World Records enjoys a steady stream of hopefuls seeking their sliver of glory. But it was one Austin Coulson of Texas who combined these two impulses into a goal of building the world's smallest street-legal car.
Coulson says he sat out to break the record by building a custom frame, then adding in various spare parts. The metal body designed to look like a 1957 Chevy comes from a child's toy, and the tiny gas engine was borrowed from a mini all-terrain vehicle. The combination allows Coulson's creation to measure just 25 inches high, 24.75 inches wide and and 49.75 inches long. For crying out loud, some dogs are bigger than that.
The tiny engine means the microcar can only hit 25 mph, but that's enough to meet U.S. standards for a neighborhood vehicle. Those rules also require a few accoutrements like a seat belt and a windshield wiper which looks comical, but Coulson says they all function as required. Guinness agreed, certifying his creation as the smallest roadworthy vehicle in the world last week ahead of the publication of its 2014 edition of its world records book, which includes such acheivements as the largest afro. Now all he needs is a tiny cupholder.