If you’re feeling nostalgic for the days when your car was a molded plastic Cozy Coupe, you’re in luck. The classic red and yellow car created by Little Tikes is now available for adults.
Geoff and John Bitmead have turned the toy car into a working adult vehicle. To create the car, the brothers used an old Daewoo Matiz SE 0.8 from 2000 and equipped it with a gas tank, airbags, headlights and mirrors. The adult Cozy Coupe, which took 1,000 hours and cost £4,000 to build, can reach speeds of up to 70mph.
The Bitmeads own Attitude Autos, which specializes in custom cars for TV and film productions. The company, based in Ambrosden near Oxford, UK, is set in an old army theatre. The idea for the adult Cozy Coupe originated when a staff member mentioned that he had motorized one of the toy cars for his son.
That same night John went home and began drawing the plans for an adult version, which he shared with his colleagues the next day. The car, built in 2013, took 16 weeks to assemble. To date, the car has traveled more than 7,000 miles to Peterborough, Southampton and Bournemouth.
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“We had to cut the Daewoo in half to make it much smaller. Because of this we had to reinforce absolutely everything to make it super sturdy. The shortened length means that it now turns on a sixpence because of the shortened body, so it’s super agile and very easy to nip about in,” John said.
The toy version of the Cozy Coupe was designed by Jim Mariol of Cincinnati-based Design Alliance, who had worked as a designer at Chrysler since 1952, and engineered by Shirish Patel, Little Tikes' Vice President of Engineering, and Product Engineer Jon Fawcett. The concept, described as "a cross between a Volkswagen Beetle and Fred Flintstone's vehicle" was introduced in 1979 as one of the first molded-plastic toy cars sold in the US.
In 1998, the New York Times called the Cozy Coupe the "world's best-selling car for much of this decade," outselling the Honda Accord and Ford Taurus. By 1991, the Cozy Coupe was selling more than 500,000 units per year, making it the top-selling model in the US. In 2009, Rakesh Patel, the owner of the very first Cozy Coupe, donated it to the collection of the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum in celebration of the car’s 30th anniversary.