You probably know all about The Little Car Company by now. Based at the Bicester Heritage classic car business park, near Oxford in the English countryside, TLLC builds miniature replicas of some of the world’s most iconic cars.
Over-engineered in the best possible way, these vehicles are intended for children and adults alike, but don’t dare call them toys. Licensed by the car manufacturers themselves, then tested, honed and signed off by the factories’ own test drivers, these are serious cars, only smaller than normal. And electric.
The latest creation is called the Aston Martin DB5 Junior. It is a two-thirds replica of its namesake and comes after an equally impressive Bugatti Baby II and Ferrari Testa Rossa J.
Being three meters long and 1.1m wide, the baby Aston is 66 percent the dimensions of James Bond’s ride, and was designed using 3D scans of an original DB5. TLLC plans to build 1,059 examples, equaling that of the full-size DB5, and owners of the original car can request matching chassis numbers and color/leather specifications.
The attention to detail, from the wire wheels to the Smiths dashboard dials, is extraordinary. Step inside, slip down into the leather seat and rest your hands on the beautiful wooden Nardi steering wheel. Switch the car on, select Drive, release the fly-off handbrake, and the DB5 Junior immediately feels special.
An entirely different experience to TLCC’s Bugatti and Ferrari, the Aston is heavier but feels more composed and comfortable as a result. It’s more of a cruiser than a racer, but one that still has a remarkable turn of pace. Switch into the most potent driving mode and the DB5 Junior deploys 10kW and has a top speed in the region of 45 mph.
Braking briefly or lifting on the accelerator on corner entry causes the rear end to swing around into a drift; accelerate hard and the angle can be maintained for a second or two, complete with chirruping from the tires and giggling from the driver.
Aston test driver Darren Turner was involved with the development of the car, and it shows. This is a car that has a character all of its own, and one that demands learning to get the best out of it. It is, in short, a real car and one that drivers want to master. There are several driving modes to pick from, ensuring younger drivers can get to grips with the car at their own pace, plus a remote kill switch so parents remain in control, when not in the passenger seat.
I’m only 5’6 with a slim build, so fit comfortably in the Junior. However, at my height the top of the windshield falls directly at my eyeline. So I’ve to either hunker down below, or sit up straight and face the wind rushing by. Sunglasses or a helmet soon solve this.
Drivers over six feet should also still be comfortable here though, and the car is designed so that an adult and child can sit next to each other.
As you might have guessed by now, the DB5 Junior is not cheap. The Junior starts at £35,000 ($42,000) plus tax and for that you get 5kW (6.7 bhp) and a 1.8kWh battery pack. Up your budget to £45,000 and you can buy the DB5 Vantage Junior, which has twice the power and battery capacity, plus carbon fiber body panels.
Lastly, and coming later in the year, is the No Time To Die edition, which includes replica mini guns that pop out of the headlines, changing digital license plates, a smoke screen, 16kW (21.5 bhp) of power, and a ‘skid mode’. For that you’ll need to find at least £90,000 – and TLCC says a lot of its DB5 Junior reservation holders have asked to upgrade to the 007 edition.