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 for kids and adults alike, but dare not call them toys. Licensed by the automakers themselves, then tested, tweaked and approved by factory test riders, 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.
Measuring three meters long and 1.1m wide, the baby Aston is 66% the dimensions of James Bond’s car and was designed using 3D scans of an original DB5. TLLC plans to build 1,059 examples, equivalent to that of the full-size DB5, and owners of the original car can request matching chassis numbers and color/leather specs.
The attention to detail, from the wire wheels to the Smiths dash dials, is extraordinary. Step inside, slip into the leather seat and put your hands on the beautiful wooden Nardi steering wheel. Turn on the car, select Drive, release the fly-off handbrake and the DB5 Junior immediately feels special.
An entirely different experience from TLCC’s Bugatti and Ferrari, the Aston is heavier but feels calmer and more comfortable as a result. It’s more of a cruiser than a racer, but still has remarkable pace. Switch to the most powerful driving mode and the DB5 Junior puts out 10 kW and has a top speed of around 45 mph.
Briefly braking or lifting the throttle on corner entry causes the rear end to tip into a drift; accelerate hard and the angle can be held for a second or two, with tire chirps and driver chuckles.
Aston test driver Darren Turner was involved in the development of the car, and it shows. It’s a car that has a character of its own and requires learning to get the most out of it. It is, in short, a real car and one that drivers want to master. There are several driving modes to choose from, ensuring young drivers can get to grips with the car at their own pace, plus a remote kill switch to keep parents in control, when not on the passenger seat.
I’m only 5’6 and skinny, so I fit comfortably in the Junior. However, at my height, the top of the windshield falls directly over my eye line. So I either have to crouch low or sit up straight and face the passing wind. Sunglasses or a helmet quickly solve this problem.
Drivers over six feet should also be comfortable here, and the car is designed so an adult and child can sit next to each other.
As you might have already guessed, the DB5 Junior doesn’t come cheap. The Junior starts at £35,000 ($42,000) plus tax and for that you get 5kW (6.7hp) and a 1.8kWh battery. 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.
Finally, and later in the year, is the no time to die edition, which features replica mini-guns popping out of the headlines, changing digital license plates, a smoke screen, 16kW (21.5hp) power and “skid mode”. For that you’ll need to find at least £90,000 – and TLCC says many of its DB5 Junior reservation holders have asked to upgrade to the 007 edition.