The beautiful curves, the gleaming paintwork, sumptuous upholstery and crackling exhaust note… the joys of a classic car like a Jaguar XK…
This is not a Jag XK but a scaled-down tribute to it for kids (young and old) that is one of three cars that Pocket Classics has provided for the 74MM Auto Solo. Everyone over 14 is invited to take to a special course (near the Aeroclub) and try to set fastest time round the cones.
So what can you expect if you have a go? The house captains have tested them (and yes one of them spun, no prizes which…) and you can see the video of that here. We thought it looked such fun we needed to put it to a full GRR road test…
Design and engineering
Impressively accurate looks and over-engineered mechanicals. The body is fibreglass over a steel chassis. It’s powered by an air-cooled 110cc four-stroke engine, with electric start, with a semi-automatic sequential gearbox. There’s four-wheel independent suspension and Brembo disc brakes. The whole hand-made car is obviously built to last.
Performance and handling
Top speed of the Roadster is 38mph – though it can be limited for younger drivers (there’s a 14 years limit for driving the car at 74MM but private owners can be as young as six or so). On the road performance feels brisk and responsive with fast-acting sequential gearbox. The steering is delightfully light and quick for a very agile feel and there’s stacks of roadholding, easing towards gentle oversteer if you overcook it.
Room and comfort
Anyone (even your 6ft 5in reporter) can squeeze into the Roadster. Just. The brake pedal is on the left, accelerator on the right and gearlever between your legs. A big knob adjusts the pedal box in and out so it suits kids as well as adults. The seat is just about wide enough for a child and a grown-up to drive together, useful while still on L-plates. The boot’s a good size and there’s even a spare tyre. The F1-style Racer, also available for 74MM drives, is much tighter for space as you would expect (max 5ft 9in).
Price and running costs
No worries on the mpg front but these cars don’t come cheap, as you’d expect of hand-made machines with the emphasis on quality. They are all actually made in Vietnam by a company there that makes classic car parts; the owner came up with Pocket Classics when he built a mini racer for his nephew. James Cooper imports them into the UK (www.pocketclassics.co.uk)
The XK-style Roadster as seen here retails for £14,000. The Cobra (sadly out of action after a mishap on Saturday) is £12,500 and the Racer – with its more powerful mid-mounted engine, 55mph speed, limited slip diff and adjustable dampers – is £17,000. But (you heard it here first) 74MM visitors can have it for £14,000.
Far more than a toy and really beautifully made and great fun to drive. All your Christmas present problems sorted… thanks GRR!
Photography by Pete Summers