It’s a warm summer’s evening and this probably isn’t the first time a Ferrari has followed a Bugatti around the parking lot of Selfridges, the luxury London department store. But I bet I’m the first Ferrari driver to be doing so after the store has closed, while driving as fast as I reasonably dare, given the close proximity of the concrete walls.
I’m here, tires squealing and smiles beaming from everyone involved, because The Little Car Company has just started selling its Ferrari Testa Rossa J in the lower-ground floor technology department of Selfridges.
As I’ve written about before, the Testa Rossa J is a 75 percent scale replica of the famous Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa of the Fifties. Powered by an electric motor and with a top speed in the region of 50 mph, it is primarily designed for children aged 14 and over, but adults fit comfortably too. It’s the ultimate plaything, built by hand and featuring genuine Ferrari paint and leather, plus several power modes for younger drivers to get to grips with, and pedals from a full-size Ferrari F8 Tributo.
Limited to 299 examples and built using original factory drawings supplied by Ferrari’s Classiche department, this is the real deal. Its handling characteristics were even signed off by a Ferrari test driver at the Italian company’s Fiorano test track in Maranello.
Fast-forward a few weeks from the Parking Lot Grand Prix, and starting today, 22 September, Selfridges visitors can have a close look at a Testa Rossa J for themselves. Sat among a host of luxury tech products, the Ferrari is finished in Argento Nurburgring with a Rosso Mugello historic racing livery and a Bordeaux leather interior. That’ll be a silver body with a red stripe and red seats, in layman-speak.
The display also includes a selection of leather and paint samples for prospective buyers to examine before placing their order. The Little Car Company offers the Testa Rossa J in 53 bodywork colors, plus 14 historic racing liveries borrowed from the full-size cars that competed in the 1950s.
The body work is hand-formed aluminum, the wooden steering wheel is from Nardi, the tires are from Pirelli, the leather is from Ferrari’s own supplier and the suspension has been given a geometry to match that of the original car. Wire wheels from Ferrari supplier Borani are available as an optional extra. There are four driving modes, with top speeds ranging from 15 mph to about 50 mph, and the range is up to 55 miles. Prices start at €93,000 ($93,000) plus taxes.
Ben Hedley, CEO of The Little Car Company, said: “We are thrilled and extremely proud to launch our very own display at Selfridges’ iconic flagship store, on Oxford Street. To have the car on display for all visitors to see, with the stamp of approval from one of the world’s most celebrated luxury department stores, is a huge privilege.”
As well as another journalist – he was following in a similarly-compact Aston Martin DB5 Junior, also by The Little Car Company – the driving event was attended by Selfridges customers. The test track, set up for one evening only, was just a figure-of-eight in a parking lot, but judging by everyones’ smiles that evening, and how long everyone drove for, I suspect it won’t be long before those 299 Testa Rossa Js are sold out.