Baby Bugatti put in gear for auction at Christie's

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A CHILD-SIZED Bugatti is to be auctioned in London by Christie's on 25 February, for an estimated pounds 9,000 to pounds 12,000, writes Dalya Alberge.

The working model of a Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix car of 1924 is just 92in (234cm) long. Only a child could get into it. But considering that it can travel up to 40 miles an hour, few would probably be allowed to drive it.

It was built by Ian J G Carson, a car restorer from Devon, who devoted his evenings and weekends to it. It took him a year, involving 1,000-1,500 man hours of work.

Mr Carson described making car models as his hobby. This is his most perfect yet. He said: 'I went over the top with this one. I teach myself as I go.'

He based his Bugatti on a drawing in a magazine, and various photographs. 'I've never seen a real one because they're so rare. I did my own scale drawings. There was a lot of soul searching to get the measurements to approximately half size . . . without the aid of a computer.'

Toby Woolley, of Christie's South Kensington, said it was 'incredibly well made'.

Mr Carson added that he made it fail-safe for children: 'It's got brakes.' His own 10-year-old daughter has been driving it.

(Photograph omitted)