split image of Marcel Paul riding toy car and holding GWR certificate

It may look like an ordinary toy car for children, but with a top speed of 92.24 mph (148.45 km/h), it is anything but.

Created by electrical engineering student Marcel Paul from Germany, it is the world’s fastest modified ride-on toy car.

As a self-described “big nerd”, Marcel set himself a goal of exceeding 88 mph, which is the speed required for time travel by the DeLorean in the film Back to the Future.

Marcel, 31, has been racing Bobby Cars since he was a child. A Bobby Car is a type of toy car which was invented to help children learn to walk, but in the 1990s they began being used in competitive downhill races, similar to soapbox racing.

Having won 14 World Championships and 9 European Championships, Marcel is one of the most successful racers in the history of the sport, which is overseen by the Bobby Car Sports Association.

“The thrill of speed has always fascinated me,” said Marcel, who in the past has reached record speeds in gravity-powered Bobby Cars.

However, to achieve his new Guinness World Records title, he decided to fit a Bobby Car with a motor, enabling it to travel on a flat road.

Marcel working on the toy car in his workshop

It took Marcel 10 months to research, design, and construct his record-breaking car.

He bought a Baby Porsche 911 from the company BIG to use as the base of his build. He developed an aluminium chassis for it, then made several other adjustments – just like those made to a real race car – such as lowering the suspension and adding a race-ready steering wheel.

Marcel commissioned an external company to create the electric motor and battery according to his specifications.

He integrated all the technology inside the car’s body in order to maintain its outward appearance as a regular Bobby Car. Marcel says that this proved to be one of the most difficult parts of the project.

Finding sponsors to finance the car’s construction was another big challenge he faced – altogether, he spent around €9,000 (£7,700; $9,750).

Marcel driving his toy car while sitting

Marcel’s official record attempt took place at the Hockenheimring racetrack, which has hosted the Formula One German Grand Prix on many occasions.

Three days prior to the attempt, with his sights set on exceeding the 88-mph mark, Marcel made a risky last-minute modification to the car by removing the limits on the control unit. 

“This change was not tested and could have led to overvoltage during the record attempt,” he revealed.

“This would have caused the vehicle to simply shut down during the attempt. Fortunately, this did not happen.”

Marcel driving his toy car while lying down

To reach as high a speed as possible, Marcel drove the car down the track’s longest straight, the “Parabolika”.

He easily surpassed his 88-mph target on his first run, which was the fastest of the three.

After setting this record, Marcel says it’s a “big dream” of his to conduct a long-distance test with the car, and he’d also like to drive it around the famed Nürburgring track.

For now, he is on the verge of completing his studies, whereafter he’ll work as an engineer specializing in the construction of particle accelerators. He doesn't plan to stop building cars and breaking records though – he already has several ideas for “very fast” records he’d like to achieve in the future.

Marcel sitting on toy car and holding GWR certificate

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