A unique car is going under the auction hammer to raise money for Lancashire children’s hospice Derian House.
The Smart Car was painstakingly hand-painted by Preston-based Kingswood Homes’ managing director Paul Jones to replicate the iconic Little Tikes classic Cozy Coupe toy car.
The impressive paint project was initially undertaken as a practical joke played on Kingswood’s site manager Liam Reilly who had recently bumped his brand new company car within days of taking delivery.
Liam was given the life-size Little Tikes car to drive while his own car was in the garage for repairs.
Now that Liam’s car is back on the road, Paul has decided to auction the Smart Car with all funds going to Derian House.
Paul Jones, said: “We have had nearly half-a-million views since putting the photos of Liam’s replacement car on LinkedIn, with many saying they would love to own a car like that. Even the CEO of MGA Entertainment Isaac Larian, whose company own the Little Tikes brand, saw the funny side and shared it to his 30,000 followers.
“Therefore, we’re going to put it up for auction with every penny going to support the amazing work of Derian House which provides respite and end-of-life care to more than 400 children and young people across the North West.
“Liam loved driving it so maybe another company might be tempted to make an offer as a bit of fun for their staff, knowing they’ll be supporting a great charity at the same time.”
The eye-catching red and yellow car will be given a 12-month MOT and comes complete with Little Tikes stickers and a pair of wide eyes on the bonnet.
David Robinson, chief executive of Derian House Children’s Hospice, said: “The guys at Kingswood Homes are a great bunch and we’re over the moon that they have managed to turn this practical joke into something really positive to help the children and young people we look after at Derian House. We’re really grateful for their support and can’t wait to see how much it raises.”
Kingswood Homes has a number of new developments across the North West, including Green Hills at Blackburn, The Hollies in Forton, The Hawthorns in Elswick as well as The Market Quarter in Hatherleigh, Devon.
The auction on the car runs until Sunday 14 March. Bids on the car can be made on eBay here.
The auction of the ‘Little Tikes’ replica Smart Car raised an incredible £11,500 for Derian House Children’s Hospice. The initial winning bidder, Alison Whalley, paid £5,800 but in an amazing act of kindness requested that the car was re-sold to raise even more money! The second bidder, Pete Marquis Contractors of Preston then took the overall total to £11,500. Thank you to everyone who shared the auction and placed a bid.