“That’s pedaling, isn’t it?” wonders the author of one of the comments under a photo of a strange toy car driving through the center of Prague.
Among various imitations of electric scooters and horse-drawn carriages, other novel attractions made their way to the metropolis — much to the distaste of regular car drivers.
A group of low single-seater cars drive along the road in the center of Prague. Laughing people in helmets sit behind the wheel.
But drivers in ordinary cars do not share much joy with them. “Carriages, scooters and cyclists are constantly holding back traffic like this. Now, this is it,” one driver remarked.
“Another tourist attraction, as if the disgusting ‘replicas’ of historic cars weren’t enough,” added another critic who is more bothered by the strange design of the toy cars. The cars in question are mini hot rods: miniatures of popular modified cars with giant engines in America, which are designed for racing on straight tracks.
The ones in Prague are designed for driving around the city. The company Hot Rod Prague offers the ride as an experience, which is resold by other portals such as Slevomat.cz or Firmanazazitky.cz.
For half an hour, customers pay 800 CZK after a discount; for more than an hour, over 1,500 CZK. The main season is supposed to be from March to the end of September, but groups in low carts can also be seen as late as November. However, these hot rods are not suitable for rain or snow.
Some drivers of these mini hot rods don’t mind that their experience driving is hampered by the already dense traffic in Prague. Others are surprised that such a vehicle can go on the road at all.
The mini hot rods are made in Germany and are powered by a single-cylinder four-stroke engine with a capacity of 170 cc and an output of 10 kW (over 13 hp). A continuously variable transmission transmits energy to the rear axle. The vehicle is not completely slow, it has a maximum of 88 km/h, so it should drive fine at 50.
The seat is only 35 cm above the ground and the cars do not have suspension. Due to their size, they are registered as heavy ATVs (category L7e). These mini hot rods also lack the usual safety measures, such as ABS, seat belt or airbag.
Before the ride, everyone undergoes a short briefing and the group, which consists of a maximum of five carts, should always be accompanied by an instructor in their own toy car.
The minimum age of the drivers is 18 years, the minimum height is 155 cm and the maximum weight is 120 kg. Drivers must provide a valid group B driving license and wear a motorcycle helmet, that can be rented.