911 Porsche World



Styled in the image of the G-series Cabriolet, the Junior and its single piece bodyshell look strikingly true to life. The shape boasts the same upright headlights, robust wheel arches and sloping rear as the real deal, yet it’s the smaller details that really sell the illusion: rubber strips, bumper bellows and squaretext­ured light covers evoke the originals, while the chunky three-spoke steering wheel will be familiar to many Porsche drivers. A genuine rear Carrera badge is the cherry on the cake what’s thought to be less than 250 911 Juniors built in the mid-1980s. Few examples survive to the present day, which is why available Juniors command a pretty penny at auction. In May 2021, for example, a one-owner 1984 911 Junior kept by its original buyer in Australia sold for close to $25,000.

Unlike many modern battery-powered ride-on cars, the similariti­es between Porsches little and large run more than skin deep. Lift the deck lid and you’re greeted by an air-cooled engine sitting behind the rear axle and singing through a single exhaust jutting through a curved bumper cut-out. Expect a shrunken flat-six, however, and you’ll be disappoint­ed. Power comes from a single-cylinder Honda G100 K1 engine, displacing a mere 83cc. More usually seen in gardening equipment, the Japanese unit sucks through a single carburetto­r to produce 2.2bhp at 4,200rpm and a mighty 2.8lb-ft torque.

A two-speed manual transmissi­on makes the most of what little power is on offer, helping the Junior rocket as high as 15mph. Young drivers (or svelte adults able to squeeze into the cockpit) have to work for that performanc­e, though, using a centre-mounted shift lever and foot operated multi-disc wet clutch. The brake and accelerato­r pedals sit alongside in convention­al order, making the Junior an ‘early years masterclas­s’ in control coordinati­on. Those aren’t the only skills the Junior can teach a budding petrolhead. The diminutive Porsche starts with a twist of the dashboard-mounted key and is held in place with a manual handbrake, while turn of a switch activates the headlights. All the other lamps work, too, with the indicators and their repeaters flashing on request. Additional­ly, the brake lights illuminate with each pedal applicatio­n.

Head out for a blast and you’re rewarded with fluent, Porsche-like road manners thanks to the sophistica­ted running gear. Coil springs at all four corners smooth out the ride and, though you’ll only find them on the back axle, plain discs and calipers take care of stopping. It all adds up to a remarkably convention­al drive. ●

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 ?? ?? Above It might be small, but the price tag isn’t — expect to pay big money for a surviving 911 Junior in good condition
Above It might be small, but the price tag isn’t — expect to pay big money for a surviving 911 Junior in good condition

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