A unique range of home built 'Ride On' cars that kids can really drive!

Above are examples of The Lightning

Build a real children's car with a motorised electric drive made from a cordless drill.



Dads, Grandads! Make one for your kids! (Suitable for ages 2 to 5 years)

This is the Lightning : This amazing car uses a kitchen swing bin for the body, mounted on a plywood base and is driven by a totally unmodified cordless drill. kitchen swing bin! 

It has a single foot pedal which is the accelerator  and  acts as the brake when released, giving automatic braking. The pedal operates a bicycle brake cable attached to a small T hinge that in turn operates the drill trigger. The drill is held in place with a single metal strap. The axle adjusts forward to maintain a hard contact between the tyre and the drill chuck in what is known as a periphery drive. With a two speed drill this gives a top speed of either 3mph or 6mph with progressive acceleration just like a real car, and of course automatic braking when the pedal is released.

This is because the drill’s gearing resists the chuck from being turned by the wheel so the car just stops. 

Full size strong paper patterns allow you to accurately cut out the plywood to form the  base.

The whole construction is simple ‘Nut & Bolt' with no welding or wiring and nothing remotely technical. If you have ever built a balsa wood model or fixed a bike, then you already have all the skills you need.

NB No special tools are needed just a modest spanner set, some assorted screwdrivers, a hammer and a Jig-saw which you can hire cheaply by the day if you don’t have one.

The swing bins can be purchased locally or online in a selection of high gloss colours so you don’t even need to paint the body!


The build pack consists of full size paper cutting patterns for cutting the plywood parts  some A4 sheets of assembly drawings and a full colour build manual, with full colour photos, large print and stage by stage instructions. Plus pages of hints and tips that make the job easy.

The  Lightning will travel up hill and down dale for around 40 minutes on a single charged battery pack.

Most cordless drills have two batteries so you can keep a charged up spare in the  back to extend the running time for trips around the park. The Lightning is quite happy on mowed grass as well as hard surfaces and is light enough to pick up and will transport easily on the back seat of your car or in the boot.

The Lightning  is suitable for children aged 2 to 5yrs- and the build pack is just £20 post free in the UK.(See below)

The  Lightning was first designed in 2009 and hundreds have been built worldwide including Europe, Canada, The USA, Australia and New Zealand!

Below you will find videos and photos of customer-built cars.


email  lightning.cars@btinternet.com .

'Off the shelf 'parts available for convenience.

Above are some examples of The Lightning built by customers.


GIVE THEM ENDLESS FUN!  These cars can be passed down as the children grow and, unlike shop bought toys there is nothing that isn’t simple to fix! 

All the parts are just nuts, bolts, hinges and brake cables available off - the - shelf at any good hardware store, and unlike the unreliable motors in shop bought toys, cordless drills are ultra reliable and can always be easily replaced. 

 * An old cordless drill will POWER THE CAR! Up to 6mph....AMAZING ! 


THE BODY IS A KITHEN SWING BIN! The bin is the nose section and the lid forms the boot!

 The  mudguards (Made from  garden sieves or washing up bowls!), plywood and plastic body (Kitchen swing bin!) are easy to sourced locally to you and the instructions tell you exactly what you need from hardware shops near you or online.(eBay etc) 

THE BUILD PACK  Send for this first

This is a set of full size paper cutting patterns plus stage assembly drawings and a very straightforward build manual that shows the car going together piece by piece. 

The BUILD PACK for the Lightning costs £20 inc UK p&p.   (Overseas £25)​  


In with your build pack is a complete list of the parts you need (Nuts, bolts, hinges etc.) 

You may already have some useful parts stored in your garage or shed so wait until you get the build pack before deciding what you need to buy .

You will need to supply  a Cordless Drill, a Kitchen Swing Bin, 2 sieves and two 4’x2’ pieces of plywood or MDF


If you don’t want to shop locally for the parts you need you can buy our  'Bargain offer’ Essential parts kit for £99 plus £14.95 UK p&p.  List price would be £145!

All parts are kept in stock at all times ready for despatch.

Certain non-essential …but desirable …extras are also available , such as a working headlights set, a pre-formed windscreen frame, and an Upholstery kit.

Contact Lightning Cars on 07581 117788 if you need more information or advice.

To recap!

   All the mechanical components are simply nuts, bolts, hinges etc that can be  purchased from any good DIY store but a parts price list is also included in your BUILD PACK so if there is anything you cannot source locally all the mechanical parts are available from us.  Depending on what parts you have already and whether you decide to use a second-hand cordless drill and wheels or buy new, you should be able to build the car for between £100 and £150

    You may choose to spend more because the price list includes desirable but non-essential extras such a an upholstery kit (vinyl and foam) for the seat,  Working headlights and big round red rear reflectors, a steering wheel and our elegant spoked wheels so that customers who aren’t working on a tight budget, and don’t want to ‘shop around’ for all the parts can simply buy everything at once from us.

    The car is the right size to fit on the back seat of most cars so trips to the park can be embarked on. The drill trigger is operated remotely via bicycle brake cable and provides single pedal operation, progressive acceleration and automatic braking. The drill’s half speed switch will provide a low speed of 3mph for novice drivers, and on high speed you should expect around 6mph for a duration of around 40 mins. Spare power packs that come with most cordless drills, will extend the running time so you won’t get stuck half way round! The car will handle gradients and undulating surfaces including mown grass, without a problem 

 I hope you enjoy making this unique design of car and that the lucky child gets a lot of pleasure from driving it. 

How to Buy

There are various options described below depending on what you want to source yourself and what you want to buy from Lightning Cars

PayPal options below or contact John  (UK) 07581 117788 

buying options