twitter

Cozy Coupe is the best selling car of all types in 2011

It gives off zero emissions, costs nothing at the petrol pump and rarely breaks down.

So perhaps it’s little wonder the Cozy Coupe is something of a bestselling car.

Unfortunately though, it takes forever to do 0-60mph and only takes one passenger at a time.



But even that hasn’t stopped the 2011 model of Cozy Coupe outselling the Ford Focus and the Vauxhall Corsa in the UK.

HOW THE SALES COMPARE IN PAST 12 MONTHS

Total Cozy Couple sales: 133,535

1 Fiesta: 95,261

2 Focus: 81,616

3 Corsa: 77,230

4 Golf: 62,604

5 Astra: 63,096

6 Insignia: 46,417

7 Polo: 46,974

8 3 Series: 42,689

9 Qashqai: 39,667

10 MINI: 37,375

Totting up unit sales of over 130,000 in the past 12 months puts it way ahead of any other model in statistics compiled by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

The £49.99 car is also the run-about of choice for the children of professional driver and former Top Gear star Ben Collins.

The design of the chassis has changed little since it was first produced in 1979, since when 21million Cozy Coupes have been around the world.

The car's design, described as a ‘cross between a Volkswagen Beetle and Fred Flintstone's vehicle’, was created by Jim Mariol, who had worked as a designer at Chrysler in the USA.

First sold in 1979 as one of the first molded-plastic toy cars sold in the United States, it was called the ‘world's best-selling car for much of this decade’ by The New York Times in 1998, outselling the Honda Accord and Ford Taurus.

Reacting to this year’s chart topping position, Andrew Laughton, of Little Tikes said: ‘We are not surprised that the Cozy Coupe has topped Britain’s best-selling vehicle sales.

‘It is a regular favourite with parents and kids alike and the Cozy Coupe never fails to delight children who love the feature of being able to get into and ‘drive away’ in their own car.

‘Parents love the fact this robust vehicle offers a good few years of quality play value and they’re also very reliable.

‘Plus many of today’s parents have their own fond memories of owning a Cozy Coupe as a child.’

UK sales of the toy were further boosted earlier this year with the introduction of the GB Coupe, a navy blue coloured model sporting a Union Jack on the roof.

Launched just in time for the Royal Wedding Celebrations, the special edition vehicle is sold through ToysRUs and other toy showrooms.

Sales have also been strong for the Pink coloured Princess Coupe, a police liveried Patrol Coupe, and a taxi range, which also includes a London Black Cab version.

The world's shortest firefighter at just 4ft 2in tall

Firemen are often admired for their large stature but one man is proving that size really doesn't matter.

Standing at just 4ft 2in tall, Vince Brasco, 19, has been a volunteer fireman in his area for four years.

Whilst he has yet to pass the necessary exams that allow him too enter burning buildings, Brasco is responsible for manning the water pipes when on call in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania



Vince can bench-press over three times his own 6st 3lb (87lb) weight, lifting 19 stone (265lb), and cites his upper body strength for his ability to handle the department's' heavy-duty equipment.

He said: 'I work out a lot - as much as I can down at my gym. It really helps on the job. You need to be strong.

'Because I can lift so much I'm handy at salvage jobs where we have to move heavy bits of metal debris - like after car accidents.

'And it means I can be part of the line of men using a hose. If you weren't strong enough that thing would fly out of control.'



Vince wears a custom-made fire suit. He said: 'We had to take a normal suit and have it reduced down to fit me. It was great when I put it on for the first time.'

The teenager works part time in an electronics store and is studying to become a nurse to help others with health needs. Whenever he can, he responds to calls for the volunteer fire service.

'If I am in the area then I just drop everything and run,' he said.

He was born with achondroplasia - a type of dwarfism that affects bone growth.

He said: 'I'll never let having achondroplasia stop me from doing anything.

'I just set my mind to something and I go out and do my best. I wanted to be a fireman as a child so as soon as I was old enough to volunteer at 16 I did it.'



Vince is now looking to complete his Firefighter Essentials exam which would allow him to enter burning buildings.

'Until then I'm happy to just fight fires from the outside, and attend other emergencies, but I know I've got what it takes.'

His greatest challenge was when a neighbour's house caught fire last year.



Vince, who lives with dad Bill, 50, who works for the local government, mum Lesa, 49, an executive assistant, and sister Adele, 15, said: 'It was near my home and I knew the family inside.

'I was part of the crew outside and was firing water in through a second-floor window.

'It was the first time there was an accident involving someone I knew and I was really worried.

'Sadly they lost their two German Shepherds in the fire but all the people got out safe and I knew we did everything we could. I felt proud to be part of the crew that saved them.'

Albino snail found in New Zealand shows his true colour

As if there are not enough creatures down under to put off most travellers, now there are giant albino meat-eating snails to contend with.

It was spotted by a group of hikers in the wilderness of New Zealand.

Maria Brooks, who took this astonishing picture said: 'It is a rare albino giant Powelliphanta.



'It was seen by myself and some of the Waimea tramping club members.

'We were in the bush on the side of a walking track in Mt Arthur area of Kahurangi National Park in New Zealand.

'It is believed to be at least ten years old.

'The only times I have seen giant snails out during the day is when the bush is very moist from previous rain.

'Before I saw the white one I had seen a few ordinary ones. They generally have a brown/grey body.

Although it may be a good subject for a low budget horror movies, the Powelliphanta snail is not quite a man-eater - yet.

They can grow to around the size of a man's fist and lives for around 20 years.

They feed on worms and slugs and any other small creature that can't outrun a snail, not reputed to be the world's fastest creature.

They have few enemies, but remain endangered. They lay up to 10 eggs a year that are hard like a bird's