• Aug 24th 2010 at 3:30PM
  • 29
Peel P-50 and Trident pose with a Rolls-Royce – Click above for high-res image gallery

Sure, there's an increased emphasis on small cars here in America and all around the rest of the world, with brands like Smart and Mini vying for customers that think it's a big deal to go small. But none of these current machines can hold a candle to the 1962 Peel P-50, which to this day holds the record as the smallest car ever produced.

Just how small are we talking? Here are some stats: Wheelbases measures 50 inches, total length measures 52.8 inches, width measures 39 inches and height comes in at 47.2 inches. Perhaps most impressive of all, though, is the weight: just 130 pounds ready to drive.

Naturally, not a lot of power was needed to get this microcar moving, so a DKW single cylinder engine displacing 49cc was mated to a three-speed manual transmission without reverse, unless you count the handy grab bar at the very rear. One door was available on the left side of the car, which led to a lone seat and room for a grocery bag. Want one? Yeah, we do too, but there were only 50 made on the Isle of Man in the UK, so they aren't particularly easy to come by.

Fortunately, then, Peel Engineering has recently reopened its doors and is planning a small production run of 50 new cars, divided up between the aforementioned P-50 (above, blue) and the bubble-roofed Trident (red). From what we can discern, the reborn Peels will each go for a heady £12,499 and will use an electric powertrain in lieu of a scooter engine. No other specifications have been released that we are aware of.

We also don't know if any of the 50 pint-size Peels will make it Stateside, though with three wheels, it would seem the machines would be classified as motorcycles and would therefore eschew any need for crash testing requirements... which would seem rather important, don'tcha think? Click past the break for a couple of videos of the Peel P-50, including one from Top Gear where the six-foot five-inch Jeremy Clarkson takes one for a drive to through the office.




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 29 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      As in Peel you off the bumper of a Peterbuilt if you take this thing on the highway?
        • 5 Years Ago
        You wouldnt reach the bumper on a Peterbuilt. They would be peel'ing you off the asphalt.
        • 5 Years Ago
        And why would anyone do that? Seriously? It's a city car. You wouldn't ride a pedal-powered tricycle on the highway, would you?

        Beggars belief that this kind of idiotic resistance to logic has any respect in this country.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This was on Dragons Den in the UK. Hence the Rolls Royce, the guy in the middle has invested a certain amount of money and taken i think 30% of the business as he feels it will make him a profit. I know they have a similar show in America, something about Sharks? The Shark Tank or something, anyway none of these cars will be seen on the road. They are for the Ripleys museums around the world. They are being showcased as the worlds smallest car. Anyway its an exclusive contract with Ripleys so they are the only people that will receive the cars. All to be put on show.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Wheelbases measures 50 inches, total length measures 52.8 inches"

      Something isn't right with those numbers.....
      • 5 Years Ago
      NO-no-no...to battery power...it would be a death trap then....(silent)...(and limited mileage)
      It needs a Honda 'Lead 'scooter engine in it...102 ccs, reliable, powerful.
      Of couurse that would make it bigger, but it's too small as it is.
      Ok so Daft lad Geremy rode through London , and his office in one...but it definately has potential...Ian
      • 5 Years Ago
      No one will gets their hands on these anytime soon (thankfully) because the Peel guys have a two-year contract with Ripley's:

      http://www.motobullet.com/news.php?id=10382

      They could probably come here as some sort of rich kid's toys, but hopefully never anything for city use.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd love a modern take on the P50. You know with a better, more powerful, more fuel efficient engine and a reverse gear.
        • 5 Years Ago
        But with a petrol engine. Maybe I should've written that.
        • 5 Years Ago
        *sigh*

        My point is that you don't need an updated gearbox when power comes from an electric motor. You just run the *motor* in reverse.

        And in small applications like this, an electric motive power source is much better than gasoline at shifting your derriere around. When you said "powerful", that plain-language word doesn't necessarily mean Watts -- it could be Nm.
        • 5 Years Ago
        With a petrol engine you can't drive inside and it would be mainly an outside car, that is half the fun. I want an electric Peel.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Also, all we know about the new one is that it's electric, and that it looks the same as the old one. Nothing about gearbox or interior. I'd also like an updated exterior and a price in lieu with the original.

        The car described in the article sounds like a limited run of the old one with an electric engine, and an expensive one at that, not a modern take.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Autoblog - the Isle of Man is a self-governing British dependency. It is part of the British Isles, but like the Channel Islands, it is not part of the UK.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm pretty sure it will end up being at least the size of a Smart Car. Unless BMW makes it. Then it will be at least the size of a Fiesta and weigh 3500 LBS.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I always thought the one Jeremey Clarkson drove through the offices of BBC was electric. You never hear a motor and the fumes from the little motor which probably is a two stroke would be terrible in doors.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Just watched the Top Gear clip again and I could definitely here the little motor rumbling, but is is fairly quite.
      • 5 Years Ago
      i would love a peel trident. bubble cars rock!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Maybe one for each foot.
        • 5 Years Ago
        One for each buttock, you mean.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It was funny when Jeremy Clarkson took the elevator while in this car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Fiona Bruce has a nice bottom! ha
        • 5 Years Ago
        Definitely, one of my favorite TG episodes.
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