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: the wheelbase 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, and they aren't particularly easy to come by.
Fortunately for us, 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 and the bubble-roofed Trident. From what we can discern, the reborn Peels will each go for a heady £12,499 ($19,335 U.S. at current exchange rates) and will use an electric powertrain in lieu of a scooter engine. No other specifications have been released that we're 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