1964 Peel P50
- The smallest production automobile ever made
- One of very few in North America
- Comprehensive documentation
Founded by Cyril Cannell in the late 1940s, Peel Engineering originally supplied glass-reinforced plastic parts to the marine and automotive industries before moving into microcar production. Capable of a top speed of 38 mph, the P50 features a 49-cc 4.5-horsepower single-cylinder two-stroke Zweirad Union engine mated to a three-speed gearbox. The Peel P50 has no reverse gear, simply a handle on the rear to enable the driver to pick up the car and maneuver it as required!
The Peel was advertised as being able to carry “one adult and a shopping bag” while being “almost cheaper than walking.” The original retail price of £199 and reported fuel mileage approaching 100 mpg shows that the slogan, while obviously hyperbolic, was not far from the truth.
After the P50’s premier at the 1962 Earls Court Motorcycle Show in London, an estimated 47 of these three-wheeled delights were built between 1962 and 1965, of which fewer than 30 are known to exist. In spite of the car’s miniscule size, a Peel P50 was famously driven through the headquarters of the BBC by the 6’5” tall former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson, showcasing the surprisingly adequate interior room.
The four-owner example offered here was sold new in the United Kingdom, with the consignor having purchased the P50 in March 2014. The P50 was originally available in just four colors: Dragon Red, Daytona White, Capri Blue, and Sunshine Yellow. This example, originally Sunshine Yellow, has since been restored and finished in period-correct Daytona White. Included with this Peel is a file of rare factory literature as well as extensive corresponding documentation.
This street-legal “city” car runs and drives as expected and is ready to be enjoyed by anyone willing to tuck themselves into the smallest production car ever made.