Peel P50

peel

The Peel P50 is a three-wheeled microcar originally manufactured from 1962 to 1965 by the Peel Engineering Company on the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea. It currently holds the record for the smallest automobile to go into production.

It has no reverse gear, but a handle at the rear allows the very lightweight car to be physically maneuvered when required. Designed as a city car, it was advertised as capable of seating ‘one adult and a shopping bag.’ The vehicle’s only door was on its left side, and equipment included a single windscreen wiper and only one headlight. Standard colors were Daytona White, Dragon Red, and Dark Blue. The 1963 model retailed for £199 when new. 50 of them were produced, and only 27 of them are known to be still in existence.

The P50 used a 49 cc (3.0 cu in) DKW engine which gave it a top speed of approximately 60 km/h (37 mph), and was equipped with a three-speed manual transmission that had no reverse gear. Consequently, turning in a confined area could be achieved only by pushing, or lifting the car using the handle on the rear and physically pulling it round. The makers and users claim fuel consumption of 100 mpg. At least one prototype, the Peel P55 Saloon Scooter, has also survived. Unlike the production Peel P50 (along with all developments and replicas thereof), this prototype used the less stable layout of a single wheel at the front and two at the back.  The Peel P50 was and is still road-legal in the UK and, being in the ‘three-wheeler’ category, less than 900 lb. The Peel P50 is now also street-legal in the United States. Cars were exported to other countries, sometimes being classified as a moped, e.g. the P50 that went to Finland.

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