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24 September 2014

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You are in: Isle of Man > History > The small car with the big reputation

Peel Transport Museum

The small car with the big reputation

Peel's best known car, the P50, is recognized by the Guiness Book of World Records as the smallest road-legal car ever produced.

P50 Factfile

Manufacturer - Peel Engineering Company
Class - Microcar
Body style(s) - One-door coupe
Engine(s) - DKW 49cc, 4.2 hp
Transmission(s) - 3-speed automatic
Wheelbase - 5 in (127 mm)
Length 134 - cm (52.8 in)
Width - 99 cm (39 in)
Height - 4 ft (1.2 m)
Curb weight -  59 kg (130 lb)
Related - Peel Trident, Peel Viking Sport
Designer Cyril Cannell

Peel Engineering Ltd was established in the 1950's and was best known for the production of the P50 and Trident motorcars.

Peel Transport Museum

The Peel 50

The P50 still holds the record for being the smallest production car in the world.

At the peak of production Peel Engineering employed 40 people.

The company started off engineering fibreglass motorcycle fairings before moving into motor parts and boat hulls.

The P50 was designed and built by Cyril Cannell and Henry Kissack, and launched at the 1962 Earls Court Motorcycle show.

The car with its welded tubular steel chassis was the first to be manufactured on the island.

A Zweiral Union single cylinder 49 cc engine powered the vehicle and the car had a three speed forward gearbox.

Peel Transport Museum

How many cars can do this!

To reverse you would have to get out and turn the car yourself with a chrome handle on the rear. Its lightweight fibreglass body made it light enough for this to be an easy task.

The P50 had the maximum speed of 40 MPH and was capable of 100 MPG.

As the car is a three-wheeler, has an engine under 1000 cc and weighs less than 8 cwt, it is technically classed as a motorcycle, so no speedometer was fitted.

The overall dimensions are, 4’4” long, 3’3” wide and 3’10” high. In 1963 the car retailed at £199.00 compared to around £250 for a good motorbike. With only 100 coming off the production line, they are worth a lot more today.

The P50 was available in Daytona White, Dragon Red, Capri Blue and Sunshine Yellow.

Peel Transport Museum

What a line up

Current owners tell of a number of variations to each individual vehicle, emphasising the hand built nature of the production line.

P50s were sent to all parts of the world, including America.

On its American test run the Bureau of Transportation Inspector rolled the car down an embankment, but as he escaped without a scratch, he passed the car as suitable for use immediately.

The P50 shone in a variety of tests including a 15 mile road test in London, where it completed the route a full 30 minutes ahead of a saloon car of the day.

A recent Top Gear episode showed how the car is just as effective today.

Peel Transport Museum

On the Steam Packet

In 1965 the P50 was developed a stage further with the arrival of the Trident.

The Trident with its distinctive bubble canopy was produced in four variations, single-seater, and two-seater, automatic and electric.

To this day the Trident is still one of the most distinctive cars ever to take to the roads and proved very popular with young couples.

Only two P50s remain on the island, one is privately owned and the second is on display at The Peel Transport Museum.

In 2004 The Peel Transport Museum became aware of a 1962 P50 being sold in Cheshire.

With generous help from The Manx Heritage Foundation, The Public Lottery Trustees, a great deal of fundraising and several anonymous donations they managed to raise the £10,500 needed to bring it home.

Peel Transport Museum

The P50, back in Peel

It has been lovingly restored to its former glory and can be viewed in Peel.

last updated: 20/03/2008 at 15:23
created: 01/11/2007

Have Your Say

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

pixie
this car is cool

DYLAN
It looks really small but it will be great for me .

robbie cambell
this car is mental

Scooby-Natz
Hey, I have just returned from a trip to New York and I went to a museam called Ripleys on Times Sq and there was one in there! Couldnt believe how tiny it was... I want one. (save a fortune on fuel) :o)

Jack Ian Guthrie
I think the peel P5O is an amazing vehicle that has just enough room to hold a an average size adult, and I would love to have one.

ya
i bet when it was first made,it would been sold so fast cause its small and everyone love small cars

miles
i am 9 now and i think peel p50 is bril.i first sow this on top gear and waw!

pengwin
i have just bort 1 but it is a golly nice car

Michael
Just got my first look at a Trident in California and had to look it up. WOW!!!

John
I aint really into the old fashiond cars but this i love it

Toy
If the world was introduced in earlier time it would have been smart because maybe every one would have one and there wouldnt be a oil crisis less car crahses(if both cars were tridents or peels)and the fact that the peel p50 is small enough to bring inside a large office is incredibly futuristic i mean look at the trident looks like a bubble space ship but no FORD introduced the car big and bulky so they kept the production like that i guess

Dudley Angustown
I've been doing the exact same thing as Jack bellow. I WANT ONE

YATESY
THE PEEL P 50 IS £10,000

kev
Definitely more street cred than a Harley!

gorge murphy
is there any for sale

Jack Wilson
i would just love one of these. i have just been searching all over the internet and i just cant seem to find one. tell anyone how wants to sell one to put it on the internet as soon as possible.

jonathan miller
so if is was so popular, why did it go out of production?

dave
rubbish but id buy one cos it would look nice in my mums garden my nickname is noddy

Clanner what
I would like one of those!! I'm serious about it!! Believe me it will be the first one in Central America!!

Hollabaloo
k8: They DO reproduce it. Better made, cheaper , faster etc. I want one too!

Big Birr
Look fun but can it do a Manatoba winter?

MONKEY
Make your own

Jordan Verlenich
I would love to put a V twin in that and tear up some traffic, this is great.

K8
Why don't they reproduce this? It would cost pittance to make and surely with the demand they'd be onto a winner. I want one desperately!

Rickie D. Cook
Would like to know the price in American dollars. I too think this is a great auto and should be great for many folks that are traveling to work. Seems to me that it would save a lot on energy cost

Jon
It looks to me like a death box on three wheels.

Devon
How much does would it cost in America?

ben murray
I brought two of these for a new film called the 'V-Team".

Benita. St Ninians
Caitlin forgot to say the most important thing- The Isle of Man is well known for KIPPERS!!!;D

Ollie and Ella Moreton
We will like one for going 2 school,our dream car!

Caitlin Bradley from St. Ninians
I love these cars, they show that the Isle of Man actually made something worthwhile and useful.It is probably the only thing we are known for though as well as the 'TT' that i here every year, although the fair won't be. *sob*I WANT ONE!!!

Chris Main
This car is legendary, I would love to own one even know am only 17 but I think they are amazing, soo kool, How much are they to buy? I also like to say that I love TOP GEAR for putting it on their show, Jemery Clarkson for PM haha.

Daniel
I, also, would agree with Jonas and Alex below. I admire the genius of such small cars. We're so wasteful nowadays... Microcars rock!

Jonas
I' want one of these cars. They are the coolest cars I ever seen.

Alex
Why dont they make microcars anymore??

mrtoybox.co.uk
Sounds like the kind of thing that could be redeveloped today. With lighter materials and better engines this could be the new green alternative.

kieran cross
great

tim
the coolest car i've ever seen

amber
I am looking to buy a car and i'm interested in getting a Peel P50 can anyone Help me !!! My email is ambei-pure@msn.com

james i
i realy want to buy 1

Dominic Eyre
I really want a p50 trident i think they're so neat.The trouble is i'm only young and can't afford one, let alone not being able to get my hands on one.I can't seem to find one any where i've looked everywhere. If you see one under 250.00 pounds e-mail me on info@dominiceyre.com .

grant henderson
I think it is a cool carits awsummm bye

kelly
this car is so the coolest just think of how much money you would save and it surely would be better on the enviroment people travel alone to work in needless big cars bring back the p50 its the greatest invention ever i soooooo want one

Steve
I would buy one if it made sense to. Unfortunately, I am in a big wheelchair. Gas prices are killing me! :(

babigoldevil
i aint really into the old fashiond cars but this i love it

podge
most p50s went to ireland and buying one nowdays is unrealistic they are rare and arnt £200 anymore due to the small production and museums paying upwards on 19000 on them

Alan
These micros are being re-popped by Andy Carter in Nottingham, UK, so they are available in kit form or assembled and running...how much are you willing to pay?

james
i really want one of these either p50 or trident i don't mind just emailme at chocolateinthehouse@hotmail.co.uk

jazzod
do you know were i can buy one of these cars if you do please email me at rocky2k95@hotmail.com

daniel
i realy want one does any one know where i can get one of them

bob
they look well good i saw it on topgear im thinkin about getting one lol

kiwi
they should bring the p50 back into production but it will never happen because if the p50 is in an accident it wouldnt stand a chance against a normal sized car. So unless everyone has a p50 they will never bring it back. nice car though

kiwi
they should bring the p50 back into production but it will never happen because if the p50 is in an accident it wouldnt stand a chance against a normal sized car. So unless everyone has a p50 they will never bring it back. nice car though

michael
can you tell me where to by one if you can reply at : mike_rocking@msn.com

DAZA
This car is wicked realy small good for the petrol prices can u by them in australia and were

theluucky
well i got a genuine peel p50 pretty lucky i am got given to me caus it was in this shed wen we bought a property the shed was all locked up then i opened it and found all these classics so i looked around and found the peel p-50 best car to drive around on the street with

iuliana baltoiu
brilliant! i'd love to drive one of my own. is it possible to purchase one of those lovely things? i live in romaniamuch obliged if you answer: iuliana_baltoiu@yahoo.co.uk

Thomas3717@hotmail.com
I love the little car, is the car smaller then the cozy coupe?

james may
to bad richard

jason mchugh
i would like o buy a peel 50 if anyone knowes please email me on mchugh_cfc@hotmail.com

schneiderhoehn@arcor.de
Hello,how much does it cost this car, please?Great wishes

E.W_J
It's Weird, but cool!!

Andy Millspaugh
How do we find one in the USA?

alexx
i would like one of those!! i serious about it!! beleive me it will be the first one in central america!! reply to ale_casaus91@hotmail.comthank youuu

rhys
do you know where i could get one reply to rhys_dunn@hotmail.co.uk that my email plesae thank you

richard hammond
i wish i could have ridden in the car instead of jeremy

iain
the best car ever made

Greg
Best car ever, I want one

adam
How many people say they would buy one? Why on earth would you buy anything els.

carl goffin
has anyone got a peel p50 i realy want one please my birthday is on the 22 of may and i want one for my birthday name the price pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease

phil
if i find one im buying it.

joosep
beatiful car i want one.

GR£@V$!£
peel p50's r class ive gt 1 it does (4 me) 35mph and i just mess about with me m8's with it

michael rawson
hi can anyone tell me were i can buy a peel p50 ill. please email me at victoriarawson06@aol.com

fredgriffin@btinternet.com
I would like all the information you cn give me, how could I get one of the early models, ( scrap ) or info about go karts

Anna
Oh my God! this car is ah-mazing!

john
start making more P50 and get them back on the roads coz i'll buy one any day

me
Y did they stop production after the trident?

christine
these should be made again if the price was cheep theyd sell millions.i want one .

bob
Its sooooooooooo cool i love the peel car and im going to buy 1 if i can find 1 for sale. the company has made a masive triomfe and will be million airs this time next year

luke from east hull, UK
what a car, I'd have one, they look like a right laugh to have, only thing is you can't get any shopping in it, insurance would be expensive because they are very rare and parts will be very rare to come acrossand to zo, they are £10,000

matthew currell
i think that it is a very coooooool car.

Duncan
Do you need a license for it? I would buy one even if you did.

basil
Dont look very safe!

Justin
i live here in the states and i am trying to find one for sale, i really want one.

zoheb
i think if a car company such as smart made the peel 50 they would make a lot of money because it is cheap to bulit and people would buy it such as me . if a car company makes them they should cost between £150 to £250. if a car company makes these they should have the same engine as the peel 50. everyone send messages to car company to make the peel50

zo
they should still make themI really want to buy one. Any idea where i can get one ? i heard the price is silly

zo
can u tell me where i can buy one

karla las vegas usa
how adorable!!! i would so much love to have one of these. thank you for sharing..i never knew about these

Will
Stop asking where you can buy one!! there were only 100 made, and theyre scattered all over the world. The likelihood that any of you could find one to buy is nill.

Mark Edwards (BBC Isle of Man)
If you are interested in seeing a genuine Peel 50 one is currently on display at the House of Manannan in Peel. Enjoy.

Vicki
I wish they made a wee motor like this nowadays.

faye
i want one to drive to work so i can cut through the traffic jams

ben salter
i really rearly want one

Paul higgins
I have a motorcycle fairing made by Peel (model B46)that fit the /2 BMW. Does anyone have any information that might assist me in locating a plexiglass windscreen or any significant information on when it was manufactured. I have had it over 30 years. Can contact me at dasbeemer@gmail.com

thomas smith
Ilove it because it is unusual

alexandra Batey
cool

Lydia
Its well cute n sassy!!!!

Lasma
I want one too but the cheapest one I could find was 10 000 and that is way toooo expensive, they should realy make these in our days only with some antenas who have lights so people on the road should see that Im riding...

Tom
Where can you buy one. I can't find one anywhere. I wish they were still in production, I think that they will be realy popular (Hint Hint)!

conor stonebridge
I like the p50 but am having difficulty buying one and need a site that sells them

karl wants a peel mobile
were do u buy 1 of these.they should put them back on he production line.get jeremy clarkson to have a few words

Ross
The best car in the world, I am going TRY to get one.

Pam
So many people want one this is a chance for some enterprising soul to start production again perhaps also in a new slightly updated shape with a an electric option for city use. I think they are great

Aaron
Wow that's one tiny car.

Duter
I want one. Can anyone help?

Geoff Binns
Can you buy this car today and how much? geoffhb@hotmail.com

Paul
There is a man who restores old microcars and makes new improved replicas.He has a website - google 'peel microcars' to find it.

Sam Parker
Dose anyone know were i can buy one please

Bill Ball
Come on, stop playing silly toy games. The P50 is pathetic. And the cost is so silly.

p50 lover
hello i want 1

steve
The peel p50 did not have a steel chassis -just a glassfibre monocoque.

Jo
Andrew I don't know if you read the article but they were almost £200 when they were produced in 1963.The last one I heard of being bought cost over £10,000 and more money to do up.

andrew
they are about £179 these days. thats a brilliant price, only if you could find one to buy

simon crundell
i think the p50 is so cool!!!!!!!!!! i want one.

John H.
How about some entruprenuerrestarting the PEEL50 cars again eh Jeremy Clarkson?The billionares on the iom could fund it from their overwhelming finances and their seems to be a ready market now TOP GEAR has shown it's potential!

kaycee lee
dude! forget owning one! all i want is to ride one!

bam
How do I find a set of drawing or blue prints for the peel cars?

Gary
Wow Those Cars Are CoolI Want Onexxx

josh
email me if any one got 1 p50 to sell josh_elsey07@hotmail.co.ukthank you

Mark
I wish that was true dean, if it was I might be able to afford a house over here. There were less than 100 P50s and 100 Tridents made so to buy one you will have to find an owner who is willing to sell. Good luck.

liam
i luv these car i just want 2 buy it lol

dean
if it was 200 pounds in the sixtys then it should b that price 2 day

b-rad
these little cars are so cool where can you buy one

sasha
is there anywhere near southampton with anyone selling a p50 does anyone know please??????????????thank you to whoever can help mesasha

bob
where can you get one

Jonny
They're amazing, I want one too!

Ogo
Where do you buy it?

Helen Rees
Anyone want to get together and buy the company/ blueprints/ copyright/ trademark...?Helen

jack
i have always wanted one of these if any one knows where i can get from can you please email me on jackhamilton4222@hotmail.co.uk thanks

kayne
i want one

Daneru
Cute

Hollie
I really want to buy one. Any idea where i can get one ?

Crazy Carol, Onchan
Cheeky & fun, just like me! Eat your heart out Schumacher, he he! Another notch in our heritage.

William
If only there were more of them, at a less expensive price than today's

Frank
They are so cool.

Jan
I saw them on Top Gear they look so much fun!!

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