Each one can hold one person or 14 clowns
World’s smallest production car gets a new lease on life
By Darren Quick
00:08 March 19, 2012
Originally manufactured in the 1960’s, the world’s smallest ever production car, the Peel P50 (right) and it’s stablemate, the Trident (left) are getting a limited production run with updated powerplants
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The quest for more fuel-efficient vehicles has seen a shift from the gas-guzzling behemoths of yesteryear to smaller and smaller cars, such as the Volkswagen up! and Toyota iQ. The smallest currently in production is the Tata Nano that measures just 122 inches (309.9 cm) long and 58.9 inches (223 cm) wide. But for the world’s smallest ever production car you’d have to look back to the early 1960’s and the Peel P50, which measured just 54 inches (137 cm) long and 41 inches (104.1 cm) wide, and weighed 130 lb (59 kg). Now replicas of the P50 -and its bigger brother, the Peel Trident – are getting a limited production run and will be offered with a choice of gasoline or electric powerplants.
Originally produced on the Isle of Man from 1962 to 1965 by the Peel Engineering Company, the Peel P50 is a three-wheeled microcar with one door, one headlight, and a single windscreen wiper. Powered by a 49 cc engine coupled to a three-speed manual transmission, the car has a top speed of around 38 mph (61 km/h) and no reverse gear. It was designed by, Cyril Cannel, the owner of Peel Engineering Company which focused mainly on making fiberglass boats and fairings for motorcycles. Designed to accommodate a single adult – and a shopping bag – only 50 of the original Peel P50s were produced and sold for GBP199 (approx. US$315) each.