1964 Peel P50
Configuration: Single-cylinder two-stroke Zweirad Union engine
Engine: 98 cc
Horsepower: 4.5 hp
Transmission: 3-speed manual
Top speed: 38 mph
Weight: 132 lbs
A Little History
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 premiere 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 minuscule 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.