1965 Peel Trident
Configuration: Single-cylinder two-stroke Zweirad Union engine
Engine: 49 cc
Horsepower: 4.5 hp
Transmission: 3-speed manual
Top speed: 38 mph
Weight: 330 lbs
A Little History
Peel Engineering Company was founded by Cyril Cannell in the late 1940s and initially worked on boats and marine equipment. Very quickly they started to work with a new material known as fiberglass.
Encouraged by the sales of the P50, Peel Engineering further developed it into a two-seater model that was known as the ‘Trident’. The Trident was a completely new design that could carry two passengers but still had the same 50cc engine used in the P50. First unveiled at the 1964 Earls Court Motorcycle Show, the Trident featured a new body design but used the P50’s Zweirad Union single-cylinder engine and three-speed gearbox without reverse. Production of the Trident continued until 1966 when around 80 examples had found owners. The first five examples were up and running by December 1964.
Today it’s estimated that only 30 Tridents still exist.
The Trident was available in blue or red and was colored into the fiberglass gel coat which provided cost savings as they did not require to be painted. When featuring the 49-cc package, it achieved an advertised top speed of 38 miles per hour and a reported 100 mpg. Consequently, driving the Trident was “almost cheaper than walking,” as advertised. The all-new body was designed around a clear plastic dome which tilts forward to allow the driver to enter. Though only a single seater in practical use, the car was designed to theoretically carry two adults.
The futuristic dome and the overall spaceship-like appearance of the Trident gave Peel another natural slogan: “The Terrestrial Flying Saucer”