The Peel P50 is a three-wheeled microcar originally manufactured from 1962 to 1965 by the Peel Engineering Company on the Isle of Man. Until 2009 it held 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 (about £1,400 in 2010, or $2,200 USD). 50 of them were produced, and only 27 of them are known to be still in existence.
In 2010, production of a replica version was started by a newly formed company, called Peel Engineering Ltd based in England (not to be confused with the original Peel Engineering Company from the Isle of Man). Externally this car was very similar to the original but with many major mechanical differences in the suspension, steering and drivetrain. Driven by an electric motor and with a top speed of 10 mph, this version was produced as a display vehicle and was not road legal. In 2011 production commenced on new road legal petrol & electric versions. Most colors from the original are used in the 2010 models with only Dark Blue being replaced by Capri Blue. Production is located in an undisclosed location in England.
The P50 used a 49 cc DKW engine which gave it a top speed of approximately 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 83 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. Approximately 47 Peel P50s were sold at £199 each.
On the 15th February 2013 at the Bruce Weiner RM Auction a genuine 1964 Peel P50 (Registration number ARX 37B) achieved in excess of $120,000 which is £80,000 at the current exchange rate of 1.51 dollars/pound.
Source: Wikipedia, 2013