Forget the Smart ForTwo, Fiat 500 and Scion iQ. They’re only small cars. And the Mini? It’s really only small via its name. If you want a small car, how about the smallest car ever made — the Peel?
Located on the Isle of Man, Peel primarily made fibreglass boats as well as fairings for motorcycles. But it was also the manufacturer of the Peel Manxcar, Peel P50 and Peel Trident microcars. The original Peel 50, for example, was 54 inches long (less than half the length of the new Scion iQ), 41 inches wide and weighed 130 pounds.
And it was legal to drive on roads in Great Britain.
The company halted manufacturing in1969, but the three-wheeled Peel P50 is still designated in the Guinness Book Of Records as the World’s Smallest Production Car.
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.
In recent years Peel has been aquired by car enthusiast Gary Hillman and Faizal Khan. The two businessmen have worked to have the car more in the public eye highlighting its unique British Querkyness and size.
Peel cars are now on show at major Worldwide cities through a franchise deal with a major global attraction company Ripleys Believe it or Not.
Hillman and Khan are again producing the Peel 50 and Peel Trident (with the bubble roof) only now with an electric motor to keep in line with todays environmental standards.
The cars have received huge coverage, including an appearance on Top Gear.
For more information about Peel visit: www.peelengineering.com
Article Last Updated: September 4, 2013.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.