What to Read Next

And You Thought the SmartCar was Small: Introducing the Peel

Bill Wilson
24 August 2013

In a perfect world, we would all drive cars that go 0-60 in 1.2 seconds, get 100 miles per gallon, and make supermodels beg us for a ride. Of course, the real world is far from perfect, so it’s unlikely any vehicle will meet all three of those expectations. But, thanks to a few daring entrepreneurs, there’s now an auto that meets the 100 MPG goal at least. Dubbed “the Peel” by its UK builders, the Peel Trident and Peel P50 hold the world’s record as the smallest road-worthy cars on earth. Does that make it worth buying? Read on and decide for yourself.

A Blast from the Past

The modern Peels were inspired by a micro-car built on the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea between 1962 and 1965. Marketed as a “city car” by its builders, the Peel was 54” long with a 50” wheelbase, making it small enough to fit in a good-sized closet. It was powered by a 4.2-hp, fan-cooled engine, had a top speed of 38 MPH, and got around 100 MPGs. The three-speed engine had no reverse gear, however. To back up, the driver had to get out of the car, grab it by the tail, and spin it around 180 degrees.

About 50 of these things were built, with 27 still around. Despite their boxy shape and utter lack of power, they’re hugely popular among auto collectors, fetching prices of more than $100,000 at auction for a vehicle that cost about $2,200 US in today’s money.

Peel P50
Peel P50

The Peel is Reborn

In the UK there’s a popular TV show called Dragon’s Den, in which budding entrepreneurs can pitch business ideas to a round table of venture capitalists. British inventors Gay Hillman and Faizal Khan went on the program in 2011. They pitched the idea of reviving the Peel and asked for £80,000 (around $125,000.00 US). The millionaires in essence said, “oh, what the hell” and cut the pair a check; thus the Peel was reborn. Vehicle orders are taken at the company web site, which also has a few nifty videos showing the Peel in action. Believe it or not, the thing is street-legal in the US.

Prices for the new model start at around $15,000.00 US, for what’s essentially a go-kart with three wheels. Most of us could probably find better ways to spend the money. You may disagree though, and that’s okay. As the British say, whatever blows up your bonnet.

PHOTOS: See more of the 1962 Peel P50

Photo Credit: Peel Engineering UK

Read This Before You Buy Medigap Plan F

Plan F is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan, but there's another Medigap option you should consider.

9 Cards for People Who Have Great Credit

What card offers up to 5% cash back? And which one offers 24/7 concierge service? See the best credit cards of 2016. Apply online, quickly & easily.

Don't Let Wrinkles Stop You From Meeting New Women

Men: Before you consider spending thousands on getting a cosmetic procedure to look younger, you should..

7 Alzheimer's Warning Signs

Dr. Blaylock has committed himself to helping as many people as possible fight back against diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Nearly 1M People Trust This to Keep Them Safe.

Tech experts like CNET call it “better, smarter home security.” Cops use it in stings to catch criminals. Meet SimpliSafe.

Military Mortgage Rates In 2016

Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

Powerful Tactical Flashlight Flying Off Shelves!

This new tactical flashlight was just released to the public and is flying off shelves in the United States. Limited supplies left, act quick!

How To Make Sagging Skin Look Tight and Lifted

[Watch] The easy and effective way consumers across the country are improving the look of their wrinkled and sagging skin without cosmetic procedures.

Free Samples Sites- Why You Should Pay Attention

Sign up now for freebies so good you will feel guilty not paying for them! No credit card or purchase necessary.

Hilton HHonors™ Card

Earn 40,000 Hilton HHonors™ Bonus Points. Apply for Your Card Today.

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

How Older Men Tighten Their Skin

Men, reduce the look of wrinkles, sagging skin and fine lines with this affordable and effective skin tightening treatment without leaving your home.

Starwood Credit Card

Earn 25,000 Bonus Starpoints®! Use toward Award Nights or Flights.

How to Create a Social Support Strategy

Meet your customers where they are. Read this e-book from Desk.com to learn six things to consider as you plan your social support strategy.