Classic Cars

A big price for a small car: Dinky 1963 Peel P50 sells for £111,000

A big price for a small car: This 1963 Peel P50 recently sold at auction for £111,000 - the second highest price paid for any of the classic small vehicles

You can get plenty of cars for over £100,000, but one classic motor collector just spent north of that on a vehicle that’s just 1.3m long.

A 1963 Peel P50 microcar – the world’s smallest passenger car – sold for £111,000 at a UK auction.

It is the second highest figure ever paid for the little three-wheeler, with the record £122,000 fetched at an auction in Florida six years ago.

A big price for a small car: This 1963 Peel P50 recently sold at auction for £111,000 – the second highest price paid for any of the classic small vehicles

The small engine was sold last month by online auction specialist Car & Classic.

The 1963 car registered ‘747 UNN’ is one of 46 examples ever produced by Peel Engineering in the early 1960s (1962-1965) and has had only two former keepers, according to documents provided with the sale at auction.

Only about half – there are believed to be 26 in total – are believed to still exist today, making them highly sought after and particularly collectible.

Not only is the P50 only 1.3 meters long, but it’s also the same height and less than a meter wide.

In 2010, the Peel was listed in the Guinness World Records and was awarded the title of the smallest production car ever made.

The 1963 car registered '747 UNN' is one of 46 examples ever produced by Peel Engineering in the early 1960s and had only two previous keepers of the new

The 1963 car registered ‘747 UNN’ is one of 46 examples ever produced by Peel Engineering in the early 1960s and had only two previous keepers of the new

Only about half - estimated at 26 in total - of the original production series are said to still exist today, making them highly sought after and particularly collectible.

Only about half – estimated at 26 in total – of the original production series are said to still exist today, making them highly sought after and particularly collectible.

The Peel P50 is only 1.3 meters long, 13 meters high and less than a meter wide.  In 2010, the Peel was listed in the Guinness World Records and was awarded the title of the smallest production car ever made.

The Peel P50 is only 1.3 meters long, 13 meters high and less than a meter wide. In 2010, the Peel was listed in the Guinness World Records and was awarded the title of the smallest production car ever made.

This particular example has a “wild past”, according to the auctioneer.

It was used for a promotional stunt in May 1963, with the vehicle being lifted to the top of Blackpool Tower and then driven around the viewing gallery to mark its arrival on the market.

Experts believe it may also be the first model ever made, as it is a pre-production example that features a lower windshield, early Lucas running lights, a cream steering wheel and a rear roll bar.

“No other Peel has the same features,” says Car & Classic.

“Partly because of its glamorous history and totally unique features as well as its rarity as a model, the Peel was auctioned off swiftly until winning £111,000,” the site added. online auction, revealing that some 99 bids were made at its auction. session.

This particular example has a

This particular example has a “wild past”, says auctioneer, Car & Classic. It was used for a promotional stunt in May 1963, with the vehicle being lifted to the top of Blackpool Tower to mark its market entry.

Fitted with a tiny 49cc single-cylinder petrol engine, the Peel is capable of a top speed of just 38mph and can return around 100mpg, thanks to its featherweight 59kg (minus a driver, of course)

Fitted with a tiny 49cc single-cylinder petrol engine, the Peel is capable of a top speed of just 38mph and can return around 100mpg, thanks to its featherweight 59kg (minus a driver, of course)

Peel Engineering Limited in the Isle of Man launched the P50 - designed and built by Cyril Cannell and Henry Kissack - at the Earls Court Motorcycle Show in 1962, with a vehicle so small it was called a motorcycle.

Peel Engineering Limited in the Isle of Man launched the P50 – designed and built by Cyril Cannell and Henry Kissack – at the Earls Court Motorcycle Show in 1962, with a vehicle so small it was called a motorcycle.

The highest ever figure for a P50 is nearly £122,000, achieved at an RM Sotheby’s sale in Florida in March 2016, with a bid for the car described as hotly contested at the time.

Fitted with a tiny 49cc single-cylinder petrol engine, the Peel is capable of a top speed of just 38mph and can return around 100mpg, thanks to its featherweight 59kg (minus a driver, of course).

Peel Engineering Limited in the Isle of Man launched the P50 – designed and built by Cyril Cannell and Henry Kissack – at the Earls Court Motorcycle Show in 1962, with the vehicle so small it was called a motorcycle.

An extremely basic engine, they have no on-board instruments or odometer and only three forward gears.

Experts believe it could also be the first model ever made, with a pre-production example sporting a lower windscreen fit, early Lucas running lights, a cream steering wheel and no roll bar back.

Experts believe it could also be the first model ever made, with a pre-production example sporting a lower windscreen fit, early Lucas running lights, a cream steering wheel and no roll bar back.

An extremely basic engine, they have no on-board instruments or odometer and only three forward gears

An extremely basic engine, they have no on-board instruments or odometer and only three forward gears

P50s have no reverse.  The manufacturer has fitted the rear with this metal handle so that owners can lift the rear of the vehicle and turn the three-wheeler to face the direction they want to go.

P50s have no reverse. The manufacturer has fitted the rear with this metal handle so that owners can lift the rear of the vehicle and turn the three-wheeler to face the direction they want to go.

P50s were not fitted with a reverse gear, owners being expected at the rear of the car with a grab handle and turning it by hand to face the desired direction.

The Peel found recent fame in 2007 on season 10 of Top Gear, with Jeremy Clarkson driving the vehicle through BBC studios and around the broadcaster’s headquarters.

The seller is said to have sold it due to lack of use over the years and in hopes that it will take pride of place in a collection of microcars.

Last year Alex Orchin, 31, achieved the incredible feat of traveling the length of Britain in his Peel P50, taking three weeks to travel from John O’Groats in Scotland to Land’s End on the south coast from England.

At 5ft 11in, he had to drive with his knees stuck on either side of the steering wheel, although his jaunt raised more than £8,000 for Children in Need.

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