One of only 45 made in the 1960s, this Peel Trident is expected to fetch over $100,000 at auction.
Watching Jeremy Clarkson pottering around the BBC building in a puny Peel P50 made for one of the most memorable, and downright hilarious, scenes in Top Gear. Originally launched in 1962, the P50 earned a spot in the Guinness World Records for the world’s smallest production car measuring just 54 inches long and just 41 inches wide. You would think those dimensions would make it effortlessly easy to park, but it had one tiny drawback – there was no reverse gear. However, it was so light you could use a rear handle to physically push it.
Peel developed a successor to the P50 called the Trident, one of which is heading to auction. Only 45 Peel Tridents were made, each measuring 73 inches long and 39 inches wide making it slightly larger than its predecessor. Advertised as featuring “saloon car comfort with scooter cost,” the example listed for sale was built in 1965 and was originally shipped to the United Kingdom. With its futuristic dome design and spaceship-style appearance, the Peel Trident appears to have been inspired by the flying car in The Jetsons. Packing a 49-cc engine which achieved a top speed of 38 mph, the Peel Trident is said to be “cheaper than walking.”
Its current owner purchased it in 2014 after it had been restored, and it’s been residing in the US ever since. The diminutive Peel Trident will be going under the hammer at RM Sothebys auction in Monterey, California, on August 18-19. There’s no reserve price, but sources are suggesting the rare micro car could fetch as much as 80,000 GBP ($103,540). Peel relaunched in 2010 to put the P50 and Trident back into production in gasoline and electric guises. Each car is built with the same materials as the originals, but with updated parts including, yes, you guessed it, a reverse gear.