Lot 145

Open Roads, The European Summer Auction

1965 Peel P50


€55,000 EUR | Sold

United Kingdom | Chobham, United Kingdom



Chassis No.
Engine No.
  • Early production P50, the sixth car produced by chassis number
  • Offered from long term enthusiast ownership
  • Famously driven in the 1970’s from near Darford to the Cotswolds for a Microcar rally, a round trip of over 200 miles!
  • Fitted with a rare, factory fitted carpet
  • Well known by the Peel Register

Please note that this lot will need to be collected in Chobham, U.K.

The Peel P50 is among the rarest and most desirable microcars and has been certified as the smallest production automobile in the world by Guinness World Records.

Founded by Cyril Cannell in the late 1940s, Peel Engineering originally supplied glass-reinforced plastic parts to the marine and automotive industries before moving into microcar production. Capable of a top speed of 38 mph, the P50 features a 49-cc 4.5-horsepower single-cylinder two-stroke Zweirad Union engine mated to a three-speed gearbox. The Peel P50 has no reverse gear, simply a handle on the rear to enable the driver to pick up the car and maneuver it as required!

The Peel was advertised as being able to carry “one adult and a shopping bag” while being “almost cheaper than walking.” The original retail price of £199 and reported fuel mileage approaching 100 mpg shows that the slogan, while obviously hyperbolic, was not far from the truth.

After the P50’s premier at the 1962 Earls Court Motorcycle Show in London, an estimated 47 of these three-wheeled delights were built between 1962 and 1965, of which fewer than 30 are known to exist. In spite of the car’s miniscule size, a Peel P50 was famously driven through the headquarters of the BBC by the 6’5” tall former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson, showcasing the surprisingly adequate interior room.

Chassis D506 is an early example of the P50, being the sixth example produced and was first registered in the UK on the 1st April 1965. Originally finished in blue, it was painted maroon by its first owner, Bob Dobie, where it remained until the mid-1970s until it passed onto its second and long-term owner. In around 1976 the Peel was driven all the way to the National Microcar rally and back in one day, then held at the Burford wildlife park in the Cotswolds, approximately 110 miles each way and probably the furthest ever driven in a Peel in a single stint.

Today the Peel’s maroon paint work is showing signs of age and the original blue paint is visible in a number of places with the interior boasting the very rare factory fitted carpet, all adding to the wonderful overall patina of the car. Supplied with the original green logbook, correspondence between the second owner and Cyril Cannell as well as drawings of a prototype Peel. A hugely original example in running condition and one of the nicest P50s to survive today.