1963 Peel P50 Microcar


  • World’s smallest car 
  • Original condition 
  • 1 of 46 ever made
  • 1.3 metres long

The Background 

Created by Peel Engineering Limited on the Isle of Man, the P50 was designed and built by Cyril Cannell and Henry Kissack, and launched at the 1962 Earls Court Motorcycle Show. Built as a three-wheeler and with a 49cc engine, it drops into the motorcycle category. The vehicle was launched as a city-car, designed for one adult and a bag of shopping, which was “Almost cheaper than walking!..... Car comfort, Moped costs”.

The P50 has 3 forward gears capable of pushing the microcar to 38 mph, and reverse is taken care of by yourself. You have to  take hold of the rear mounted chrome handle and manually lift it to turn it around, which sounds much harder than it actually is. In 2010, the Peel P50 was listed in the Guinness World records and given the title of the smallest production car ever made. 

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The History 

The seller of this amazingly rare Peel P50 microcar, which is 1 of just 46 produced, has owned the vehicle since 2007. This particular car is believed to have been used in a promotional stunt by going to the top of the Blackpool Tower and being driven around the observation gallery in May 1963, just before it was registered. 

It is also thought to be the earliest Peel P50 produced, which is the pre-production model, and can be noted by the lower fitment of the windscreen, early Lucas sidelights, a cream steering wheel and no rear roll bar. It would appear that no other P50’s have any of these features.

Due to the lack of use over the years the seller has decided to part with the P50, in the hope it will take pride of place in a microcar collection.

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The Paperwork 

The V5 is present and shows 2 previous keepers. 

Obviously drawing attention wherever it goes, the car has made it into a number of local newspapers over the years. 

An old MOT certificate is present from 2007, but unfortunately nothing else came with the vehicle when the seller purchased it.

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The Interior 

Inside the P50, yes there is no doubt it is quite small, but the seller who is 6’  can fit in quite comfortably and drive it with ease. Sitting in the black vinyl seat you are faced with the cream steering wheel, which has your controls for the lights and indicators, and just behind is your gear lever. 

There are no instruments to worry about as the P50 was never fitted with any, or an odometer. The last time the vehicle was used the lights were reported to be working as they should, with the windscreen wiper motor being noted as intermittent.  
To the right of the seat is the starting lever, which is pulled to start the engine, and to the left is the handbrake. Further into the footwell clutch, brake and accelerator pedals are used like a conventional car.
There is a red carpet which is in good order, with minimal wear. The rest of the interior has been finished in a grey fleck effect paint, which is believed to be the original. 

The Exterior 

Made from fibreglass and finished in dragon Red, the Peel P50 is 1.3 metres long and 1.3 metres high, and less than 1 metre wide. The fibreglass is reported and looks to be in original condition. There are some small areas which have crazed as you often see on fibreglass, but generally it is in very good, original  condition, apart from the odd chip here and there. 
The headlight and sidelights show no signs of any chips or cracks to the lenses, and the same can be said for the rear lenses. There is some slight tarnishing to the headlight surround, door handle and mirror, but in keeping with the age and patina of the vehicle. Fitted at some point for safety, the P50 has had two indicator beacons fitted.
The corner rubbing strips have a few small marks, but nothing to be concerned about. The door opens as it should and looks to align nice and straight. The P50’s windows are in nice condition, with the rubbers also in good order. The sliding window is a little tight but would probably free off with a little use.
The wheels look to be as they should and are fitted with the original Avon Kart 2 ply tyres, which do have a good amount of tread remaining. 

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The Mechanics 

Fitted with a 49cc DKW single-cylinder engine, the Peel P50 is extremely economical, as you can imagine being so small and light. At the time of our visit the P50 was not started due to a flat battery. It was last used a year ago when it was reported to run and drive just as it should. The seller would recommend a light recommissioning before any use.  

The car is fitted with a 3-speed gearbox. There is no reverse gear, instead you get a handle mounted at the rear to enable you to simply lift up the 59kg and simply turn it around, which is very easy to do. 

On the road is somewhat of an experience, says the seller, but a totally enjoyable one, and as you can imagine it turns heads wherever it goes. Maxing out at approximately 38 mph, it was said to be capable of 100 miles per gallon. 

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The Appeal 

Does it get much rarer than this, a pre-production 1963 Peel P50? 
A totally unique opportunity to own one of the smallest cars ever made. Perfect for any collector to add the first city car to his/her collection, or even use the vehicle, as it is perfect for use around the city, and let's be honest, does a city car get much cooler than this?  

Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.

Please see our FAQ's here and our Terms & Conditions here

Please see our FAQs here and our Terms & Conditions here

Vehicle specification
  • Year 1963
  • Make Peel
  • Model P50
  • Colour Red
  • Odometer 0
  • Engine size 50
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Bury
  • Location Lancashire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
99 bids
  • Pa•••• £111,000 08/02/22
  • Aa•••• £110,999 08/02/22
  • Pa•••• £110,500 08/02/22
  • Aa•••• £110,000 08/02/22
  • Pa•••• £109,500 08/02/22
  • Aa•••• £109,000 08/02/22
  • Pa•••• £108,500 08/02/22
  • Aa•••• £108,000 08/02/22
  • Pa•••• £107,500 08/02/22
  • Aa•••• £107,000 08/02/22
Message C&C Auction Team

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