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Rare 1963 Peel P50 Microcar Sells for a Whopping $145,000 at Auction

This just might be the second-highest price ever paid at a British auction for the Peel P50, the world's smallest production car. Although shocking, it comes as no surprise since this is believed to be one of the earliest models that comes with a wild past.
1963 Peel P50 6 photos
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The Peel P50 is a three-wheeled microcar made between 1962 to 1965 by the Peel Engineering Company on the Isle of Man. The vehicle, already popular, started to earn even more attention in 2010 when it entered the Guinness Book of Records as the smallest production car. This intriguing vehicle also made some apparitions in Top Gear's Season 10 and in the Science Channel's program How It's Made.

And it seems that the compact classic is still attracting a lot of interest. This 1963 model was the object of brisk bidding at Car & Classic's online auction. Finished in dragon Red, the P50 is 130 cm (51 in) long, and it's less than 100 cm (29 in) wide.

This particular unit is said to be the earliest Peel P50 made, a pre-production model, as indicated by the lower placement of the windscreen, early Lucas sidelights, the cream steering wheel, and no rear roll bar.

Another thing that makes it quite special is that the vehicle was used in a promotional stunt before it was registered – it was driven to the top of the Blackpool Tower. The P50 is fitted with a 49cc DKW single-cylinder engine and has three forward gears. There's no reverse gear, and the owner has to use a rear handle to lift it up and maneuver it.

Despite this, car collectors still appreciate the compact design. Furthermore, its wild background and distinct features make it a rarity, which is likely why it got sold for £111,000 (about $145,000).

But no matter how you put it, it's still a mad price. That's actually 25 times the original retail price of the P50. Back in 1963, a new such car retailed for £199, which is about £4,440 ($5,787) in today's money. In 2016, someone spent even more for a 1964 model at RM Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction, bidding $176,000.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

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