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Smallest Car in the World Fetches $176,000 at Auction

Remember when Jeremy Clarkson drove a Peel P50 on Top Gear? If you don’t, you should watch the video at the end of this story. If you do remember, let’s spare the introduction and focus on the subject.
Peel P50 chassis number D535 19 photos
Peel P50 chassis number D535Peel P50 chassis number D535Peel P50 chassis number D535Peel P50 chassis number D535Peel P50 chassis number D535Peel P50 chassis number D535Peel P50 chassis number D535Peel P50 chassis number D535Peel P50 chassis number D535Peel P50 chassis number D535Peel P50 chassis number D535Peel P50 chassis number D535Peel P50 chassis number D535Peel P50 chassis number D535Peel P50 chassis number D535Peel P50 chassis number D535Peel P50 chassis number D535Peel P50 chassis number D535
More specifically, a gentleman paid lots of money to buy the smallest production car in the world.

Dear person who paid $176,000 on a 1964 Peel P50 at RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island Auction, what in the name of all things holy possessed you to do it? It would have been better to burn that money or buy a life’s supply of Twinkies. But then again, you’ve acquired the only production vehicle ever made on the Isle of Man, a 221-square-mile place known for hosting the greatest motorcycle sporting event ever.

Back in 1964, the Peel P50 was priced at £199. That translates to £3,760 in 2016 or $5,440 according to current exchange rates. This information begs the question if there is any explanation of why someone has paid 32 times the original retail price on such an intriguing jalopy. Still, that someone is not exactly a fool.

Less than 50 units were built and chassis #D535 is one of the remaining 26 original examples known to survive, so that’s that. Better still, this particular fiberglass box on three wheels has been displayed at the 1962 Cycle and Motorcycle Show at Earls Court and at the Microcar Museum in Madison, Georgia.

It’s undoubtedly one of the most, if not the nicest Peel P50 one can get his hands on. That means the world to car collectors, in particular to those collectors who want the conversation piece to end all conversations. But at the end of the day, the truth of the matter is that someone with a borderline weird taste in cars has spent $176,000 on a small refrigerator with a 49 cc engine and no reverse gear.

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