Monterey

18-19 August 2017

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Lot 144

1964 Peel P50

  • Chassis no. D536

Sold for $140,250


  • The smallest production automobile ever made
  • One of very few in North America
  • Comprehensive documentation


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.

The four-owner example offered here was sold new in the United Kingdom, with the consignor having purchased the P50 in March 2014. The P50 was originally available in just four colors: Dragon Red, Daytona White, Capri Blue, and Sunshine Yellow. This example, originally Sunshine Yellow, has since been restored and finished in period-correct Daytona White. Included with this Peel is a file of rare factory literature as well as extensive corresponding documentation.

This street-legal “city” car runs and drives as expected and is ready to be enjoyed by anyone willing to tuck themselves into the smallest production car ever made.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more