Yes, there really was at least one road-legal (at least in some countries) 50cc automobile! The Peel 50 had a top speed of 38MPH, thanks to its 49cc DKW engine, and could carry a driver and perhaps a bag of groceries. WIth a weight of 132lbs it was lighter than most motorcycles and scooters, and although lacking a reverse gear, turning it around was not a problem, as the model below illustrates. It was made on the Isle of Man by the Peel Engineering Company, whose main products were fiberglass boats, and fairings for cars and motorcycles. Peel also made go-carts, and truthfully, the Peel 50 not that much more sophisticated than a go-cart with a body.
Peel's foray into the automotive world only lasted from 1962 to 1967, and only about 100 Peel 50s and 100 two-seat "Tridents" were made. There's more information on Peels and other microcars at Andy's Modern Microcar. He can even supply a modern driveaway replica of a Peel 50 for only £9,000.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Posted by michael edelman at 5:41 PM