The two car models in the Peel brand; Peel P50 and Peel Trident are being reproduced and retailed for the first time in 50 years.
- "World's Smallest Car" Takes a Spin March 25, 2011
With the help of James, Gary and Faizal have set out a 3 year plan with a view to sell 250 replica cars to attractions worldwide, as well as launching a merchandising range to be sold in retailers. Peel are also looking to move into the transport industry to compete against other green and cost effective modes of transport.
“Working with James is a dream come true for us. With James’ contacts and business know-how, Peel can quickly fulfil its potential in becoming a global brand. James brings expertise and experience to our company and this has already significantly affected the way our company operates day-to-day!” Gary Hillman “When investing, sometimes you look for things that are a little bit different, a bit fun and something that adds value rather than money. As a British made product, Peel encompasses traditional values and manufacturing. The car wasn’t the only thing that caught my eye, the guys showed motivation and passion for the brand. “The cars also play to my interest in environmental issues, you never know, you may see me driving around Mayfair in my new Peel car.” James Caan
The two car models in the Peel brand the Peel P50 and Peel Trident are being reproduced and retailed for the first time in 50 years.
The Peel P50 is a three-wheeled microcar originally manufactured between 1962-1964 on the Isle of Man by Peel Engineering. At only 54″ (1,372 mm) long, 41″ (1,041 mm) wide and weighing just 130 lbs (59 kg) it holds the record as the world’s smallest production car. A record it has held for nearly 50 years. Designed as a city car, it was initially advertised as being capable of “seating one adult and a shopping bag”, the P50 comes equipped with a single windscreen wiper, one door on the left side and, it’s most famous characteristic, a single headlight. It comes in a range of colours, including dragon red, daytona white and capri blue. The 1960′s version was powered by a 49 cc two stroke DKW petrol engine capable of propelling the P50 up to 38mph, thanks to it’s 3 speed manual transmission. Due to the absence of a reverse gear, turning in a confined area was achieved either by pushing or lifting the car up by its handle mounted at the rear and manually rotating it. Being so small the P50 is very economical and fuel consumption of over 100 miles per gallon (imp) has been claimed by many owners.
Originally manufactured between 1965 and 1966 the Peel Trident is the second three-wheeled microcar produced by Peel Engineering on the Isle of Man. At 72″ (1,829 mm) long, 42″ (1,067 mm) wide and weighing 198 Ibs (90 kg) it is larger than the P50. However, like its little sister, it was marketed as a “shopping car” or a “Saloon Scooter”. Described as “a terrestrial flying saucer” due to its iconic clear bubble domed roof, the Trident can either seat two adults or one adult and a shopping basket. The original 1960′s versions were equipped with the same 49 cc two stroke DKW engine that was fitted to the P50, although a few examples had a larger rear wheel and were fitted with a 99 cc T10 engine. A one-off electric version was also produced.
Peel Engineering is a company embedded in British motoring history. The Peel P50 is recorded as the smallest production car of all time in the Guinness Book of Records. Peel was originally a manufacturing company based on the Isle of Man which made boats and motorcycles and later moved into car manufacturing. It was at an auction, that car enthusiast Gary Hillman spotted one of the 20 remaining original Peel 50’s. Gary was inspired by the design and unique offering that the Peel brand presented. After getting in touch with the inventor Cyril Canell, Gary took on the task of reinventing the Peel brand to bring it back to its former glory. Gary found himself a business partner, Faizal Khan and together they started to produce the Peel 50 and Peel Trident exactly to Cannell’s specifications, as well as developing a ‘green’ electric motor. Peel Engineering quickly acquired an order from Ripley’s Believe it or Not; the worldwide theme attraction group. In 2008 the first car appeared in Ripley’s Piccadilly Circus Trocodero premises. It was later launched in New York where it caused a frenzy with the US media. A video of the car featured on Yahoo.com homepage for 24 hours and was played over 1 million times to over 10 million viewers. Peel has produced a total of 12 cars for Ripley’s which are now featured all over USA, Canada and Australia.
When Gary and Faizal first entered the Den and whipped the covers off the Peel Cars the dragons faces lit up. After delivering their pitch they invited the dragons to test drive the cars. Duncan and Theo squeezed into the P50 and Peter took the wheel of the Trident. After the mini test drive Deborah challenged the duo’s business strategy and the other dragons challenged them further. James stayed quiet throughout the exchanges and waited until the very end to make Faizal and Gary an offer. After some negotiation they finally agreed on a deal that would give the guys the financial boost they needed to push the Peel brand to new heights.