Monday October 27, 2014
The Peel cars were originally built between 1962-5 (Peel P50) and 1962-6 (Peel Trident) in the town of Peel on the Isle of Man by Cyril Cannell, owner of Peel Engineering Company until it ceased trading in 1970. A very limited amount were made, and only a handful of these originals remain today, often fetching over £100,000 at auction.* The Peel P50 has officially held the title of Guinness World Records World's Smallest Production Car since 1962 and its elder sibling is the Peel Trident, better known as the bubble car.
In 2011, Car Enthusiast and collector Gary Hillman bought two of the Original 1960's models, the P50 and Trident for his collection. Gary said, "I am a collector of cars that are rare and unique, and you don't get anything more unique than the Peel." Gary enlisted the help of entrepreneur, Faizal Khan and together they decided to re-launch the famous Peel brand and cars, by manufacturing them once again in England. Gary added: "The Peels are not only fun and quirky but they are classic British cars, and we intend to preserve our British automotive heritage and history through their re-manufacture in England."
A subsequent investment from James Caan on Dragons Den followed, and for the last four years, Peel has been manufacturing the P50 and Trident once again with both petrol and electric models available. The petrol model comes with a 49cc 4 stroke engine, with top speed reaching 28mph. The electric models are battery operated with electric moped engine. The good news is that both now have a reverse gear, unlike the originals which had to be turned round with a handle on the back. Peel use the same materials on the cars as the originals, with fibre glass bodies, and a few updated parts to enable them to be driven on today’s roads. All cars are built to order, and completely handmade.
The Peel’s appeal has travelled all over the world to countries such as Italy, Germany, USA, Thailand, Japan, Dubai, Qatar and Australia. They’ve even appeared on the hugely popular, Top Gear UK. The episode in question now has 9 million views on Youtube, and is the third most watched episode ever, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJfSS0ZXYdo.
Two Peels will be appearing at the world famous, Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show on the Lancaster Insurance stand at the NEC, Birmingham, November 14-16th 2014! The little cars will join the line up on the ‘Hollywood Premiere’ themed stand which will also host the Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters, K.I.T.T. from Knightrider and Back to the Future’s DeLorean.