As far as automotive oddities go, they don’t get any odder than this. Produced 1965-66 by the Peel Engineering Company from the Isle of Man, the Peel Trident was classified as a micro-car. The polarising looks aside, the two-seater Trident’s performance figures were also not earth shattering. It featured a 49cc, 4.2hp Zweirad Union single-cylinder engine which put down power through a three-speed transmission. This gave it a top speed of 38mph (61kmph) and a reported 100mpg. The Peel’s marketing team used this to come up with the slogan “almost cheaper than walking”.
The mechanicals of the Peel Trident were carried over from its predecessor, the P50, as seen on Top Gear being driven by Jeremy Clarkson through the BBC office. However, the Trident came with sportier, futuristic styling, which has often led to comparisons between this and George Jetson’s flying car from the popular cartoon series of the time.
The access into the sparse cabin was by way of lifting the plastic dome. The limited production run of 45 units suggests that the car was a failure. However, these cars have lately garnered something of a cult following. These oddities are seen as a good fit in multi-million dollar collector garages. This is usually because, if anything, these cars ooze character and will definitely break the monotony of high-power supercars. The fact that one of these has just been listed on RM Sotheby’s for a base price of USD 80,000 – 100,000 is proof enough of this.
Photos by Robin Adams for RM Sotheby’s