World's smallest car sells for $235,000 at auction
1964 Peel P50 fetches $235,000 CAN at auction (Photo: Greg Keysar/RM Sotheby's)
Nick Maronese, Autofocus.ca
Published Monday, March 21, 2016 3:12PM EDT
A rare 1964 Peel P50, the world’s smallest production car model, recently crossed the auction block for $176,000 US ($235,000 Canadian) at an auction event in Florida.
Chatham, Ontario-based RM Sotheby’s had put a pre-auction estimate of roughly $100,000 US on the microcar, but it went for almost twice that.
The Peel Engineering Company made only 47 original P50s, of which about 26 remain. However, the company recently started turning out reproduction examples for roughly $25,000, some with electric powertrains.
The three-wheeled P50 measures in at 137 cm long and 104 cm wide, or about the size of a small refrigerator and has held the Guinness world record for smallest production car for more than 50 years.
A 4.5-horsepower engine propels the P50 to up to 61 km/h, and because the three-speed transmission has no reverse gear, drivers have to turn the car around by lifting it up using a handle at the back.
Peel Engineering owner Cyril Cannell thought of the car as the perfect commuter vehicle, with space for just one person and a briefcase. When new, it was advertised as “almost cheaper than walking.”