Tiny car big price: weird little Peel expected to fetch $145k
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It's one of the few cars to make a Reliant Robin seem roomy. And to anyone not old enough to remember the bubble car craze of the 1960s, it may look like the failed prototype for a flying saucer.
But this Peel Trident microcar is expected to fetch £80,000 (NZD$145,000) at auction.
As one of only 45 made by Isle of Man firm Peel Engineering Company over a two-year period, the 1965 three-wheeler is a collector’s item.
At 6ft 1in long and 3ft 3in wide, it is a doddle to park - and there are no doors. Users must lift the dome up to get in.
Prospective buyers will not be attracted by the two-seater’s performance, as its 49cc, 4.2 horsepower engine gives it a top speed of only 38mph.
The Trident will be sold in Monterey, California, on August 18 by its US owner, who bought it in 2014.
The dinky car may not be able to take to the skies, but its most identifiable feature is a glass bubble shell, much like George Jetson's 'aerocar' from the cartoon series.
The resemblance wasn't lost on Top Gear presenter James May, who described it as 'something out of The Jetsons' in a 2007 episode of the BBC motoring show.
The Trident was the successor to the famous Peel P50, which still holds the Guinness World Record as the smallest production car ever made.
Top Gear fans may remember watching Jeremy Clarkson drive a P50 around the BBC offices in the same episode of Top Gear that May referenced the Trident.
Last year, one investor paid US$175,000 for a diminutive P50 at an RM Sotheby’s auction in Florida.
That was well over the US$75,000 to US$100,000 estimate and more than 60,000 times its original value.
Upon release, the Trident was optimistically advertised as having 'saloon car comfort with scooter cost' and, because of its futuristic design, attached with the slogan 'your transport of tomorrow - today'.
As production numbers would indicate, the Trident was not a success and the car was named in Time magazine's list of the 50 Worst Cars Ever.
- Daily Mail