The Peel P50 was built on the Isle of Man in the 1960’s and powered by a 49cc gas engine that pushed the car to a 40 mph top speed and delivered more than 80 mpg. It was the smallest production automobile ever built, and—despite only 70 examples being produced —has become wildly popular in microcar circles, especially since appearing in a 2007 segment of the BBC’s hit show TopGear.
This new-found popularity and BBC visibility has breathed new life into the Peel concept, and new investment dollars mean that Peel is back in business!
More, including the hilarious TopGear sketch, after the jump.
Thanks to investment from another BBC show star (Dragon’s Den‘s James Caan) Peel’s Faizal Khan and Gary Hillman hope to produce a run of 50 new Peel microcars (faithful replicas to the original) in the hopes of re-launching Peel as a marketable brand, with marketing spin-offs and tie-ins to the car’s spiritual home at the Isle of Man.
In addition to gas-powered P50s, Faizal and Gary believe they have what it takes to bring the P50 into the 21st Century by offering an electric Peel microcar, possibly based on the bubble-top Peel Trident, below.
Since the Peel duo appeared on the Dragon’s Den with Caan, they’ve launched an online competition to design a new wave of Peel-brand products through their new website… which I couldn’t find (my Google-fu is weak, apparently!).
I did find this, however: an online Flash game from the BBC that allows you to pilot a Peel P50 through the BBC offices.
Good luck to them, and let’s hope they do a better job with the microcar concept than Smart did!
SOURCE: Isle of Man Today, BBC.