This microscopic car from Australia is currently the worlds smallest radio controlled model. It is so small, its actually hard to see, its the little shiny object below the coin!
The radio controlled model car measures a mere five millimeters in length, and is just over three millimeters high, for comparison this is slightly larger than a grain of rice.
The magnified image above shows the car as it is being driven around an Australian ten cent coin. The car goes relatively fast as well with its microscopic wheels and motor, reaching speeds of up to 0.22mph or 0.36 kmh.
The second worlds smallest radio controlled car, seen below, is the Smart car model developed by Michihiro Hino from Tokyo, Japan. It measures just 25 millimeters long and is 1/90th scale. It drives forward, reverses and steers perfectly.
The worlds smallest drivable car, seen below, is called " Wind Up " and was built by British engineer Perry Watkins in Wingrave, U.K. It measures 52 inches long, 41 inches high and 26 inches wide. Guinness World Records officially recognized it as the worlds smallest car in 2009 and as far as I know it still holds this title.
It looks like his feet have gone through the floor if you look closely!
THE WORLDS SMALLEST PRODUCTION CAR
The worlds smallest production car was built by PEC - The Peel Engineering Company, on The Isle Of Man between 1962 and 1965. The Peel Engineering Company were originally makers of fibre-glass fairings and small boats when they turned their skills into car production.
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It was called the Peel P50 and first retailed for a hundred and fifty pounds. It is also the only car ever manufactured on the Isle of Man.
The above picture is of a 1964 Peel P50
It was four feet five inches long, three feet five inches wide and three feet five inches high and weighed a hundred and thirty-one pounds, not including the driver! The top speed was forty miles per hour with the wind behind you, driving on five inch wide Avon Kart wheels and tires.
The car had normal pedals to brake, accelerate and change gear but with no starter motor on the ignition, instead a cranking lever was provided to start the engine.
The Peel P50had a column shift quadrant gear selector. There was a complete absence of instruments, there was not even a speedometer due to the fact that the car would never go fast enough to exceed any road speed limits, hence it was deemed unnecessary.
It was powered by a small single cylinder 49cc two stroke Zweirad Union DKW moped engine that produced a maximum power output of 4.2bhp @ 6,600rpm. The fuel consumption was claimed to be around a hundred miles per gallon.
Below a gentleman has kindly lifted the Peel P50 over so that we can have a better view of its little 49cc engine...thank you sir! If I can just add...that axel looks a bit weak!
The chassis was actually constructed from welded tubular steel, with the car body shell being made from Glass Fiber. There was three standard colors for the Peel car and they were Dragon Red, Daytona White and Capri Blue.
The Peel P50 was a single seater with no reverse gear, but this was not a problem...you simply picked the car up and turned it around yourself with the handle that was attached to the rear of the car. Or you could just grab it by the bumper!
On this first production P50 the drive wheel was at the front!
The Peel P50 was not a great success as it was noisy, cramped and unstable in that it could tip over if it was driven over uneven ground. It didn't accelerate very fast and was not very comfortable and every bump in the road could be felt through its tiny springs. The worst part about it though was that it could disintegrate if it was struck by another vehicle and the driver could be easily hurt or killed.
On the plus side it was cheap and very easy to maintain, you could just roll it on its side to change a flat tire and it would only take about two minutes to wash it. As stated earlier parking was NEVER a problem as it could be pushed into the smallest of spaces imaginable. The car could even be picked up, and literally dropped into a parking place.
Below is a YouTube video of the Peel P50 in action.
And also as featured on the British TV program Top Gear by presenter Jeremy Clarkson.
The Peel Company also put into production a second car called the Peel Trident of which over one hundred were built. This car was a two seater which was fitted with a bubble canopy for ease of access. It retailed for a hundred and ninety pounds. It is thought that about fifty cars still survive in the world today. The Peel Car Company ceased manufacture in 1965.
Below is the Peel Trident, which was a two seater variation of the original Peel. it was still powered by the same 49cc engine and had basically the same technicalities...or rather...lack of them!
Below is a photo of the reunion of Peel cars at PEEL in the Isle Of Man. Peel P50 owners the world over managed to get their little cars to the event. They probably tucked them away with the rest of their baggage to get them there!
Above: A nice photo of the Trident variety of the Peel, they were the top of the range two seaters. It is nice to see that these cars have survived and are being maintained and I'm sure that they will raise a smile where-ever they go.
Six P-50's in the background with two P-Tridents ( left ) and another P50 in the foreground. Considering that these cars are now forty years old, the photos show that they are in remarkable running order condition.
The white P50 seen above is ' indigenous ' to the Isle Of Man and shows this by its registration number of P50 MAN.
These exclusive's to Vince's Worthwhile Website show a red Peel Trident that was actually brought over from the USA for the reunion. The photo above shows the very basic interior of this car. In the photo below we can see a gentleman standing quite close to the cars, this gives us some scale to the Peel's size. Be careful you don't trip over them Sir!
The Isle Of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) circuit is thirty-seven and three quarters of a mile long and the Trident car was one of those that completed it. Thirty-seven miles in one of these little cars is probably quite an achievement.
CLAIM TO FAME
When I first created this webpage many years ago, (so long ago I have forgotten) there was little or no information about the Peel P50 anywhere at all. It was truly the forgotten, unheard of little car, it had its place in motoring history for a while but then it disappeared
I managed to source three photo's and I made a weak webpage on the car. A bit later I was contacted by a Peel P50 owner who supplied me with some more information (name withheld by request) and I rebuilt the web page.
It appears now that you can't shift for the Peel P50 on the internet, its cropping up everywhere and an engineering company is even making them again !
I would like to think that this webpage (as it was the only one on the internet about it at the time) has given inspiration and revitalized interest in this little car. I was given no credit for it, but that's life...anyway I post a link below to the New Peel P50 Company....enjoy!
Please visit the all new Peel Engineering website by clicking on the Peel image below.
Page created October 19th 2002. Updated December 15th 2012.