This site is an affectionate tribute to the unique Peel Cars from the Isle of Man.
Years ahead of their time, and produced in the context of the ‘lean years’ of post-war Britain, there is still nothing quite like a Peel on the road today.
Probably 50 years ahead of its time...
Initial sales of the P.50 were quite encouraging with interest shown by several large motorcycle dealers in the UK, Europe and the USA. An unexpected problem arose with the 2 stoke engine: a number of owners omitted to add oil to the petrol when refuelling, in spite of more than adequate warning and even after a specially made combined filler cap and oil measure were added.
So, with engine failures, and in light of the virtually fraudulent but ferocious legal threats, the decision was taken to abandon the project for the time being.
Cyril Cannell 2006
During 1962 the staff of Peel designed the ‘P50’ but sometimes referred to it as the ‘P55 Scooter’. Designed and built by Cyril Cannell and Henry Kissack, and launched at the 1962 Earl’s Court Motorcycle Show, using the concept car, produced to evaluate sizes and possible features. In the video above Pathe News recorded the arrival of the P50 at the motorcycle show and gave the impression that the car was driven into the hall, despite having no engine!
Prior to the manufacture of the prototype body shell, a chassis was being tested on the Isle of Man with the engine driving the single front wheel.
The prototype P50, led the way to the production P50 but with some major differences. The wheel arrangement was reversed as the earlier car was found to be unstable, the production cars having the single wheel at the rear rather that at the front.
The P50 was the first production car manufactured on the Isle of Man and was recognised as the smallest production vehicle in the world. Early promotion material in 1963 suggested that using a P50 was cheaper than walking.
The P50 was available in three basic colours, red, blue and white and had a sales price of £175. The first examples appeared on Manx roads late in 1963, with full production getting underway throughout 1964. Around 55 P50s were built and it’s thought that 28 survive today. These cars were aimed at the city commuter who wanted to travel short distances and have ease of parking, and as a result they sold well in London.
Please open an image and browse the gallery using the arrrows at the edges of the pictures. We welcome images submitted from Peel fans to add to the site. Enjoy...