Tiny 1965 Peel Trident to be auctioned; it is the smallest two seater car ever made, is offered without reserve but is expected to achieve upwards of £80,000
One of just sixty made and an example of the only production car the Isle of Man has ever produced, a fully restored 73-inch long, 39-inch wide Peel Trident is to be sold at the RM Sotheby’s Monterey, California sale on 18th to 19th August.
Capable of achieving an astonishing 100 miles per gallon and a top speed of 38 miles per hour, Peel Tridents were made of fibreglass with a plastic dome, weigh just 330 pounds and have no reverse gear. The diminutive vehicle was designed to seat two passengers but was really “only a single seater in practical use” and has a small sliding side hatch as its only form of ventilation. It cost £190 new (the equivalent of £3,376, $4,354, €3,868 or درهم15,993 today) and was marketed as a “shopping car”.
Of what they call “an adorable little bubble on wheels”, Jake Auberach of RM Sotheby’s told The Sun:
“For the man who has everything microcars represent something new and interesting to buy, no matter how many millions of dollars worth of cars are already parked in your garage”.
“It is small enough to be stored just about anywhere, unique enough to complement just about any collection, and is guaranteed to be a conversation starter. It’s not unusual for many of the world’s largest collectors to have a few microcars kicking around for this reason.
“Peels have a definite cult following, helped in no small part by the well-known episode of Top Gear in which former host Jeremy Clarkson drives one through the offices of the BBC”.
Previously, of the Peel brand – which became defunct when Peel Engineering was dissolved in 1974 but was later revived by a pair of entrepreneurs after a 2010 appearance on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den – generally, Jeremy Clarkson, concluded:
“It’s the original terrestrial flying saucer – Almost cheaper than walking… It’s pretty practical… I’ve never seen the Top Gear team so enthusiastic about any car, ever… It’s the ultimate in personal mobility”.
Chassis number E185, the car offered, according to The Sun, is expected to achieve £80,000 ($103,000, €92,000 or درهم379,000) but is listed as having no reverse so could go for a lot less. Another example reportedly sold at a Coys of Kensington sale in 2012 for $55,000 (the equivalent of £45,000, $58,000, €52,000 or درهم213,000 today).