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Live the Simple Life With This Peel P50 Microcar

Road & Track logo Road & Track 7/7/2020 Mack Hogan
a car parked in a parking lot: You can now buy a P50, the microcar made famous by an iconic Top Gear bit. With only 50 examples worldwide, it's a rare opportunity. © BringATrailer You can now buy a P50, the microcar made famous by an iconic Top Gear bit. With only 50 examples worldwide, it's a rare opportunity.

We often wax poetic about simple cars. Manual gearboxes. Small curb weights. No extraneous technology. Rarely, though, has an carmaker made something as bare-bones as the Peel P50 microcar.

Welcome to You Must Buy, our daily look at the cars you really should be buying instead of that boring commuter sedan.

Using the term "carmaker" to describe Peel is charitable. The Isle of Man-based company turned out just 50 examples of the P50 from 1962 to 1965, and in the eyes of the law, they weren't cars. At the time in England, three-wheeled cars were regulated as motorcycles, allowing them to dodge safety requirements. And even though stringent safety measures weren't commonplace when this P50 was built in 1964, this car still took the minimalist approach seriously.

Seating is limited to one, body panels are thin, and curb weight for this Canadian model is just a claimed 130 pounds. The P50 is also less than five feet long, so you're never far from the impact in the event of a crash. Extravagant luxuries like seatbelts and a passenger-side (or, driver's other side?) mirror are nowhere to be found either.

Of course, that leaves little in the way of you enjoying the driving experience. So long as you can fit and survive, you can enjoy rowing through the three forward gears, getting the most out of all 4.2 horsepower available. You can even drive it through some office buildings, as Top Gear demonstrated in an iconic bit on the P50.

Replay Video

Clearly, it's a versatile vehicle. And while that doesn't make it ideal for everyone, fans of weird microcars now have their shot at owning one through this Bring A Trailer auction. Not only is this one of only 50 or so worldwide, but it's also a rare Canadian-market version. Essentially, the Canadian version is a normal P50 with a pipe welded to the exhaust to transfer some engine heat into the cabin. It may add on some bulk, but you'll be secure in the knowledge that you sprang for the most luxurious P50.

Bring a Trailer is also owned by Road & Track’s parent company, Hearst Autos.


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