World's Smallest Car Back On The Road
The world's smallest mass-produced car is back in production. The UK's Peel P50 was born in 1962, had about enough room for a single driver and a shopping bag, and cost an unheard of £199 ( US $2200 in today's money). The ads joked that it was almost cheaper than walking. The company made 50 of the cars, 27 of which are still known to still be puttering today. In these fuel conscious times, a new company called Peel Engineering Ltd. is doing another production run of 50 units of the iconic little car.
Only 50? I feel like they're denying the next generation of Shriners their ride to work.
Before you run over to northern England with your checkbook, don't forget that there's no reverse gear - making conventional parking difficult. That's okay, just pick the car up by its rear handle and wheel it into place. It's also not quite as cheap as it was back in the 60s. You'll need to shell out upwards of $12,000 to get one today. I suppose that's cheap in the world of collectible oddball cars, but is also close to what you'd pay for a larger car with those other amenities like mirrors, a fourth wheel and a second headlight.
If you'd like to see one of the classics in action, here's a video where strapping "Top Gear" lad Jeremy Clarkson stacks his stocky 6' 5" frame into the diminutive auto.
It really does look like he's driving around in a snow blower. He takes the P50 on the road with BBC camera crew in tow. He points out in the video that their production vehicle is a hybrid SUV that actually measures in at friendlier to the environment than the Peel. Not only does Jeremy take the car to the office, he drives it around in the office! This is a great clip, even if you're not a huge car buff.
Wouldn't we all like to do that on our last Friday at a job? I'd love to strap a plow to the front of a little car like this and rearrange some cubicles someday. Let's see those vindictive clowns from H.R. just try and catch me... but I digress...