Peel Trident

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Peel Trident
ManufacturerPeel Engineering Company (1965-66)
Peel Engineering Ltd. (2011 - Present)
Approximately 45[1] produced
2011 - Present
DesignerCyril Cannell
Body and chassis
Body styleFlip-top (no-door) coupé
LayoutRear-engine, rear-wheel drive
RelatedPeel P50
EngineDKW 49 cc, 4.2 hp although some cars: Triumph Tina 99 cc
Transmission3-speed manual
Length190 cm (73 in)[1]
Width99 cm (39 in)[1]
Kerb weight150 kg (330 lb)[1]
Trident with its three-pronged Trident badge, exhibiting how the shell opened to permit entry, unlike the P50 which had a side-door

The Peel Trident is the second three-wheeled microcar made by the Peel Engineering Company on the Isle of Man. An all-new design from its one-seat counterpart the Peel P50, the Trident has two seats.


The Trident was launched at the 1964 British Motorcycle Show held at Earls Court. The seat, stated as being [31 in (79 cm)] wide, was intended to provide for use as an occasional two-seater.[2]

A completely new design from the earlier side-engined Peel P50 microcar, the Trident was manufactured in 1965 and 1966.

In 2011, Peel Engineering Ltd. started re-manufacturing the Peel Trident once again in Sutton-in-Ashfield, near Nottingham, England. All vehicles are hand-built to order in petrol and electric form.[citation needed]

Description and specifications[edit]

The glass-fibre shell was a monocoque with coil-sprung, undamped wheels.[2] It featured a clear bubble top[3] and either two seats or one seat with a detachable shopping basket.

The Lakeland Motor Museum observes that the Trident's bubble top constituted grounds for its sobriquet "The Terrestrial Flying Saucer."[4] Like its predecessor, it was marketed as a "shopping car" or a "Saloon Scooter".[citation needed]

The car is 73 in (185 cm) long and 39 in (99 cm) wide, with a weight of 330 lb (150 kg).[1] Like the P50, it uses a 49 cc (3.0 cu in) DKW engine which generates 4.2 hp (3.1 kW), and a top speed of 28 mph (45 km/h). It was advertised that the Trident got 100 miles per imperial gallon (2.8 L/100 km; 83 mpg‑US), "almost cheaper than walking". The original retail price was £190.[1]

All engines supplied to Peel from Zweirad Union (for both the P50 and Trident) were of the 49 cc 3-speed 4.2 hp 804–1600 type. Uniquely, however, the Peel engines had the 8th digit as a 4, thus being of the form 80416004***.[citation needed] This car is one of the smallest in the world.[4]

Media appearances[edit]

The Trident made a late transatlantic media appearance in the American television series Monster Garage, when a team of engineers and fabricators attempted to fit a high-performance Suzuki Hayabusa superbike engine into the bodywork of a Trident, mounted onto a conventional go-kart frame. The project was a failure, and the unfinished car was destroyed by the show's host Jesse James with a single shot from a .50 caliber sniper rifle.[5]

It also made a brief appearance in the BBC motoring programme Top Gear on BBC Two, when the P50 was featured more extensively and the Trident was introduced as a "sports version". Co-presenter James May described the Peel Trident as "something out of The Jetsons", and co-presenter Jeremy Clarkson described the Trident and the P50 as his perfect two-car garage.

The Trident appeared on the BBC business programme Dragons Den in August 2010. The Trident made another appearance, driven by Rutledge Wood, on the second episode of the third season of Top Gear US.

The vehicle is included in Time magazine's list of the 50 Worst Cars Ever.[3]

This car is also featured in the 2018 videogame Forza Horizon 4 as part of a DLC pack.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "1965 Peel Trident". Lane Motor Museum. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Earls Court Parade". The Motor Cycle: 858–859. 10 November 1964.
  3. ^ a b Neil, Dan (2007). "50 Worst Cars Ever". Time. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Meet the World's smallest motor cars". Lakeland Motor Museum. Archived from the original on 1 November 2013. Retrieved 30 October 2013. The Peel Trident has its own claim to fame as being accredited as the World's smallest two seat motor car.
  5. ^ "Monster Garage Season 3 Episode 58". Archived from the original on 6 October 2006.

External links[edit]