Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Peel Trident

ManufacturerPeel Engineering Company
Approximately 45 produced
Body styleOne-door coupe
LayoutSide-engine, rear-wheel drive
EngineDKW 49 cc, 4.2 hp + some cars made with Triumph Tina 99 cc
Transmission3-speed manual
Length183 cm (72.0 in)
Width99 cm (39.0 in)
Curb weight90 kg (198 lb)
RelatedPeel P50
Designer(s)Cyril Cannell
The Peel Trident was the second three-wheeled microcar made by the Peel Engineering Company on the Isle of Man. It was manufactured in 1965 and 1966. The Trident featured a clear bubble top and either two seats or one seat with a detachable shopping basket. It has been described as "a terrestrial flying saucer". Like its predecessor it was marketed as a "shopping car" or a "Saloon Scooter".


The car is 72 in (1,829 mm) long and 42 in (1,067 mm) wide, with a weight of 198 lb (90 kg). Like the P50, it uses a 49 cc (3.0 cu in) DKW engine, and a top speed at 28 mph. 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.

All engines supplied to Peel from Zweirad Union (for both the P50 and Trident) were of the 49 cc 3-speed 4.2 horsepower 804-1600 type. Uniquely, however, the Peel engines had the 9th digit as a 4, thus being of the form 80416004 This car is one of the smallest in the world.

Media appearances

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. This car was actually a replica built by Andy Carter in Nottingham, UK.

It also made a brief appearance in the BBC motoring programme Top Gear on BBC Two, where co-presenter James May described the Peel Trident as "something out of The Jetsons". Co-presenter Jeremy Clarkson described the Peel Trident, along with its sister, the Peel 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 Trident, along with its sister car the P50, have been on many of the world's Worst Car lists. TIME has it on its 50 Worst Cars of All Time.

External Links

  1. "Lane Motor Museum - 1965 Peel Trident". http://www.lanemotormuseum.org/.
  2. Monster Garage Season 3 Episode 58 
  3. "Modern Microcars". Modern Microcars. Retrieved 2011-11-05.
  4. "The 50 Worst Cars Of All Time". Time. 7 September 2007.
  5. Peel Microcars
  6. Peel Trident Factory Movie
  7. Peel Cars photographs of 20+ Peel Cars at a rally in their hometown of Peel, Isle of Man.
  8. A little about the car and company
  9. Information and pictures
  10. Time Magazine's 50 Worst Cars Ever
  11. http://www.micromaniacsclub.co.uk " Multi-make microcar club welcoming owners and drivers of Peels"