Classic Cars Wiki
Classic Cars Wiki

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 38 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 was given three wheels because in Britain a three-wheeled vehicle is classified as a motorcycle and therefore has lower taxes.

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