Peel Trident
The Peel Trident was the second three-wheeled microcar
A microcar is the smallest automobile classification usually applied to standard small car . Such small cars were generally referred to as cyclecars until the 1940s. More recent models are also called bubblecars due to their egg-shaped appearance.-Definition:The definition of a microcar has varied...

 made by the Peel Engineering Company
Peel Engineering Company
The Peel Engineering Company is a manufacturing company based on the Isle of Man that primarily made fibreglass boats as well as fairings for motorcycles. They were also responsible for the Peel Manxcar, Peel P50, and Peel Trident microcars, in addition to the Peel Viking Sport and prototype GRP...

 on the Isle of Man
Isle of Man
The Isle of Man , otherwise known simply as Mann , is a self-governing British Crown Dependency, located in the Irish Sea between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, within the British Isles. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann. The Lord of Mann is...

. 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
Flying saucer
A flying saucer is a type of unidentified flying object sometimes believed to be of alien origin with a disc or saucer-shaped body, usually described as silver or metallic, occasionally reported as covered with running lights or surrounded with a glowing light, hovering or moving rapidly either...

". 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 DKW
DKW is a historic German car and motorcycle marque. The name derives from Dampf-Kraft-Wagen .In 1916, the Danish engineer Jørgen Skafte Rasmussen founded a factory in Zschopau, Saxony, Germany, to produce steam fittings. In the same year, he attempted to produce a steam-driven car, called the DKW...

 engine, and a top speed at 38 mph. It was advertised
Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common...

 that the Trident got 100 mpgimp, "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
Monster Garage
Monster Garage is a television show for the Discovery Channel hosted by Jesse G. James. Each episode is an hour in length and was conceived and produced by Thom Beers.The show aired the series finale on June 12, 2006. Jesse G...

, 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
thumb|A [[Kart racing|racing kart]] at the [[Commission Internationale de Karting|CIK-FIA]] European Championship 2008A go-kart is a small four-wheeled vehicle...

 frame. The project was a failure, and the unfinished car was destroyed by the show's host, Jesse James
Jesse G. James
Jesse Gregory James is an American television personality and CEO of West Coast Choppers, a manufacturer of custom-made motorcycles. James was the host of the reality TV shows Jesse James is a Dead Man on Spike TV and Monster Garage, on the Discovery Channel, and the focus of the documentary...

, with a single shot from a .50 caliber sniper rifle. This car was actually a replica built by Andy Carter in Nottingham
Nottingham is a city and unitary authority in the East Midlands of England. It is located in the ceremonial county of Nottinghamshire and represents one of eight members of the English Core Cities Group...

, UK.

It also made a brief appearance in the BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 motoring programme Top Gear
Top Gear (current format)
Top Gear is a British television series about motor vehicles, primarily cars. It began in 1977 as a conventional motoring magazine show. Over time, and especially since a relaunch in 2002, it has developed a quirky, humorous style...

on BBC Two
BBC Two is the second television channel operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation in the United Kingdom. It covers a wide range of subject matter, but tending towards more 'highbrow' programmes than the more mainstream and popular BBC One. Like the BBC's other domestic TV and radio...

, where co-presenter James May
James May
James Daniel May is an English television presenter, journalist and writer. He is best known for his role as co-presenter of the award-winning motoring programme Top Gear alongside Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond....

 described the Peel Trident as "something out of The Jetsons
The Jetsons
The Jetsons is a animated American sitcom that was produced by Hanna-Barbera, originally airing in prime-time from 1962–1963 and again from 1985–1987...

". Co-presenter Jeremy Clarkson
Jeremy Clarkson
Jeremy Charles Robert Clarkson is an English broadcaster, journalist and writer who specialises in motoring. He is best known for his role on the BBC TV show Top Gear along with co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May...

 described the Peel Trident, along with its sister, the Peel P50
Peel P50
The Peel P50 is a three-wheeled microcar originally manufactured in 1962 and 1965) by the Peel Engineering Company on the Isle of Man. It retailed for £199 when new , and currently holds the record for the smallest automobile to go into production...

, as his perfect two-car garage. The Trident appeared on the BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 business programme Dragons' Den in August 2010.


The Trident, along with its sister car the P50, have been on many of the world's Worst Car lists. TIME
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

has it on its 50 Worst Cars of All Time.

External links

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