In the early 1960s, a British company on the Isle of Man built the P50, a three-wheeled vehicle that attracted attention because of its size. The car, which is just 1.34 meters long and 99 centimeters wide, rolled off the assembly line around 80 times and later entered the Guinness Book of Records as the smallest production car in the world. In 2007, in the TV car series 'Top Gear', British TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson drove a 1963 P50 through BBC headquarters in London, took the car into a lift and drove it up to his desk. The popular cult vehicle on three wheels can now be purchased in a construction kit in order to build the P50 yourself - although not the original, of course, but a replica.
The London company "P50Cars" offers the P50 either with an electric motor or with a combustion engine. The small vehicle is available in a kit for assembly and as a fully assembled vehicle. The electric version drives up to 48 km/h and has a maximum range of 80 kilometers. The manufacturers specify a top speed of 80 km/h and a range of around 130 kilometers for the "Turbo" kit. The time required to assemble the car is said to be around 50 hours.
The starting price for the kit is the equivalent of almost 11,700 euros. The electric version is also available for the money. But there is also an electric convertible that costs at least 5260 euros. In addition, the modular system is also available for four-stroke combustion engines with displacements of 49 to 125 cc. The motor is not included in the delivery and must therefore be obtained by yourself. The price for the assembled version starts at around 15,700 euros. In addition, "P50Cars" offers the P50 with an original DKW engine from 1960 made in Germany. The model is available in limited quantities and costs around 33,600 euros, which is significantly more than the other versions. The then successor to the P50, the two-seater Trident, is also available in assembled form and with an electric drive. Purchase price here: at least 18,000 euros.
According to "P50Cars", fewer than 30 P50s exist today. The vehicle value is said to be often over $170,000. With the new models, the manufacturer wants to take advantage of the popularity of the cult car and bring it back onto the market. Visually, the models on offer are very similar to the original vehicles from the 1960s. And technically, the differences are apparently not particularly big either - although today's models are likely to be significantly more modern. At that time, the P50 had a 4.2 hp 50 cc petrol engine. The mini car with the 5-inch wheels drove up to 70 km/h and had no reverse gear. To turn, the driver had to get out and lift the 60-kilogram tricycle at the rear to change direction. The car cost £199 at the time.
"P50Cars" is not the first company that wants to bring the P50 back onto the market. In 2008 two London entrepreneurs revived the P50 as well as the Trident. Visually unchanged, they upgraded the technology a bit and installed a moped engine from Honda. An electric version was also created. However, after 33 copies had been produced, production ended in 2011. In the same year, the company Bambycars also built the mini cult car. But here the business was also discontinued due to the lack of success.
Sources: P50Cars, Motor1