By Giacomo Brunelli @GiacomoBrunelli
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Videographer / director: David Albright
Producer: Giacomo Brunelli, Frazer Randalls
Editor: Ian Phillips
The three-wheeled microcar was originally made from 1962 to 1965 by the Peel Engineering Company and was listed in the 2010 Guinness World Records as the smallest production car ever made, with a weight of just 59 kilograms.
Of the 50 P50s ever produced, only 27 are still known to exist today.
Canadian, Greg, is one of the owners of these rare cars, and he told Barcroft TV: “The P50 came out of the Isle of Man, basically the concept was a little car that you can use in the city”.
With its DKW 49cc engine, the P50 has a top speed of 37mph and 4.2 horsepower.
“It’s a one-seater with one headlight - I also love how it has three wheels, the back wheel is the one that is driving it with a chain from a little moped engine,” Greg said.
With its uniquely small size, the P50 is not the most practical car to use.
Greg continued: “There’s no reverse because you have to get out of the car and go around to the reversing handle, pick up the car and turn it around then get back in.”
Although this is undoubtedly a small car, it has a big history.
“There was a Russian freighter that came into the port of Vancouver, they used it to drive around their huge freighter on the deck but then the refrigerator broke so when they came back, they traded this car in on a refrigerator,” said Greg.
Today, these cars are incredibly difficult to come by and are incredibly expensive - in 2016 a P50 was sold at auction for $176,000.
But when Greg bought his P50 from a family in British Columbia it was in a dire state and he had to do some major renovations to it.
He admitted: “The hardest part of restoring the car was just finding the parts and waiting months and months and months to get them from England.”
50 years ago, the previous owners of Greg’s P50 only paid $100 for it and they recently visited Greg to see the complete restoration.
“It looks better than it ever has in its life for sure - it’s wonderful, gives you such a good feeling,” said previous owner, Vivian Erhardt.
Proud of his achievement, Greg finds fulfilment when others appreciate his restoration.
He added: “Every time anyone sees this car, they have a huge smile on their face, and that’s really fun to be around.”