Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Two micro-cars fetch more than £200,000 at auction

A white P50 three-wheeler and a red Peel Trident Image copyright RM Sotheby's
Image caption The P50 was listed in the 2010 Guinness World Records as the smallest production car ever made

Two rare micro-cars made in the Isle of Man in the 1960s have sold for more than £200,000 at auction in the United States.

The three-wheeler vehicles, a 1964 P50 and a 1965 Trident, went under the hammer in California on Friday.

The cars, made by Peel Engineering, fetched $140,250 (£110,000) and $121,000 (£94,000) respectively.

At 4ft 6in (1.4m) long, the Peel P50 remains the world's smallest automobile to go into production.

Image copyright Central Press
Image caption Micro cars were advertised as being able to carry "one adult and a shopping bag".

Designed as a city car, the P50 retailed in 1963 at £199 and was bought by collectors all over the world.

Only 50 were ever made and it's thought only half of those are in existence.

Image caption In 2007 the P50 featured in BBC Two's Top Gear programme

Two P50s remain on the Isle of Man - one is privately owned and the second is on display at The Peel Transport Museum.

Jake Auerbach from auction house Sotheby's said: "Even the most seasoned collectors get giddy the first time they see one."

Image copyright RM Sotheby's
Image caption The Trident with its distinctive bubble canopy was produced in four variations

"We spend so much time around so many important and valuable cars that it does become a bit 'ordinary' at times," continued Mr Auerbach.

"There is nothing ordinary about the Peels and they absolutely light up my day whenever I get to spend time around one".

Image copyright RM Sotheby's
Image caption The first P50s had a top speed of 38 mph and was capable of 100 miles per gallon

Sotheby's said only four of the cars have appeared at auction in the last 30 years.

Last year, a red P50 was sold in the US for $176,000 (about £120,000).

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