Peel Engineering was the brainchild of Cyril Cannel. Cyril was an brilliant engineer and designer who set up his business close to Peel harbour in the 1950s building boats and then motorcycle fairings using a new material called fibreglass.
Peel Engineering quickly became leaders in the use of this material and had great success with its motorcycle fairings which became popular with motorcycle riders and racers worldwide.
In the 1960s, during “TT fortnight” Peel  staff were often very busy  working long hours fitting a range of new fairings to customers bikes.

Boats built by Peel can still be seen in Peel harbour almost 60 years after they were built, which goes to show the quality and design of their products.

In 1953 Peel Engineering began making a sports car bodyshell designed to fit a Ford 8/10 chassis. This was called the “Peel P1000” a sleek design with double skinned doors, opening luggage boot and one piece front end.
It is not known how many of these bodys were built.
Only a handful of P1000s are known to still exist.

In 1955 Peel built a prototype 3 wheeled small car called the Manxcar. Powered by a 250cc Anzani engine.
The car did not go into series production.

In 1962 Cyril and his business partner Henry Kissack built a new tiny single seat 3  wheeled car called the P50 prototype (sometimes refered to as a P55 Saloon scooter). This car had one wheel at the front and two at the rear, but tests proved it to be unstable on corners so the design was reversed for the production P50s that followed.
A P50 prototype was exhibited at the November 1962 Earl’s Court motorcycle show in London. The car on the stand had no engine fitted despite sales leaflets claiming it had been tested around the 37 mile Manx TT course.

Production of the new revised P50 began in 1963. Fitted with a DKW 49cc engine, 3 speed gearbox and hand pull starter.
The 4.2hp engine could propel the tiny car up to almost 40 mph.
Early P50s had an enclosed engine with removable lower side cover panel, whereas later cars had an exposed engine which helped cooling and maintenance. About 50 Peel p50s were built in total.
Most were painted red in colour, with some blue ones and a few white ones.
Production ceased in late 1964 to make way for the new 2 seater Trident model.

The Trident appeared in early 1965 with same 49cc DKW engine as the P50, but with space for two adults and a small luggage area. The unusual appearance of the car made it look like a tiny spacecraft.
The acrylic “Perspex” domes were free blown from a shaped metal frame with no mould, which produced very high quality optically perfect domes. Simple yet efficient was a character of most of Cyril’s designs.
Peel offered an option of a fixed shopping basket in place of the Trident’s passenger seat, which allowed 16 year olds to learn to drive unaccompanied.

One four wheeled battery powered electric Trident prototype was also produced, but this was never put into production.
One or twoTridents were built with the 99cc Triumph Tina/T10 engine and larger rear wheel.
Trident bodies were made in red or pale blue gelcoat finish, not painted.
About 90 Tridents were built in total.

In late 1966 Cyril sold the Trident moulds and parts to build at least 6 more cars to Norway.


Peel Engineering also made the Viking Sport, a fibreglass GT bodyshell designed to take all the mechanical parts from a standard BMC Mini. A handful of completed cars and bodyshells were built before the project was sold to Bill Last of Trident Cars.
It is thought about 24 cars were built in total.

BMC were so impressed by the Viking Sport bodyshell, that they commissioned Peel to make moulds and prototypes to build a fibreglass Mini and BMC 1100.
One fibreglass Mini was crash tested at MIRA with very good results. The moulds were sent to Chile to start production of fibreglass Minis, but the project was cancelled soon after due to political changes. 
It is not known how many fibreglass Minis were built in Chile

 This was the end of Peel car production on the IOM.
 
Peel designed fairings and boats continued to be built by West Marine Ltd. into the 1970s.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
If you wish to learn more about Peel Engineering I suggest you read the excellent book by Barry Edwards, “P50 Peel Engineering’s extraordinary legacy” Lily Publications.
 
 
 

A short history of Peel Engineering.

Henry Kissack reversing a white P50 on Peel promenade in 1964