Man driving length of Britain in world's smallest car

A classic car enthusiast drives the world’s smallest car – a tiny tricycle with a top speed of just 23 miles per hour – the length of Britain.

Alex Orchin, 31, started from John O’Groats in Scotland on Saturday and has covered 360 miles so far in the Peel P50, which is only 134 cm long, 98 cm wide and 100 cm high.

He hopes to reach Land’s End, Cornwall, in about three weeks – and be the first person to make the trip in a P50.

P50s were first manufactured in the Isle of Man in the 1960s and entered the Guinness Book of Records in 2010 as the smallest production car ever built.

Alex got the car from a man in Wales three years ago after obsessing over them when he saw Jeremy Clarkson drive one on Top Gear.

The car was built in 2017 but is based on the original design of the first production models in the 1960s.

Alex of Wivelsfield, East Sussex said, “I saw the P50 on an episode of Top Gear when Jeremy Clarkson was driving it and I was completely fascinated by it.

“I’m a classic car enthusiast – I had a Model T from 1914 and a Morris Minor from 1968.

“I was fixated on the idea of ​​having a P50, but when I saw an original cost £ 100,000 it kind of killed me.

“Then three years ago I bought one of the newer ones from a man in Wales so I’m only the second owner.

“The newer ones were made in 2017 and are a little more environmentally friendly.”

Alex, who is 5 feet 11 inches tall, crams the car 100 miles a day and said people are amazed to see the tiny engine.

He has taken on the challenge of raising money for BBC Children in Need and is supported by a buddy who rides in a motor home that keeps all of his belongings.

The P50 was transported in the back of the motor home to the launch point in John O’Groats.

Alex said, “When Peel found out I was planning the trip, they put a new engine in for me so it only has 360 miles on the clock – that’s how far I’ve traveled.

“Its top speed is around 37 km / h – it drives well, but at almost 50 km / h it shakes itself to pieces.

“It wasn’t made for long journeys, which makes it such a challenge.

“I’m 1.70 m tall and you’re pretty much on the floor with your knees trapped on either side of the steering wheel.

“As far as I know, I’ll be the first to try the trip in a P50.

“We should reach Land’s End in about two or three weeks, we stop a lot to talk to people about the car and the trip.

“The journey is about 870 miles, but I think it will be approaching 1,000 with the stops.

“When people see the car, they are so excited.

“Wherever I park it, it attracts people, people are enthusiastic about this car – and not just drivers, it has a universal appeal for everyone, even children.

“You have to be sociable to drive this car because people always stop to talk to you and take pictures.

“It always steals the show.

“I’m proud and relieved when we make it to the end without anything going wrong, but it’s about the way, not the goal.”

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