Motoring enthusiast drives length of UK in world’s smallest car
“Its top speed is about 23mph – it’ll cruise along nicely at that but nearer 30mph it shakes itself to pieces."
By Ed Cullinane via SWNS
A motoring enthusiast has successfully driven the length of the UK in the world’s smallest car – a tiny three-wheeler with a top speed of just 23 mph.
Alex Orchin, 31, set off from John O'Groats, Scotland on November 13 and has now reached Land's End - a journey of 874 miles.
Alex completed the whole journey in the Peel P50 - which is just 134cm long (52 in), 98cm wide ( 38 in) and 100cm high (39 in).
He arrived on December 4 just in time for his three-week goal - raising over £8,000 ($10,599) for Children in Need.
Alex stopped along the way in various motor museums, his former student home and even detoured to visit Jeremy Clarkson's 'Diddly Squat' farm.
His car, a P50, was first made on the Isle of Man in the 1960s and in 2010 was named the smallest production car ever built in the book of Guinness World Records.
Alex got the car three years ago from a man in Wales after becoming obsessed with them when he saw Jeremy Clarkson drive one on "Top Gear."
His car was built in 2017 but is based on the original design from the first production models in the 1960s.
Alex, from Wivelsfield in East Sussex, said in a YouTube video posted at lands end: "So we have made it to Land's End.
"I can't believe we're actually here, and it's windy! When we were parked down by the sign post I thought we were going to take off.
"The Peel P50 has done over 1,400 miles since we left John O'Groats, I cant believe that little car has managed that. What an achievement.
"It's been the most remarkable experience, all the places we have visited, the people we have met, the places we got invited to - the fact that it's over now just feels weird.
"Thank you to everyone who has supported us on this journey. Thank you to those who donated on the GoFundMe, and the people who donated in person.
''Thank you to all the people who we met on this journey, and have done all these wonderful things. It's just been incredible".
Alex ran into one small issue near the end of the journey - the door fell off.
"The Peel is in the back of our camper van now, with the door hanging off," he said in the video.
Having to cable-tie himself into the vehicle for the last 50 miles, Alex was forced to complete the journey in one single push.
Despite its limitations though, Alex remains obsessed with the car.
“I saw the P50 on an episode of Top Gear when Jeremy Clarkson was driving it and I was completely captivated by it," he said.
“I am vintage car enthusiast - I have had a 1914 Model T and a 1968 Morris Minor.
“I got fixated on this idea of having a P50 but when I saw an original was £100,000 it kind of killed it off.
“Then three years ago I bought one of the newer ones from a guy in Wales, so I’m only the second owner.
“The newer ones were made in 2017 and they are a bit more eco-friendly.”
Alex, who is 5ft 11in, had to cram himself in the car for 100 miles a day and said people are amazed when they see the tiny motor.
He has taken on the challenge to raise money for BBC Children in Need and is being supported by a pal who is following along in a campervan where all his things are kept.
The P50 was transported to the start point in John O'Groats in the back of the campervan.
“When Peel found out I was planning to do the trip they put a new engine in it for me," Alex said.
“Its top speed is about 23mph – it’ll cruise along nicely at that but nearer 30mph it shakes itself to pieces.
“It wasn’t made for long journeys which is what makes this such a challenge.
“I am 5ft 11in and you’re pretty much sitting on the floor with your knees jammed either side of the steering wheel.
“As far as I know I am the first person to attempt the journey in a P50.
“When people see the car they get so excited.
“Wherever I park it, it draws a crowd, people are amazed by this car – and not just car people it has a universal appeal with everyone, even kids.
“You have to be a sociable person to drive this car because people are always stopping to talk to you and take pictures.
“It always steals the show.
Those looking to donate can do it here.
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