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Thread: Peerless Research Findings

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    Peerless Research Findings

    When I look for information about Peerless...I occasionally find something and keep it to myself. Therefore, I decided to create a place where I can put this raw data for anyone out there interested in reading about what things I've unearthed. Rather than a column, this will be more like a storage bin: some trivia, some leads on new cars found, mostly two- or three-line entries.

    This format will seem a little dry to some people, but the idea is to stay away from long-winded accounts. Other folks may add their 2 cents, too. If someone asks me a question about one of my PRF entries, my reply might be longer than three lines. ----Jeff
    Last edited by jeff_a; 4 Weeks Ago at 22:12.
    Jeff Brown
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    Re: Peerless Research Findings

    1. Only 1,599 Peerless Model 8-67 V-8's were built, according to serial # data I have.

    2. 1925 7-Pass. Mod. 6-72 cars had longer wheelbases than all the V-8 Peerlesses (Mod. 8-67) of that year. 133" vs. 128", according to The Standard Catalog.

    3. Engine Company 16 of the Washington, D.C. F.D. had a 1926 Peerless Roadster for the Fire Chief's Car in 1931.

    4. I read in a Canadian Model T club newsletter that one of their members had a Model T w/ a Peerless body on it for sale in March, 2008.

    5. I have a faint lead on a Peerless located in the Indy 500 Museum. Has anyone reading this ever been there? It's a "pre-1910 race car". That's kind of interesting, since the track wasn't opened until 1909.

    6. I have unearthed some data about the company whose tag is on the 1924 Peerless for sale in MT. It's the F.Y. Wheeler Co. of 2814 Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, California. They did re-paints on cars and applied a "Wheeler Finish" on a fleet of new dairy trucks, in one instance.

    7. Though there aren't supposed to be any complete Peerlesses in ID, I've heard that there was a 20's V-8 in Salmon, but the chassis was sold to a collector in Boise a few years ago.
    Last edited by jeff_a; December 1st, 2011 at 14:44.
    Jeff Brown
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    Re: Peerless Research Findings

    8. There's an article in Antique Automobile (Jan/Feb 2001) by George E. Orwig III "From Clothes Wringers & Bicycles to Horseless Carriages & Luxury Cars". Please contact me if you have a copy.

    9. In the Gen. Discussion Forum, there's a thread called: Touring Sonoma, CA-Western Tour (3/22/09 #587151): 3 photos of a '13 Peerless Limousine...on page 4.

    10. Looking closely at the 1926 Peerless Sales Manual, I see on the overhead view of the 7-P Phaeton something that's either a 2nd windshield or a divider window.

    11. I've gotten leads on 2 Peerlesses in Russia. One may be a Peerless armored car. Anyone else heard of any Peerless cars or trucks in Russia?

    12. Is there anyone reading this who has seen the Harold E. LeMay collection in the Tacoma, WA area? How many Peerlesses do they have (if any)?

    13. I saw a photo of an exceptional car listed as a "27 Peerless Conv" on a website about the 9/1/07 Auburn Labor Day show (Kruse Auction Park). Hood & fenders are odd for a '27 Peerless. Maybe it has a custom body (Rollston, Weymann etc.).

    14. The Peerless Forum now has as many posts as the Pierce-Arrow Forum.
    Last edited by jeff_a; August 21st, 2010 at 14:59.
    Jeff Brown
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    AACA, Peerless Motor Car Club

  4. #4

    Re: Peerless Research Findings

    Jeff this will be great, Thanks for all the little bits of great info.

    Keep them coming.

    Devon

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    Re: Peerless Research Findings

    15. There are 8 good Peerless photos on a site called: pro.corbis.com including: "Woman Sitting in a Peerless Car" from June, 1917.

    16. The 1929 Model 6-61 was so well-received at the New York Auto Show that orders for 8,236 were taken in one day. Source: Cuthbert, Bill, "Peerless: All That The Name Implies", Horseless Carriage Club Gazette Jan/Feb 1992, pp 50-56.

    17. I found a photo of a Peerless armored car recently. A historical photo -- taken in Estonia, I think, in the 1910's or 1920's.

    18. Peerless cars go back so far that it was not only a bit "oddball" to have a car, but you had to say if it was gas, steam or electric. There was an ad in Outing in 1900 for a "Peerless hydrocarbon voiturette".

    19. Peerlesses have been in films. One Peerless Motor Car Club members's 1913 48-Six Torpedo appeared in a mini-series about the Titanic starring Catherine Zeta Jones.

    20. There's a really gorgeous 1927 Peerless Landaulet that appears in every "Jeeves & Wooster" episode set in New York City ( Program appears on BBC America. Filmed 1990-93 ).

    21. A 1909 Peerless Raceabout won a blue ribbon at The Glenmoor Gathering in 2007, I believe.
    Jeff Brown
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    AACA, Peerless Motor Car Club

  6. #6

    Re: Peerless Research Findings

    Jeff,
    Could that be a hand or blanket rail mounted on the back of the front seat and not a folded windhield? All the Peerless touring cars had these.
    That is an interesting photo of the women driving the cape top touring car, it looks like the other cars in the photo are the same. It looks to be a 1916 or 1917 car but they have a nickle radiator which is not factory stock. These could be some of the custom built cars that some of the Peerless branch offices built.
    RHL

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    Re: Peerless Research Findings

    RHL,
    To me, the top view of the car has lines that look a little like a rear windscreen, plus a centrally-mounted handle that looks like a crank for a divider window. Maybe the printer made an error and put in the drawing for the top view of the 7-Pass. Limo, which would have had a divider window. The overhead view of the 5-Pass. Phaeton shows no 2nd windshield, divider, OR robe rail.

    The photo of the 1917 is really stunning. Wasn't there a picture of a similar Mod. 56 Peerless, a purple cape top Touring, on the slide show of the previous version of the peerlessmotorcar.com website? I never did learn whose Peerless that was. Oddly enough, I found a picture of a 1904 or 1905 Peerless with an identical top in a Gazette article. ----Jeff
    Jeff Brown
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    Re: Peerless Research Findings

    22. A Peerless was awarded "Most Awesome High Performance Car" at the 2004 Greenwich Concours.

    23. A 1932 Peerless took 1st Place at the Knucklebusters Frozen Custard Car Show in 2000. This show is in Maine.

    24. At one time, you could say there weren't any books about Peerless.

    25. Peerless Motor Car Club President Richard Lichtfeld just finished a 30-page book called The History of the Peerless Automobile Company . It went out to Club Members in March. A benefit of membership.

    26. The computer spreadsheet KPAIE (Known Peerless Automobiles In Existence), previously available for $5.00 to Members, is now free to members. Another benefit of membership.

    27. "KPAIE" now has 281 entries on it. I think there are many more Peerless cars (and trucks) out there, though.

    28. A Peerless won "Most Elegant Enclosed Car" at the 2008 Ironstone Foundation Concours d'Elegance in Murphys, CA. This is the same car that's in Peerless Research Findings # 9.
    Last edited by jeff_a; July 30th, 2009 at 20:53.
    Jeff Brown
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  9. #9

    Re: Peerless Research Findings

    I enjoyed reading your interesting items about the Peerless. Ill tell my story how I became the owner of 3 Peerless cars abot 20 years ago. I was at Fall Carlyle ,Pa show and had sold a 1941 Ford sedan and a lot of parts. I got home Sat night to my home in NY .Sunday morning with that cash in my pocket ,I was a bit itchy to buy something. My brother lived in Honeoye NY and had told me a few mos earlier about a guy"Earl" that had some cars for sale. He knew that 3 of them were Nash Metros. But he had no idea what the sedans were. I called Earl and he said they were Peerless cars, I thought OH MY GOD.. Why does a man that owns 3 Metros own 2 Peerless cars. So off my wife and I went and I looked AT EVERTHING IN THE BARN.There were cars ,tools,a boat,a Model a Doodlegug ,antique gas engines, and more. I found out that he was selling the place and had to sell some stuff. Anyways ,the best car was a 1932 Master 8 sedan and the older Peerless was 1927 sedan.He wanted 6500 for the 32er and I talked him down to 5 grand. I said Ill take it .It was a decent car with GOOD interior and the body was good with original paint ,but the guy that owned it must of bumped ever door edge ,every thing elase that came within 3 ft of his car. The fenders were poor. Anyways ,I told my wife to go home and get the trailer ,and get back here fast.(20 miles) I didnt want to leave the guy plus we had a chore to start unloading a lot of crap to get the 32 out. Earls wife stopped me and said "You seam like a nice couple but ,maybe we should wait until another day because she wasnt comfortable taking a check.... I said hell, You have no worrys ,and with that I laid the money down in cash. We worked about 2 hours and I had my prize home. That was on SUNDAY.... Monday night I got a call from the sellers wanting to know if i was happy with the car. I said very.... They had a case of sellers remorse and would of liked to buy it back. Within about a 6 weeks I went back and got the 27 for 4500. I restored the 32 keeping the interior original ,just doing a body on restoration of the outside and mechanics.The car is quite rare. The 32s were made only a few months using leftover 31 parts . The 3rd Peerless came from Florida that was used for a pparts car. It had good fenders and runningboards. I sold off all the Peerless parts and sold the body ,and leftover tin,and frame to a streetrod guy here in town. Its now a nice looking Peerless with a huge engine it. I have some more Peerless background if anyione is interested. Mike West

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    Re: Peerless Research Findings

    Mike,
    Thank you for writing to the Peerless Forum with the great story about your lead on three Metros turning into the purchase of two Peerlesses *. I know not everyone knows what Peerless cars are, but I find them fascinating to read about. It sounds like the purchase of the 1932 Peerless wouldn't have even happened if you hadn't gone about it the way you did. With the Sakhnoffsky-designed body, the 1930-1932 certainly is one of the nicest-looking Peerlesses out there...or Thirties cars in general. I'm aware how rare they are. About as rare as water skiers in Egypt or palm trees in Quebec!

    Tell me about the 1927, when you get a chance. 1925-1927 were good years for Peerless with lots of choices in bodies, models and engines. You could get a boattail coupe, a Limousine, a V-8, or one of 3 sixes.

    I don't think either of your cars is on my Peerless list, but I have heard of the parts car you mentioned.

    More later.

    Sincerely, ----Jeff




    * To me, that would be like answering an ad about 5 Fiats for sale and then finding out it was 3 Fiats and 2 Lamborghinis.
    Jeff Brown
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    Re: Peerless Research Findings

    29. Peerless Film: a green 1913 Peerless appeared in the baseball film "The Babe". Source: HCCA Gazette.

    30. Peerless Film: a black 1929 Peerless Mod. 8-125 appeared in "The Untouchables" TV series and was a Universal Studios car, according to Dave Griffey, a later owner.

    31. Peerless Film: I believe a green 1929 Peerless 8-125 appeared in "Jane of Lantern Hill" and "Looking For Miracles" ( 1991, Disney Films and Telefilm Canada ).

    32. A 1914 Mod. 37, or 60-Six, Peerless was one of 46 cars completing the "Spirit of '76 Transcontinental Reliability Tour" (Seattle-Philadelphia, 3,200 miles) in 1976.

    33. 1914 Peerless cars, all with 6-cylinder motors, were available in 3 models: the 38-Six (415 cid), 48-Six (578 cid), and 60-Six (825 cid).

    34. 1930 Model 6-61A Peerlesses's had Continental 11-E engines w/ a bore & stroke of 3.375" x 4.00", 214.7 cid, and 66 h.p.@ 3,150 rpm.

    35. Though most surviving Peerlesses are in the U.S. and Canada, most of the COUNTRIES that have surviving Peerlesses in them are European ( 10 ).
    Last edited by jeff_a; August 29th, 2009 at 19:57.
    Jeff Brown
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    Re: Peerless Research Findings

    36. On 6/15/30 Peerless announced a "New Peerless-Weymann Combination" in the New York Times that was to augment the 3 new models already available with Sakhnoffsky-designed Hayes bodies.

    37. From Auburn, Franklin & Pierce-Arrow vs Cadillac, Chrysler, Lincoln & Packard by Garrett & Stringer, 1994: "Glimpse Auburns in Bahia and the Wyoming winter, a Cadillac 16,000' up in the Andes, and a Peerless on the streets of Havana."

    38. Peerless ahead of Hudson & Buick in 1919? According to the N.Y Times (10/15/19, p 14): "PENNANT FOR PEERLESS.; Hudson-Essex is Second, and Buick Third in Auto Baseball League"

    39. The 1930 Standard model straight eight Peerless Sedan cost $1,495.
    The 1930 Master model straight eight Peerless Coupe cost $1,995.
    ( Wager, Richard in Golden Wheels, pg 82 )

    40. I found a photo of a 1923 Model 66 V-8 Peerless Touring on the flickr photo-sharing web-site. It is in the Boothbay Railway Village Museum in Maine & has 2 windshields.

    41. In one 1930 magazine ad, Peerless described themselves as "America's Oldest Makers of Fine Cars".

    42. The 1924 Model 66 7-P Suburban Sedan went for $3,840 & the 7-P Touring went for $2,750. There's a beautiful photo of a Suburban Sedan on the AACA Photo Gallery accessible at the top of the screen.
    Jeff Brown
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    AACA, Peerless Motor Car Club

  13. #13

    Re: Peerless Research Findings

    Jeff,
    The 8,236 orders in one day for ther 6-61 seem kind of high. That is more likely total production for 1929 6-61.My 1916 Peerless won several first place awards when I first restored it in 1953. I even received an award on the 1953 Glidden tour for being the youngest person in the AACA to have restored a car. But shows get boring and I have more fun touring and leave the trophies to those that like to fight over them. Most of my trophies are in the attic.
    In 1953 I wanted to get the life time membership in the AACA but my Dad talked me out of it because he thought it was just a passing fancy.

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    Re: Peerless Research Findings

    Green Dragon,
    I agree, that many orders is a lot. Cuthbert even said: "...although with the constant management confusion that existed one might question whether these orders were all actually filled." I've seen production figures for 1929 listed as 8,319, for all four models, so it looks like either some orders didn't get filled or production of 6-61's was extended into 1930.
    Last edited by jeff_a; August 29th, 2009 at 19:59.
    Jeff Brown
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    Re: Peerless Research Findings

    I have an interesting Peerless fact to add. Two cars were used by the gunmen at the St.Valentine's Day massacre orchestrated in 1929 by Al Capone in Chicago. Teams of two hitmen each arrived in two cars to do their business. One car was a 1927 Cadillac. The other....a 1926 Peerless sedan. According to reports at the time the cars had been outfitted to look like detective cars. Both cars were later found partially destroyed in order to cover the crime. A picture of the Peerless can be found at www.myalcaponemuseum.com by clicking on "The Massacre Pt.2"

  16. #16

    Re: Peerless Research Findings

    A good friend of my Grandmother's son was killed in the St. Valentines Day killings in Chicago. He was a member of the Moran gang. She had two of his cars, his guns, and a box of jewlery and money all locked up in her garage. I wanted to see and maybe buy the cars but she wouldn't even let me see them. She said they were obtained with blood money and it was bad luck to even look at them. I have no idea of what happened to them or what make they were. I suppose if we were to find someone with really bad luck who ownes a car of that vintage we might be able to trace it to him.
    My wifes Grandfather and his brother had a farm west of Chicago and a 300 gallon still in the barn. They would sell corn alcohol in 5 gallon tins to the mob in Chicago. I asked him what would happen if the cops stopped them when they were making a delivery, he said it wasn't good, the mob always paid them more.
    It was a big busines to run alcoholfrom Misouri to Chicago but the Fed's would look for any large car that was sitting low and pull them over. There was a business in Chicago taking large sedans, Peerless being one of their favorites, and put tanks in the door panels, back seat, and floor. They put heavy duty springs on it and then filled all the tanks with water and drive them to Misouri, drain out the water and fill the tanks with booze and return to Chicago. The cars were level and they didn't get stopped.
    The good old days!!!!!

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    Re: Peerless Research Findings

    Scot,
    Thanks for sending in the Peerless Info relating to Al Capone's gunmen and their getaway cars. I had read about it earlier, but had never seen the photo of the Peerless before.

    Gee, if you lived near Chicago and had a '26 Peerless Sedan, you could take people on some Roaring Twenties guided tours, couldn't you. I guess you'd have to get a '27 Cadillac, too.
    Jeff Brown
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    Re: Peerless Research Findings

    Green Dragon,
    A fascinating story about a family connection to the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Most likely, the locked garage with the two old cars and other valuables was cleaned out decades ago, but it sounds like a great beginning to a V.I. Warshowski crime novel* if someone were to stumble upon the old place intact. I guess we can only speculate what the 2 old cars were: Buick? Cadillac? Ford? Lincoln?. Durant? Jordan? Locomobile? Velie? There were so many makes of cars back then, the possibilities are endless.

    The tale about cars being converted into covert alchohol tankers is interesting, also. I talked to an old-time bootlegger once and asked him how he selected his cars for the job. I imagined that he went to a used car lot and selected a rig based on speed or maybe size. He said the lots he went to basically had everything under $50, and he selected a car based solely on how much gas was in the tank.


    * I plugged this series of books not only because their locale is usually Chicago, but because my wife knows the author.
    Jeff Brown
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    Re: Peerless Research Findings

    43. There's a picture of a circa-1916 Peerless truck on the What Is It? Forum on 5/12/09. Listed under "Old Truck Identification". Great photo, taken in England. Truck says "Knight & Edwards" on side.

    44. 1928 Peerless 6-60 Sedans were priced at $1345. 6-80 Sedans: $1595. 6-91 Sedans (5-P): $1895. 8-69 Sedans (5-P): $2995.
    Source: The Standard Catalog of American Cars, Vol. I, pg 1165.

    45. I looked up the dates for some of the patent numbers on a '24 Peerless and found that the 2 oldest were from 1900 and 1869.

    46. The 1927 Landaulet in PRF No. 20 was 1 of 250 ordered from Peerless by the Yellow Cab Co. of New York. It is a Primrose & Black Mod. 6-80 and is used by Park Lane Vintage Cars in England.

    47. I ran across a story about a Vice President at Peerless in '29 ( James H.R. Cromwell, 1896-1990 ) who had some interesting comments about The Stock Market Crash & how badly it affected the industry.

    48. I found some fascinating info about one of my favorite models of Peerless from a year I didn't know they were made in:

    1930 8-125 Body Styles "Continuation of 1929 8-125": Roadster/Coupe/Victoria/Sedan5/Sedan7/Limo7. Price and Weight: $2195 4025#/$2195 4095#/$2195 4120#/$2195 4235#/$2295 4455#/$2495 4465#. Source: ROSS ROY USED CAR SALES SERVICE.

    49. The 8-125's were the first Peerless staight 8's. Incredibly rare. I know of only 3 that exist today (that I'm fairly certain of). There's a photo of one on "Peerless CCCA List" thread [pg 2, next-to-last post].
    Last edited by jeff_a; August 21st, 2010 at 15:13.
    Jeff Brown
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    AACA, Peerless Motor Car Club

  20. #20

    Re: Peerless Research Findings

    WE just got back from a three day VMCCA tour in Minocqua, Wi. with our 1916 Peerless. The weather was clear but cold for a touring car, frost at night. I don't know about this global warming, here it is June and we still have the heat on.
    I spent a day with our web master showing me how to ad to the Peerless web site. I have three pages of notes on what to click on in order to install pictures and things. I hope I don't screw up the site.

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    Re: Peerless Research Findings

    Glad to hear about more website development for the Peerless Motor Car Club site, and the VMCCA Tour. Was driving the 1916 Peerless V-8 on the tour a good way to get the word out to people about Peerless autos, or were the people in this group all pretty conversant about this make of car? Sorry for the dumb question, but I've never been on a tour or to a car show with a Peerless and cannot picture the kind of responses you might get from the public and other antique car owners.

    A lot of visitors to car shows say things like "My dad has one just like that" or "I see that brand at all the events". Do you get that with your 1916 Peerless?
    Jeff Brown
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  22. #22

    Re: Peerless Research Findings

    Most people have never heard of a Peerless before and are amazed that it has a V-8 engine. When some of our club members follow my Peerless they are suprized at how easy it takes the hills, they are down shifting and I just cruise over in high gear. And most of these other cars are much newer than the 1916 Peerless. I used to tour with the local Model A club and the Peerless became their service vehicle. I always carried tools and the engine air compressor was used for airing their tires. This really impressed the Model A owners.
    Years ago I was the yougest with the newest car on tours and today, with the same car, I am the oldest with the oldest car.
    Jeff, you should come to Madison and see what it is like touring in a Peerless!!

  23. #23

    Re: Peerless Research Findings

    I have a couple of questions, the first is what cruising speed to you find the car can support? The second question is in order to use the engine mounted compressor one needs a fitting to attach the hose-can you tell me the type of fitting which is needed?
    James in California

  24. #24

    Re: Peerless Research Findings

    James in California,
    Most of the time I cruise between 40 and 45 mph. My Peerless is capable of much faster speeds but with the two wheel mechanical brakes and not much contact with the pavement, I am more comfortable at slower speeds.
    The outlet of the air compressor is the same as a tire valve stem without the check valve, the hose screws on the pump and the other end attaches to the valve stem.

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    Re: Peerless Research Findings

    50. I was reading about a 650-mile Wisconsin Region Endurance Run in a 1968 Antique Automobile magazine and saw a photo of a 1931 Peerless Coupe that was one of about 75 autos competing.

    51. In the above 1968 event, the Peerless (together with a '31 Model A) was not eligible for awards because it was not an old enough car.

    52. In the Mar/Apr 1966 Antique Automobile , pg 74, there was the following ad for a Peerless, current whereabouts unknown:

    "1902 PEERLESS tonneau touring. Only known complete one in existence. Restored to mint condition, new tires, original upholstery. $12,500. Bob Mapelli, 2204 Raleigh St., Denver, Colorado 80212."

    53. The strength of the Irish Armored Car Corps in 1925 was 13 Rolls-Royces, 7 Peerlesses, and 64 Lancias, according to the patriotfiles.com site about the Irish military.

    54. Autolit.com had a copy of a telegram for sale recently from the Nat'l Auto. Chamber of Commerce to Peerless Motor Car Corp President James Bohannon on 2/5/30 that said:

    "OUR RECORDS SHOW THAT PEERLESS IS THE ONLY EXISTING MOTOR CAR MANUFACTURER WHICH EXHIBITED AT THE NEW YORK SHOW IN NINETEEN HUNDRED."

    55. Sixteen Cylinder Motorcars: An Illustrated History by Roy Schneider "...focuses on the Cadillacs, Marmons, and Peerlesses of the 1930's."

    56. There was an excellent article in Hemmings Auto Blog ["Nine for 2009: Predicting the year ahead", 1/8/09], by David Traver Adolphus that mentioned Peerless and said that it may be a good year for U.S. cars of the 1900-29 era.
    Last edited by jeff_a; August 21st, 2010 at 15:15.
    Jeff Brown
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