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jeff_a

"New" Peerless Discovered!

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This is an interesting car but hardly original. Hollansworth started to build this from a bunch of parts he had then sold it to a person in Louisiana who finished it. Looks to be a fun car to drive but I hope they don't try to pass it off for an original. Peerless stopped racing in 1906, in 1916 a Peerless dealer built a Peerless race car using the new V-8 engine and called it "The Green Dragon" it won a few races but with the WWI it disappeared off the screen.

Hollansworth built a replica of this car and has run the Great Race several times with it. To my knowledge there were no Peerless race cars in the 20's.

The craze in the 20's was to take an old model T Ford and make a speedster or racer out of it. There were several companies that made all the parts, including bodies, to do this. Some of these were very succesful race cars.

There was a company called Peerless that made body parts for T speedsters but no relation to Peerless of Cleveland.

RHL

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Dear Llopdoro,

Thank you for posting the information and photos of the '26 Peerless Speedster. The photography is very good. It was interesting to read about the origins of your family name. Don't some Basques speak French Catalan, or do they simply speak Basque? I'm glad that more Europeans like yourself are appreciating prewar American autos. How many people are in the ACCF...and what are the most popular U.S. cars for them to collect and drive?

About a year ago, a 1923 or 1924 Peerless Model 66 Touring was for sale by someone in Spain. Did you ever hear where it went? It was Blue with a Black top and a Peerless V-8.

Thank you. ----Jeff

Dear Jeff,

I was too busy with family's problems - my brothers and sisters turned my heritage at their advantage and I was getting the affair at the Court - to answer to your questions:

1. My name is¨Philippe L. HULET de LIMAL, now you can call me Philippe in place of my "llopdoro". I have seen you are from Idaho... When I was begining the history of my family in 1972 I was in contact through the Who is Who with a professor fo the Univesity of Dubois, ID. His name is Clarence HULET (clarence like the lion of Daktari) and as he is Mormon, his views were to find the most ancestors he can... we were able to return to a man (Hulet) born in Boston in 1615 and never up to now we found his real origins. One country, or one city, can be a way to find very much and perhaps have the same ancestors as me as apparently their coat arms are the same as the mines. Now Clarence, very old, is living in St. George, UT, where I passed in Sept., 1997, coming from Bryce Canyon and going to Las Vegas with a rent Chevy Lumina.

2. There are 2,536 members in the ACCF club where you can find people of french language from different parts of world, some are from the US. You certainly are knowing Yann Saunders who is the father of the Cadillac Database, he is Swiss but living from many years in the U.S.A.

3. Regards to the Basques, they are in the north of Spain (Bilbao, Burgos) but also in the southwest of France near Biarritz. They are speaking their dialect but also French in France and Spanish in Spain. Catalogna is different, it is on the Mediterranean Sea, principal cities are in Spain, Barcelona, in France, Perpignan, they are speaking Catalan and the language of the country. In Andorra, the language is Catalan but the majority of the people can speak Spanish, French, Portuguese and English, there were very much englishmen who were coming in this offshore paradise when they had to quit Hong Kong but didn't remain there because the weather is very cold.

4. regards to the 1923 Peerless, it's me who gave this ad to Philippe Mordant. The car was in Barcelona and I do not know if it already is sold.

A few weeks ago I have seen a 1929 Peerless roadster for sale in a country of South America but do not remember where exactly. As I have lists in my PC I will find it again and get the pictures I found here.

Philippe Hulet de Limal

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Philippe,

Thank you for writing back to answer some of my questions. Your distant relative was probably a professor at Boise State University in Boise, Idaho. I helped Yann Saunders find the name of a V-16 owner once for his Cadillac V-16 database. At one time, there were a lot of Basque sheepherders in Wyoming and Idaho. I think there is a Basque Festival in Boise every year. I always wanted to visit Andorra, after reading a book about it 35 years ago.

I was curious about the 1923 Peerless V-8 for two reasons. In my studies of Peerless cars and where they are located, I've never heard of a Peerless in France, Spain or Portugal except for that one, though I've heard of Peerlesses in 10 other European countries. Also, there's a very similar Peerless that's in Germany and I wondered if they could be "one and the same", as they say.

I know about the car in South America. It was in Argentina and advertised on PreWarCar 2 or 3 years ago. Now someone in North Carolina has it for sale...though I don't know where the car is actually located. I think it may be a black (with red stripes) Model Six-81 Roadster, 1929.

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)

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A 1931 Peerless straight 8 that almost no one has heard of before was listed in the Buy/Sell forum about December 8th. It's a restored car located in Dunedin, FL and the asking price is $39,000. The post has three color photos.

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Given the very high quality of Peerless automobiles, and the numbers originally produced ,~~~

Why do so few seem to still exist today ?

There is a very old Peerless engine & radiator combo still hooked-up to a crude farm saw mill here in suburban Philadelphia about ten miles from my home !

The owner states that it still runs !

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Brad,

Thanks for saying the nice things about Peerless automobiles. I think the main things against Peerless cars (and trucks) surviving to the present are the scrap drives of two world wars and just the number of years since they were built. I don't know how true it is, but there's a kind of legend that Peerlesses were singled out by scrap dealers because of high aluminum content and more were dragged in because of perceived higher scrap value. A number of Peerlesses had crankcases, transmission housings, and bodies of aluminum, depending on the year and model, but some had very little.

The truth is, Peerless was a small-production automaker, averaging only about 3,800 cars per year. By the 1930s, they weren't quite the same car as Duesenberg, although they always outsold them. Peerless wasn't selling $8,000 chassis' or $15,000 finished cars then, so they weren't as likely to be preserved. 20 years' earlier was their high point.They did get involved in the medium-priced market for four years, and that's when their biggest production was, 1926-1929, but even then they still had their hand in the higher-priced field with some luxury sixes and eights.

Then there's also wearing-out, German artillery, and the possibility that there are a couple of hundred no one knows about because there is absolutely no one keeping track of how many old cars are still out there.

That sawmill-plant Peerless engine sounds intriguing. It doesn't, by any chance, have three blocks of 2-cyl. each, and exhaust manifold pipes as big around as your arm, does it?

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)

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Jeff:

The sawmill Peerless engine does indeed have the three cylinder block assemblys on an aluminum crankcase !

I am no Peerless expert but the owner thinks it is a 1913 or 1914 Peerless T-Head 60 HP engine.

He said it is the largest engine Peerless or anyone else made at this time!

This engine is indeed massive ! It has electric start and twin ignition ! The flywheel is also quite massive !

It is still connected to the big Peerless radiator !

It sure is NOT the later 20s monoblock engine styles that Peerless later used

!

The owner uses it to cut firewood logs that he cuts lengthwise and then quarters & sells !

This farm-built sawmill set-up has been used in this family for generations.

The saw blade is about 2 foot in diameter !

I buy my seasoned fireplace wood from him each fall !

Edited by Silverghost (see edit history)

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Brad,

The motor in the sawmill could be a number of Peerless designs: the 38, 48, and 60 HP, for instance. Would also be possible for it to be a slightly earlier vintage. If it's the so-called "60 HP" that came with the Model 60-Six, it's pretty big. Biggest production engine ever used in a car. 13.5 liters or 825 cubic inches. To be fair to our friends with Pierce-Arrows, Pierce also had an engine of the same size. The two companies seem to have been in a friendly "cubic inch war"...and both had sixes designated 38, 48, and 60 HP.

As you probably know -- these were S.A.E. ratings, and had little to do with brake horsepower and were more of a way to establish taxable horsepower, I think. Wasn't there a rolls-Royce called a "20/25", referring to its taxable, or S.A.E. horsepower? The electric dynomometers in the Peerless shop couldn't handle the power of this new big motor, so they were only able to estimate its h.p. with an improvised fan-type dyno. They got a reading of 110-120 h.p.

I sometimes wondered if American ingenuity ever took hold and prompted someone to use these enormous engines for something else after some of these models were scrapped. It appears that happened with the sawmill. I'd think you could run a tugboat with a motor of that size!

Edited by jeff_a
Adding statistics. (see edit history)

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Jeff:

This is indeed a monster of an engine.

After our latest snow here clears I could drive out to the farm and take a few photos for you & the Peerless folks.

Are there any casting or serial number locations anywhere on this engine I should look for ?

This engine makes my USA Springfield Silver Ghost & Phantom engines look small ; and that Phantom I engine is close to 8 liters !

Edited by Silverghost (see edit history)

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Before the collecting of antique cars caught on the expensive cars were the most likely to be scrapped. Repairs were so expensive, and they used a lot of gas. Even a worn clutch or a set of tires would be enough to send a car to the junkyard. There were plenty of cheap used cars around. You could buy a perfectly servicable luxury car for $50 or less, why bother with one that needed work?

Even when they reached the junkyard, some poor person or bargain hunter would buy a Model A, Chevrolet or Plymouth and put it back in condition, while bypassing the Peerless.

There was a curious example of the rapid depreciation of luxury cars on a Packard bbs recently. Someone showed the bill of sale for a 1937 Packard limousine. It cost around $6000 minus $700 or so for the trade in. The trade in was a 1932 Packard, presumably in good shape. This illustrates the rapid depreciation of the heavy cars of that time.

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Rusty,

I've seen some used car price lists from back in the 20s that are similar. Anything more than about 6 years old was priced really low. ----Jeff

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I don't know where the ser. #'s on an early-1910s Peerless engine are. The Green Dragon may . There's only 1 complete 60-Six in the world: in Cleveland at the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum. The 1914 60-Six in the museum is serial No. 143019, Engine serial No. 12917. I think your neighbor's body serial No. would be between 143001 and 143058 if it's a 1914 with the 60 HP powerplant. ----Jeff

P.S.: If the sawmill engine is still sitting on its chassis it might make an i.d. easier for you. The 60 HP sat on a 140" w.b.; the 48 HP was on a 137"; and the 38 HP was on a chassis of 125". If by some miracle the firewall was still there, there could be a body plate of some kind. To confuse things a little, Peerless sometimes referred to these 3 cars as Model 37 (60 HP, 825 c.i.d.), 36 (48 HP, 578 c.i.d.), and 35 (38 HP, 415 c.i.d.)

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)

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I am posting a picture of the 1912-1914 Peerless 6 cylinder engine. The 6-36, 6-48

and 6-60 all looked a-like, the bore and stroke were different. I am not sure where the engine number is on this. The blocks would have casting numbers on them.

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I contacted a Peerless Club member in Canada who has a 1913 48-Six with the 578 cu. in. engine. His engine dimensions are:

a) 27 1/2" from top of head to bottom of sump [i originally wrote down 21 1/2"]

B) 13 1/4" width of head

c) 6" stroke

He was of the opinion the 60 HP motor would have bigger external dimensions, but he's never seen one.

(Note: looking forward to your photos.....with south Jersey getting something like 30" of snow a week ago......it might be awhile)

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)

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I have original pictures of the engine and the article written by Peerless that indicate that the difference is the bore and stroke. I have tried, but unable to post the pictures. I will try again when I can get someone that knows more about the computor than I.

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Rusty,

Here are the prices from a Peerless Dealer's used car lot on November 1st, 1926:

  1. 1926 Peerless 6 Sedan....... .$1,995*

  2. 1925 Peerless 6 Roadster.... $1,750

  3. 1925 Chrysler 6 Roadster... .$1,100

  4. 1924 Peerless 6 Touring.......$1,000

  5. 1922 Peerless 8 Limo.......... ...$850

  6. 1920 Packard 12 Limo......... ...$550

  7. 1922 Peerless 8 Coupe....... . ..$550

  8. 1921 Franklin 6 Touring....... ...$375

  9. 1921 Peerless 8 Sedan....... . ..$350

  10. 1922 Buick 6 Touring......... ....$300

  11. 1924 Durant 4 Touring....... ....$250

  12. 1919 Peerless 8 Roadster........$150

  13. 1921 Chandler 6 Touring.........$125

  14. 1922 Ford 4 Coupe.................$100

* most expensive car on the lot

Thanks to Philippe Mordant for sending me this info!

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)

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Thanks to Dave Mellor of New Jersey, a New Peerless has turned up in Norway. Please see Gen'l Discussion post "Fantastic fotos" from 3/21/11. There are some photos of what they think are a '28 Peerless and a '28 Auburn -- both sedans.

To me, it looks like a '29 or '30 Model 6-61A Peerless.

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)

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Series 19,

Just go to General Discussion (at the top of all the forums), then to the thread "Fantastic fotos". I just looked, and it was 20 messages down from the top then. I clicked on the highlighted link of Dave's to look at the text (of course it's all in Norwegian) & photos. The Peerless has 10-spoke wooden wheels.

Apparently, someone collected a bunch of old cars, then died. The cars were donated to the local chapter of the "Amcars Club" (9,000 members) in Norway and members got to buy them in an auction. There's a translation function on the pages these pictures are on that let me figure out what was going on. The vehicles were in pretty rough shape...but I think in Norway you take what you can get when it comes to '28 Auburns, '29 Peerlesses, '31 Model A pickups, '57 Chevrolets, and '59 Plymouths.

There are now 4 or 5 Peerlesses in Norway that I know of.

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)

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A 1929 Model 6-81 is for sale on e-Bay until 7/12/11. It looks like an Opera Coupe to me (2-door w/ small bench seat in back & two small seats in front), but sellers refer to it as a Doctor's Coupe. Partly restored, pretty good shape, based on the pictures. Reasonable BIN price. Located in Temecula, CA at a dealer named: Classic Promenade ? Finding Classic Cars New Homes . Call Harry Clark at #(951) 901-5088. They're asking $12.8K on their web-site.

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)

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I just discovered another Peerless. Quite an interesting one.

Someone has advertised a "1927 Peerless" for sale on the AACA Buy/Sell Forum. It is really a 1930-1932 Master or Custom w/ a 322 cu. in. inline 8 and is located in South Carolina. Owner telephone:# (803)324-0177.

The 1927 Peerlesses all had V-8s or inline sixes. This one has a 322 c.i.d. straight eight. The "Master" or "Model B" is more or less identical to a"Custom" or "Model C" except for 5 h.p. and a shorter wheelbase. The Custom is considered a Full Classic.

----Jeff

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)

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I just saw a 1928 Peerless for sale on e-bay about noon I am not familiar with. For sale 'till about 8/11/11. It's a Model Six-80, is pretty nicely restored, and is Blue & Green with disc wheels and a fitted trunk. The starting price on this auction is $25,000, and the car is in Connecticut.

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)

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Jeff:

The sawmill Peerless engine does indeed have the three cylinder block assemblys on an aluminum crankcase !

I am no Peerless expert but the owner thinks it is a 1913 or 1914 Peerless T-Head 60 HP engine.

He said it is the largest engine Peerless or anyone else made at this time!

This engine is indeed massive ! It has electric start and twin ignition ! The flywheel is also quite massive !

It is still connected to the big Peerless radiator !

It sure is NOT the later 20s monoblock engine styles that Peerless later used

!

The owner uses it to cut firewood logs that he cuts lengthwise and then quarters & sells !

This farm-built sawmill set-up has been used in this family for generations.

The saw blade is about 2 foot in diameter !

I buy my seasoned fireplace wood from him each fall !

Jeff~

After our great weekend conversation, just for kicks, I drove to this lumber sawmill & the giant 60 Peerless engine is indeed still sitting under a tarp hooked up to this sawmill with a wide leather drive belt.

I knocked on the door of the owner's nearby house and the owner stated that he would consider selling, or a trade on this engine.

The catch is he wants another replacment sawmill drive engine set-up that has equal ,or greater horsepower & low end torque in trade for this old giant Peerless 60 beast.

The replacement engine/drive package should have lots of low-end torque at a very low running speeds.

We would all love to see this very rare engine set-up back in the chassis of a great restored Peerless auto.

What are your thoughts to finally save this giant Peerless beast ?

If a proper engineless chassis cannot be found at the very least this engine & drive set-up would make a great running , or static, auto museum display piece.

It is indeed a stunning Rare & massive early Peerless engine and drive system .

It must be saved !

Brad H.

Edited by Silverghost (see edit history)

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Guest BJM

Brad

I am late to this discussion and will try to go back and read the original posts.

Where is the engine located? (town/state)

Replacement of it's torque ability ought not be that hard. I know a 455 Buick would produce 510 ft pounds of torque and at a fairly low rpm. I have to believe that is more then the Peerless 60.

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