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Peerless Research Findings


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---- Good to hear from you again. On the first ones, most lump them all together as 1901 model year cars, with the one or so(I have no idea how many were there) that showed up at the NY Show in November as prototypes, or early-bird examples of what were officially 1901 cars. However, the one that was photographed in the late 50s at a big meet(probably Hershey) was captioned as a 1900 Peerless. My memory says it was a color photo & the car was yellow. I no longer have a photo. It was the 4-P version w/ the dash that folded forward to reveal extra seating out front(I think), an opened folding top with landau irons, wire wheels, a vertical column with a steering lever instead of a wheel, similar to the example in the 2nd photo at the top of this page(though its top is closed).........only it wasn't taken in the McKinley years, but in the Eisenhower years. I hope it turns up somewhere.

---- It seems people know more about the horseless carriage Peerlesses the farther back in time you go. How many people are still alive who went to Hershey 60 years ago and may have seen the car?

---- personally...I always think of the car in that NOV 1900 picture as a 1900 car...if only to establish us(I don't have a Pierce or a Packard yet) as a 1900-1932 marque, with our quality co-conspirators Packard(1899) and Pierce-Arrow(1901). 

---- Re: Packard, the President of Peerless got in trouble in 1930 when people complained when he had big ads in the press introducing the new Peerless Straight 8 models as being the "Product of America's Oldest Fine Car Builder". He paid for space in the NY Times, explaining that Peerless is the only remaining auto company who exhibited at the 1900 NY Auto Show. Winton was there, but they got out of the car business in the 20s. Detroit's Packard Co. was listed as the Ohio Automobile Co., later moving to Michigan and changing their name to Packard.

---- There was a story in the motoring press about the 1900 NY Show where an old coachbuilder compared the bodies of the Ohio Automobile Co. rig to one from the Peerless booth. He thought the former was good but trash-talked the latter. Too boxy, not enough compound curves, and too much body in relation to running-gear size. 

---- "The first 1901 Peerless was sold to prominent New Yorker Glenn H. Young." ---- Written down verbatim lost the source

---- Did you read a Colorado Historical Society account of the Lake City car? They sold postcards, showing it going down a dirt road there with a couple of women on board, back in the 60s. I read a much more recent one. The actual car survives, after bouncing around from CO to HI, to the UK. Malcolm Barber owns it & has run London to Brighton like 20 times in a row. Knowing the HCCA was going on a tour in the CO mountains in 2008, it was arranged for he & mechanic to drive to Lake City from Gunnison or somewhere. There was a reunion with one of the original owner's Granddaughters, who remembered putting around in it about 90 years earlier. One of 3 1903s shown at Pebble Beach in 2008. In 1984, it was driven by Phil Hill in the London-Brighton Run.

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---- Listing I have for "1900/Type 3, Model C/3.5 h.p./Owner: unknown/Last Seen about 1957 at Hershey AACA Fall Meet/HCCA Gazette, JAN/FEB, 1992, pg. 29/Photo Caption: 'Alas, this 1900 Peerless Motorette hasn't been seen since this photo was taken more than 30 years ago.(Photos taken that day were taken by two members.)'/Comment: Alan Clendennen said a 1900 Motorette may have something to do with a car in Brooklyn. A white '1901 De Dion Bouton vis-a-vis...3 1/2 HP...Brooklyn-built' was for sale in HMN in 2008. Same auto?/Yellow/New Price: $1,300." source: KPAIE 

---- I'd forgotten I had this data. I do not have a copy of this magazine or even a xerox.

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On 8/20/2019 at 9:33 PM, jeff_a said:

Hi Alex, 

  The Peerlesses built 1900-1902 are enigmas. Somewhere between 1 and 60 examples of each of the other model years exist of the Peerless brand. I think 1 or 2 or 3 were built in time for the 1900 NY Auto Show. Though technically 1901 models, they were built in 1900 and take the official start of automobile manufacturing for the marque back to 1900. There are some photos around of a "1900 Peerless Motorette" that was at a Hershey meet, maybe in 1958 or 1959. Richard Lichtfeld tells me it was a photo in the AACA or HCCA magazine, if I remember correctly. No one knows what happened to it. One issue is that you could have a French-built De Dion Bouton, a Peerless Motorette, a Pierce Motorette, and a Brooklyn-built De Dion Bouton Motorette in the same building and it would be hard to tell them apart. 

   Without looking it up I can't place which ones are 3 and 4. Guessing the Type 1 is the Tri-Cycle; the Type 2 is the 2.75 h.p. Motorette; the Type 3 the Motorette w/ a De Dion Bouton 1-cyl. of 3.5 h.p.; and the Type 4 and 5 are versions of the 1902 product w/ C-Channel steel frame, tilt steering wheel, driveshaft & differential.

 

  No 1902's survive, though they were probably the most radical Peerless of all. A number of writers covered one that appeared at the 1929 NY Auto Show and commented on how it had 200,000 miles on it and was running like a top. These generally were known for opposed twin 16 h.p. engines. 8 and 12 h.p. powerplants also were used.

 

  A few 1903 & 1904 Peerlesses are around........including the canopy-topped "aught-four" which sold at the Amelia Island Sale this year; raising the bar for RECORD PEERLESS SALES PRICE EVER. It was from the Don Boulton Collection down in Oklahoma, a Type 8, Style K: 

Image result for 1902 Peerless

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peerless Motorette, circa 1900-1901. .................An illustration like this appeared in an issue of Outing Magazine late in the year 1900. Horseless Age also had a story about the new automaker, and a carriage builder compared it to another Ohio carmaker, the Ohio Automobile Co., later to be called Packard.

See the source image.

 

 

...........One account says 90 of these were built, another that 1902s production was 238. Mis-dated -- here's what's definitely a 1902-type of car(whether Type 3,4,5,6,or 7...I don't know) from a vending machine trading card by Premiere:

(There's also a similar illustration[1902 company ad] in History of American Automobiles 1861-1929, CH. 7, by Royal Feltner.)

 

Image result for 1900 Peerless

 

Image result for 1902 Peerless motor car company

 

 

.............................................................................................................................................................My guess is that this one is a Type 3, Style E with an 8 HP Peerless one-cylinder:

 

Screenshot 2019-06-24 at 1.59.18 PM.png

I really wanted to go see Boulton's cars at the Amelia Auction but it is such a hassle,  travel, hotel, driving and that week on Amelia Island is like Monterey Car week in California.

The second photo is definitely a DeDion-Bouton, I have a copy of it with the caption, "1900 DeDion-Bouton Voiturette" from an early magazine. All of the American made DeDion licensed cars that I have seen had steering wheels. That includes Skinner and Pierce.  Skinner, located in Brooklyn, was the "sole American importer" for DeDion-Bouton. Peerless cast parts before they made licensed copies. There is a fine photo of Louis Chevrolet driving a 1900 Skinner car with the front seat removed (for racing?). This is not a Peerless but note the steering wheel.1207125658_1900DeDionMotorette-small.jpg.c5066837909f95b8c31a55b74bc5cb00.jpg

 

Here is a 1900 Banker Brothers ad with the radical, new, horizontal engine forward design of Peerless. They were the first in the US to use this design. Most US cars for the next five decades followed this layout. Extra interest in this ad is the Pierce Runabout advertised below, still a DeDion copy and looking old-fashioned compared to the spiffy Peerless. Take that! Pierce owners.1233381513_BankerBrothersad.jpg.62870b5d086dc1e705dcf26b6dbaac61.jpg

 

The color photo is, of course, mis dated. Research shows the engine forward started in 1901, possibly developed by Max Hagelstine as engineer.

 

Interesting about the photo in the ad. Peerless sold those cars with an "adjustable" steering wheel that folded over as the driver entered the car. It was a "fat man" steering wheel ten years before the "fat man" steering wheel was invented.

 

The bottom photo is so fuzzy that it's hard to determine. I think it is a Type 4 because of the fenders. The Type 3 had lighter fenders than the 4. I've got one side shot of a Type 3 and I count 5 louvers on the side but I do not know if that was consistently done.
 

Well, it's good to compare notes. When you're on your own, you get in a bubble and instead of bouncing things around you begin to think you know something. Most early information about Peerless is a mystery, they were never big on giving out information.

What do you know of the buyout by the National Electric Lamp Co. managers and the later GE buyout? 

 


 

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Not familiar with the Lamp Co. buyout. The GE I had heard of. Peerless had little indebtedness and some high profits, so they were a target for profiteers who could give a hang about cars, kind of like some fatcats who ran Chrysler for awhile and tried to milk money out of it to the detriment of actual carmaking. President of Cadillac bought the company in late 1921.

 

Unfortunately, they seem to have shut down, but a year ago Walter Miller at autolit.com was listing an original owners manual or sales manual for a Peerless from before it was Peerless Motor Car Co. I think it was for a 1902 Peerless like the top picture in the post above. Very rare, only one I have heard of in existence. He wanted around $475 for it. Walter has a red 1920 Model 56 Peerless Limousine.

 

I can't remember what website it was....but once I got on one which had 5 or 10 illustrations of the Brooklyn factory cars(De Dion-Boutons about 1900). A particularly nice one was a little coupe that looked like a phone booth on wheels. I had heard that former bike racer Louis Chevrolet worked there.

 

Here is a photo I think is of the car for sale in the 2008 HMN ad I mentioned earlier, I think it was supposed to be a 1901 De Dion-Bouton á Brooklyn. The same car changed hands at the 2014 Amelia Island sale for $115 1/2 K.

1901-American-De-Dion-New-York-Motorette_02.jpg

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On 9/7/2019 at 11:19 AM, alextheantiqueautoguy said:

 

I ordered a copy of the magazine through ebay. I'll let you know when it comes in. I'm headed to the Western Reserve Historical Library later next week. 

A big event I have not seen advertised. The Crawford Museum is opening their warehouse on Saturday (Sept 14) for a "Coffee and Cars" event. This is the first time in ten years and the second time in recent history that they are allowing a public visit there. Macedonia, Ohio.  https://www.wrhs.org/events/crawford-coffee-cars-september/

 

I was at this event today and spotted this gem tucked away in the Crawford workshop:

 

1109019228_2019-09-1410_30_05.thumb.jpg.7c2c87a28df543e38abfbfe92cb49fa1.jpg 

 

628442286_2019-09-1410_29_52.thumb.jpg.3d4101a501b2f321cfb89fb75ab6af36.jpg

 

78947721_2019-09-1410_29_59.thumb.jpg.cc567fcb2adfbe4eb6d321cfd6bd3d5e.jpg

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Hi Matt. Thanks for the car-spotting of the '31 Peerless Master Eight. I saw this rare coupe in person at the Gathering At Gilmore once. That's the one several of us were trying to identify 7 years ago when a photo turned up of it zooming by on a trailer on a dirt road in the Badlands. The verdict was that it may have been a Packard, Mercedes, '32 Stutz, Cadillac, or Peerless. The owner was hauling it from Oregon  back to Ontario from a 1,200-mile CARavan out in Portland in 2012. This was on the AACA "What Is It" Forum, "ID this car I  saw in the Badlands SD at end of Sept., 2012" thread, 10/20/12 to 11/11/12. How the 1931 Peerless got in the Crawford Museum warehouse I don't know....although they already have a perfectly good Peerless built that year on display in the museum.

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Well, I got a bit of an education in the Crawford Auto and Air Museum and in the archives.  There was no early Peerless Motorette on display but there was a 1902 Pierce Motorette and, contrary to my firm belief, it was tiller steered and controlled. I will shut my mouth about things I believe but have no proof of, from now on.

The archives were a bit of a disappointment. The have very little on Peerless from 1900-1904. but they had enough to educate me on the Type 5. Since I hadn't seen it advertised I assumed it did not exist. Wrong. It did exist and was offered for sale. I marked the booklet for copying services and hope to see my copies within a month or so. Altogether I had about 100 pages marked to copy, so it's a big order.

The Museum had less than half a dozen Peerless cars but that did include the fabulous 1932 handmade12 cylinder. And it is a sight to behold. It is easily comparable to the Duesenbergs by Murphy and others in style but it is a it smaller in presentation. If only....

 

Determined as I am, I'll contact the Classic Car Club and the Horseless Carriage Car Club to ask ahead of time, if they have information on the earliest years. I'm sure the Nethercutt Collection had a large research room when I was there. Any other suggestions would be appreciated.

---

The National Electric Lamp Company bought the Peerless Motor Car Company in  late1912. Shortly thereafter the new company declared a FORTY PERCENT dividend. Imagine that, a way to get rich quick if ever there was one. National Electric was owned by General Electric and in 1915, GE swept up several car companies they already had interest in to take advantage of the boom in the sales of trucks for the European war. It soon became WW 1 and GE made millions from the sales of trucks for the war effort.

I can't help but believe that GE had this in mind all along and the purchase by "the Lamp men" was an intermediate step until circumstances allowed them to get approval from the board. BUT... this is another of those things that I firmly believe but have no information on, so I will shut my mouth for the time being.

The photo is of a 1902 Pierce Motorette with tiller controls. That says nothing definitive about Peerless but it does make me think of possibilities.

1902 Pierce Motorette.jpg

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Thanks for the report........I thought there were only 3 Peerlesses in the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum, the red 1905, green 1913, and black 1932 I saw on display in the main gallery 6 years ago. Not counting the green 1931 Sport Coupe that seems to be in for servicing at the storage facility: Gord's car from Ontario. Matt Harwood shows it a few posts up. The V-16 Prototype is the only known survivor of the four V-12 and V-16 cars they built in 1931. Did you know it was given as a wedding gift to some prominent Cleveland couple....and they drove it to Saratoga Hot Springs in NY for their honeymoon?

I was looking up some things for a post I added to the "Earliest V-8" thread on the Cadillac-LaSalle Forum today, and saw a picture on Wikipedia that was pretty good of a Brooklyn-built De Dion-Bouton built somewhere between 1900-1902. The notable feature to me is the big Victoria top identical to the one in the picture of the "1900 Peerless Motorette" I lost for awhile, taken at Hershey in the late Fifties.* Here's the one of the De Dion-Bouton:        170px-1901-de-dion.jpg

Thanks for the photo of the "aught-two" Pierce Motorette. Did you look at the next Forum down from the Peerless Forum, Pierce-Arrow, and see the picture I posted of an aught one Pierce in something of a reliability tour? That's some rare iron, too. In the article it's from, it talked about how there were 3 De Dion-Boutons on the tour and one of them broke a wheel in a pothole. A DDB Service Car appeared out of nowhere and got it back on the road in a few minutes.

* Just found the photo again. I'll drive downtown and scan it onto here later today. See post below.

 

 

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Here is the car that used to be the frontspiece of the Peerless Motor Car Club website. The same car and the same photo I mentioned in my August 20th post...and in my second September 10th post. Trying to remember the photo, I was incorrect that it was the folding-down-dash-to-a-forward-facing-front-seat model. Instead, it is a dos-á-dos, I mean Vis-á-Vis, almost identical to the yellow car in the link to a Hemmings photo(please see bottom of my Wednesday, Sept. 11th post) and the maroon one in the post directly above.

It would be nice to see what's written on the placard on the front of this car, or know who was exhibiting it at the AACA Hershey Fall Meet. If that HCCA list is right, it is a Type 2, Style B.

 

It is taken from a Horseless Carriage Gazette photo on page 29, Jan/Feb, 1992 issue:

 

image.jpeg

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While on the subject of early Peerless and De Dion-Bouton cars, I was looking through the item list  for the RM/Sotheby's Hershey sale and they have a 1900 De Dion listed. It is described as a Type "E" Vis-á-Vis Voiturette/402 CC/3.5 h.p. from the Merrick Auto Museum Collection. I went and looked at one like this in SanDiego five years ago. The tiller pedestal is distinctive on these, and I see it's present in the oldest known Peerless photo in the post at the top of the page, 2nd image.

 

 

Screenshot 2019-09-19 at 10.35.02 PM.png

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  • 1 month later...

Jeff,

 

I've been keeping up with your posts, just unable to grab a minute to reply until now. Thanks for your input, especially on the early years of Peerless. I concur with almost everything you've uncovered here.

 

What unstructured time I've had is spent in trying to chase down early Peerless literature. The AACA library has a some "clippings" of early Peerless  (1900-1903) but loose material is unverified,  I can't use it.  Lots of people mismark an old photo and it becomwes history. It's not on purpose but it muddies the water. The Cleveland Historical Library files had early teens cars marked and filed as 1902 models, shessh!

 

Would you consider reading a chapter or two of my work in progress? I'm trundling toward the finish but still learning more details. Maybe I'm way off base and I would appreciate a set of experienced eyes on it, if you are willing. Contact me at alexcauthen at that dot com place with yahoo in front if you are feeling generous enough to try it out.

 

I did order a copy of 2001 Jan-Feb Antique Automobile with the article "From Clothes Wringers & Bicycles to Horseless Carriages." It never arrived and I spent precious free time getting my money returned when the seller insisted they sent it. Too bad. My online order for Golden Wheels didn't arrive either but they didn't change me for it. I need to get back on task for those too.

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On 9/14/2019 at 5:23 PM, Matt Harwood said:

 

I was at this event today and spotted this gem tucked away in the Crawford workshop:

 

1109019228_2019-09-1410_30_05.thumb.jpg.7c2c87a28df543e38abfbfe92cb49fa1.jpg 

 

628442286_2019-09-1410_29_52.thumb.jpg.3d4101a501b2f321cfb89fb75ab6af36.jpg

 

78947721_2019-09-1410_29_59.thumb.jpg.cc567fcb2adfbe4eb6d321cfd6bd3d5e.jpg

Yes, it was great and exceedingly rare. One man standing near me asked if I thought it was a Continental engine. I remembered that E.L. Cord added Continental engines to his corporate warehouse and didn't think he would have sold engines to other companies but I was wrong. I think this is a 1929 Model 81-Six Coupe. I'd be very happy to learn if it is not. I like the Stevens-Duryea Model X but what intrigued me the most was  the 1914 Stutz that was half covere up. 

 

 

5.jpg

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Matt, good save on the Lycoming/Continental thing. Frankly, I think Lycoming and Continental would sell to any company that came down the pike. I remember reading an auto industry article years ago saying that one year in the Twenties there were 59 models of American cars for sale, and either a third or a half of them had motors from the two companies.

 

Alex, it's a '31 Model "B", or "Master Eight" Coupe with a 322 cu. in. Continental. 1000 or 1200 of these Master 8s were built, but only 1.9 Coupes seem to have survived...around 12 Master Eights have. This one is really quite a desirable Peerless, and should be in the dictionary under Historical Preservation Original Finish. It's a little bit difficult to keep up with Peerless' model and engine changes, except 8 years when they were all-V-8 between 1916 and 1923. The good news is that you had a lot of choices in model, engine and price. 

 

Peerless used their own engines, too, over that span of 29 years between the De Dion Bouton and the all-straight-eight Continental years of 1930-32.

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  • 2 months later...

469.  Here is an exceptional look back into the height of the V-8 days of Peerless --- part of an 11" x 17" sales folder for the 1917 and 1918 Peerless Mod. 56 "Sporting Roadster"(translation: race car) available from the factory.

 

Image result for 1911 Peerless Roadster"

 

470.  A World War Two edition of a Beverage Corporation of America product, once known as the Peerless Corporation: an olive drab can of Carling's Red Cap Ale.

Image result for carling red cap ale bottle"

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Greetings,

 

These are amazing pages with an incredible amount of Peerless info - congrats and thanks for all the hard work!

 

It is impossible to keep up with all the library and archival digitzations, so I wonder if you have seen this image from the Philadelphia Free Library's Automotive Collection? The collection has been sold and will be split between the Simeone Foundation in Philadelphia and the AACA Library & Research Center in Hershey - very exciting news!

 

The Free Library has digitized a boatload of vintage auto show images, including this one from the 1917 Cleveland Auto Show showing the Peerless stand.

Though it's quite damaged the important info is there and dead center is a Model 56 Sporting Roadster,  priced at $2,250.

 

639729419_17ClevelandPeerlessModel56FLP.thumb.jpg.d59d2b679d4b88e40913f45e4ff40059.jpg

Cleveland Automobile Show 1917 Peerless. Photographic Prints. Free Library of Philadelphia: Philadelphia, PA. 

https://libwww.freelibrary.org/digital/item/42313

 

My question pertains to this Peerless photo for sale at the AACA Library's ebay store, labelled "1925 Peerless Silver Eight Phaeton, Factory Photo (Ref. #63622)"

It's shown in the 1925 New York Auto Show, held that year in the Bronx Armory and part of the Silver Anniversary celebration of the NY Auto Show.

625364977_25PeerlessSilver81.thumb.jpg.569654747eedf306f2694a64d8920b79.jpg

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1925-Peerless-Silver-Eight-Phaeton-Factory-Photo-Ref-63622/130798672991?hash=item1e74355c5f:g:o6sAAMXQqBxRGrI1

 

Given its light color, was this a special car for the New York show? I'm curious because I have another image of what appears to be the same car at the same time frame and don't know its Model or Series number. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks,

Tom Gibson

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Thanks Tom,

   Glad you like the Peerless Research Findings thread. You put the same 1917 picture up I posted recently on the "Images of the Era"  Gen. Discussion thread and "Peerless Photos" thread here on the Peerless Forum. I thought it might be part of that material going to the AACA Library and a museum in PA, but wasn't sure. It is a great item I had not seen until this month.

   Oddly enough, there was a photo of one of these 1917 Sporting Roadsters here on the forums that twinunicorn posted 12/21/06 in a thread called "Please help identify this car", on the "What Is It?" Forum. He had found some pictures in an old house in Memphis being torn down, among them one of a 1908 Peerless Touring Car, and a couple of the the Sporting Roadster....including the one below with 2 Peerlesses out in front of a building where you could buy tires, Studebakers, Peerlesses and dairy products. It took awhile to find the 13-year-old post with this picture, and back then wondered what body style this was, not being the better-known 4-Passenger roadster. 

post-50231-143137918115_thumb.jpg

 

 

   I've seen the pic of the 1925 car on ebay several times. It's probably a 1925 7-Passenger Mod. 67 Peerless Touring Phaeton. The light fenders & splash aprons are unusual since they were usually black at the time.

  • "Silver" could refer to Silver Anniversary of the show,
  • a special silver paint color
  • or even the Silver design and coachbuilding firm.

 

   C.T. Silver was one of 48 known companies doing bodies for Peerless. About that time there was a special paint scheme of blue fenders/aprons/body/Pines Winterfront and this could even be that with the glare from a flash. There is a shot of pitching legend Walter Johnson getting out of a nearly identical car to play in the 1925 World Series In Pittsburgh that that can be found in an online search.

   About 1,500 8-67s were built. The other model that year was the Six-70(2,786 built) which became the 6-72 in April.

 

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  • 6 months later...

Here's an update on the "Silver Eight Phaeton" image that I mentioned above. C.T. Silver was out of the coachbuilding biz by around 1920,

so perhaps it commemorates the 25th Anniversary of the NY Auto Show, and may have been painted a silver color.

 

940515107_2526PeerlessSiboney1AdjXx.jpg.e93bb34df5cd8f32452f3e5566e1149d.jpg

 

On a recent trip to Havana, Cuba, I bought this press pic and 3 others that were taken at the New York & Cuba Mail Line's (aka Ward Line)

docks in NYC, now the location of the South Street Seaport. They are all Peerless touring cars poised in front of Ward Line ships, here, the 

SS Siboney. This 1925 Model 67 Touring appears to be the one in the NY Auto Show image, but its wheels have been changed. It looks to

have the same tires, with their white dots as seen at the show. The other 3 Peerless cars wear the same type of wire wheels and are being

loaded onto the Ward Line's SS Orizaba, apparently bound for Havana if the markings on the photos are correct.

 

This image alone has snow on the ground, not conclusive, but points to it being winter, around the January 1925 time-frame of the NY show.

I could hardly contain my excitement when I turned the images over and saw they were from Nathan Lazarnick, and was surprised to learn

that in addition to his Broadway location he had also worked out of a Cleveland studio.

 

637875785_2526PeerlessOrizaba1Bc.jpg.237a5e6e7c1864172f4a9e9c210add1b.jpg

 

A blurb in the April 19, 1923 Automotive Industries notes that Nathan Lazarnick opened a Cleveland studio at the request

of the White Motor Company, and there would have been plenty of extra work from Peerless, Chandler, Jordan and others.

 

The plot thickens, in a post I had forgotten about sent five years by our young Finnish friend and prewar enthusiast, 

Mika Jaakkola... "Is there any truth in this? This caption is from a Finnish magazine from 1925. It says

'This year at the NY and Chicago auto shows, among other automobiles, Peerless received special attention.

The car's body, wheels, fenders and brake drums were pure silver.' It was published in the April issue."

 

1550175384_25PeerlessSilver81BFinland.thumb.jpg.baa010090547a2b8008fa4cedeb5c404.jpg

 

So now I'm wondering if the Silver Special Touring was shipped to Cuba after its appearance at the NY and Chicago shows,

perhaps having a wheel swap because of Havana's tropical climate, or because they were solid silver! 

As is often the case, the images offer more questions than answers.  

 

TG

 

 

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Thank you, TG, for the continuing the discussion about the 1925s. You get around a little if you found some documentation "south of the border". I occasionally see a picture of a showroom car that looks like that Silver edition car in the AACA photo. Quite the enigma* about it possibly having silver wheels, body, brake drums & fenders to commemorate the NY Auto show's 25th anniversary. It would have been possible for the body panels to be stamped out of silver, I suppose. At $.70/troy ounce, $8.40/lb. you could have just swapped it for steel. Your Equipoised Eight Phaeton was about a $3,000 car at the factory..........and this would have jacked the price up a bit. 

 

One point of dissonance re: the photo of the car at the docks: the top boot and the fact the top retracts. My understanding of the 1923-1924-1925 4- and 7-Passenger Touring Phaetons was that they were the new Peerless Permanent Tops. The outer covering was fabric, with many aluminum parts, to create a taut assembly, but they were not convertibles. I've rarely seen a picture of one that did fold down**. Not that it was impossible to have some made up that way....maybe Cuban climate required a convertible, or a few were shipped from the factory by special order.

 

I'm curious about the other photos. Are they almost identical body styles w/ black wire wheels, a folding top, dual rear spares, fully-plated headlights and light-colored fenders?  ----Jeff

 

 

*my doctor's words when I was in a Magnetic Resonance Imager a few weeks ago

** I can only think of 2 1923s and 1 1925 that have visible ribs and may fold down(see 1925 6-72 7-Passenger Touring Phaeton below).
1925 6-72 Phaeton - Peerless - Antique Automobile Club of America -  Discussion Forums

 

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If that car really had all that silver in it, for fairness I should mention the 1920 Mod. 48 Piece-Arrow ordered by a fellow Hutchinson, Kansas hometown boy Emerson Carey(I worked in one of his mines for awhile). The 2nd owner of this 3-Passenger Coupe spent 27 years plating much of it with gold and nickel after WWII to make it "the Hope Diamond of antique cars". It's a little over the top -- but so are sterling silver fenders!
image.thumb.png.1a34a92422e1315c90d35193fe6a8d68.png
 

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22 hours ago, jeff_a said:

I'm curious about the other photos. Are they almost identical body styles w/ black wire wheels, a folding top, dual rear spares, fully-plated headlights and light-colored fenders?  ----Jeff

These are the other three, at the same Ward Lines' pier but without snow on the ground and poised in front of the SS Orizaba.

Also a Lazarnick image, their coats suggest it's winter or at least cold outside. In one image, the Phaeton on the right is aerial,

being heaved over into the ship's hold - with the gent in the hat at far right sitting in the driver's seat. Talk about bravery!

 

image.png.7a3061ee3d8cfe0fdb02be0bc9f7fe42.png

 

Same wheel/ tire combo, one with the Cadillac-style grille (a Six?). I'm a newbie on a Peerless learning curve, and hope to find something

in the bound, 53 Peerless Co-Operator issues I just bought from Troxel's. They're from June '25 to Sept '27. My travel to Havana is for

research for a book about the cars of Cuba when they new, all pre-Embargo, and finding these Peerless images was a real surprise.

 

The Phaeton on the the left has top bows, and the one on the right looks to have panels with caning on its door tops,

a neat custom touch. I guess by '26-'27 they no longer used the permanent top. Besides private purchasers, these open

cars were used by hotels and tourist companies, often seen lined up at docks awaiting disembarking ship passengers

ready to tour the city. The aerial image of the caned Phaeton shows dual rear-mounted spares,

so it would make sense they are all so-equipped.

 

555695373_2526PeerlessOrizaba1C.jpg.dd06a09c72f6250c9c8ea15b21166d80.jpg

 

I need to join the the Peerless Club, but can find no Web presence. Can you shoot me a PM with info?

 

Thanks!

TG

(Tom Gibson)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   Quite illuminating. I added to my comment 3 posts back.

 

   The four cars are a look back in the past to a specific time of great interest to me. The 1st Peerless I saw, 14 years ago, was a condition #6 1924 Model Six-70 5-Pass. Touring Phaeton which was for sale at a roadside old car lot in Bozeman, MT. I had heard of Peerlesses before, but never seen one, though I did have a page out of a January 10th, 1925 Saturday Evening Post showing the full range of body styles[14] and models[2] available at about the time the "Orizaba" was going to Cuba. The old car was pretty  rough, having literally been out in a Montana cow pasture for 70 years, but you could tell it was at one time quite a car. I became intensely interested in the marque and began researching it soon after.

 

   Following the story of the Peerless Motor Car Company is somewhat tough. It's not like Corvettes....with 300 or 400 books written about them. So many more developments in technology, models and body styles than the GM sports car. A couple of 6-70s were available for the 1924 N.Y. Auto Show in early January, real production starting about March. For 13 months, I think it was, the model was built, then in April, 1925, a few exterior changes were made and it became the Mod. Six-72. You are right, the car on the left with the Cadillac lookalike rad shell is a 6-70, the other 2 are 8-67s. The  convertible Touring Phaeton in your 1st picture looks like a Peerless Eight(8-67). Generally, the 6-70's had a plated rim at the front of each headlight and cowl light...and the 8-67 lights were all plated, with no raised rim. The older V-8 model, 66, was a 1923-1924 design, and had the same rad shell as the 6-70. In the spring of 1924, the dynamically-balanced Equipoised Eight(Mod. 8-67) was introduced, those having the distinctive 1926-1928 rad shell design with the drop-down center below the radiator cap. The 8-67 was a one-year-model(1925), replaced with the Eight-69 for 1926-1928.
   Here is a view of that interesting ad from early 1925 I got about 30 years ago, another one is available for $10.99 from "the-ad-store" on e-Bay today. I wish Peerless did an illustration of all their offerings like this for the other 31 years, there being a bewildering array of 1s, 2s, 4s, 6s, 8s, 12s, 16s; "hydrocarbon voiturettes"*, sedans, coupes, 4-ton trucks, limousines, touring cars, boattail coupes & boattail roadsters.

 

1925 Peerless Motor Car Cleveland OH Roadster Phaeton Coupe Limo14 Models Ad...

 

 

*cars

Outing Magazine, Nov., 1900, referred to the Peerless at the NY Auto Show by that phrase)

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 5/6/2009 at 5:21 PM, Guest imported_mikewest said:

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

 

469.  There is a 1932 Peerless Master Eight Sedan that recently changed hands....and I thought the new owners would appreciate seeing something about it three owners ago. I believe it went from New York to California to the Carolinas.

 

470.   A 1926 Peerless for sale in Ontario in 2019. A 5-Pass. Mod. 6-80 Sedan, it has a Gotfredson Body.

 

  0802-st-bunnell-e1564690412868.jpg&w=840&h=630

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am pleased and relieved to announce the release of my book Peerless Automobiles in the Brass Era: 1900 ~ 1915.  Brass Era cars fascinated me and there was nothing of substance published about Peerless. As I say on the website, Peerless was an important chapter of the American automobile history that was only known as one of the three P's. A little light has been shed on the brand now.

I have had my head into it for so long that I feel like I'm finally coming up for air.  If you are one of the 16 Peerless Automobile fans and are interested, visit the book's website and have a look.

http://www.theantiqueautoguy.com/

 

bkfront-cover-SM-wht.jpg

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CONGRATULATIONS ALEX!

An outstanding accomplishment and great feat. I looked at some of the promo material and ordered one.
You're right. Peerless deserves a book of this sort. We conversed back in August to October, 2019 and then we didn't hear from you. Little did any of us know you were writing this signal work!

 

The more you look, the more you find on Peerless. I was looking in old motoring journals once and found a clip about the Peerless Manufacturing Company seeing the handwriting on the wall regarding the bicycle business, and starting to work on motorcar production as early as 1898.

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