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Peerless Research Findings

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Posted (edited)

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

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)

There's a backissue of the Horseless Carriage Gazette with a  helpful chart of model evolution:

"The Adventure Continues: PEERLESS The Early Years" by Thomas Oliff, JAN-FEB 1992, pp 11-27{Please see partial list below}

[A companion piece covering 1900-1931 is "Peerless: All That The Name Implies", NOV-DEC 1991, pp 50-56 by Bill Cuthbert.]

 

YEAR.......MODEL....HP.........CYL.......B&S..........WB.................COMMENTS       

1901    Type 1(A).................. 1..............                                      Tricycle, 15 built   

1901              2(B) 2 3/4.........1..............                                      Motorette

1901              2(C) 3 1/2.........1..............                                      Motorette

1901              2(D) 5................1..............                                      Motorette

1901 & 02     3(E)  8................1...............                                       

1901 & 02     4(F)  16..............2.......4.5x5.5                                (first years of the 2 cyl. were cast separately)             

1901 & 02     5(G)  12..............2

1903              6(F)...16..............2......4_x5_ ................................(first car in Lake City, CO was one of these -- now owned by Bonhams auction house CEO Malcolm Barber)

1904              7.......35..............4.......4.25x5.5.....104"/107"

1904....Type 8(_)..24..............4...............................97" ............(first car in Salmon, ID was one of these) 

"_" = illegible

 

Both of the above writers remark on the difficulty in identifying Peerlesses by year and model -- as they sometimes used an illustration of a previous model to promote a new one, and weren't consistent on when model changeover occurred. 

 

 

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)

This shot was taken by a British photographer on one of his first visits to an American car show, in Vermont, I believe. The same mindset that caused hundreds of little replicas inspired by the Curved Dash Oldsmobile to be constructed with lawn mower engines and bicycle wheels apparently has spread to other marques. You know, I'm a terrible golfer, capable of a score of 100 on 9 holes of a professional-level course, but I can see this as an ace golf cart, which might be what this started as.  

🙈🙈🙈This is not a 1900 Peerless - even though it says so on a genuine wood sign. They do get points for having the motometer sprout out of the electric horn.🎺 🎺🎺☑️Image result for 1900 Peerless

 

 

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)
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24 minutes ago, jeff_a said:

They do get points for having the motometer sprout out of the electric horn.

 

A not very often seen accessory!

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Posted (edited)
On 8/19/2019 at 10:39 PM, alextheantiqueautoguy said:

Hi Jeff,

 

I've been lurking here for about six months. You are a veritable cornucopia of Peerless information.

I'm looking for information on the earliest years of Peerless, do you think the Case Western Reserve archives would be of any help? Specifically I am looking for photos of a Peerless Motorette and looking for specs on the Type 3 and Type 4. They seem willing to assist once I get there but they don't give much information through email.

 Hi alextheantiquecarguy,

    I forgot to say welcome to the AACA Forums. There is a ton of data here on these 90 forums going back to about 1998. When I first started using it in 2006 there wasn't even a Peerless Forum, but I found out there were dozens of posts about Peerless that could be read using the search function. In late 2007, Wayne Burgess helped set up this Forum out of some of those random posts and now we have something. At one time the only users were Wayne from VA, Bryan from IA, Philippe from The Ardennes, and I.

   I don't have an answer to the question about Case Western. Aren't Case Western Reserve University, The Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum in the same area? I spent an hour or so in the Crawford Auto Aviation Museum once, sketching and measuring an engine, but never saw any archives there or at Case Western.

   Glad to see someone else interested in the earliest Peerlesses. I think they are fascinating, myself. A lot of focus on Peerless is on the Green Dragons & V-16 prototypes, considering they were never for sale to the public, so good to read your post about these pioneer cars. The 1900-1904 Period is the base for all later accomplishments by Peerless. Have you gotten ahold of the Automobile Quarterly , VOL 11, NO 1, with the 32 pages about Peerless ------ or Antique Automobile, 1962, VOL 26, NO. 2, "The Edwardian Peerless" by E. Stanley Cope, M.D., pages 84-107? Both excellent places to start. The latter is about 1900-1915 Peerless cars in general and lists Barney Pollard as owning a 1901 Peerless. Richard Wager in his 1986 book Golden Wheels, has an 18 page chapter on Peerless and goes into the 1900-1903 efforts quite a bit.                        

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)

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Thanks for your reply, Jeff. I'm still unaccustomed to the layout of the forum, I learned today, posts are not organized by date. I think I can find your reply quicker in the future.

I do have the Hendry article from Automobile Quarterly. The other two are new to me and I will track them down. One thing about it, there's not a lot of competition for this kind of thing.

You are right about Case Western Reserve, the Crawford and The Cleveland Museum. I'm trying to organize a Cleveland visit in September. Case Western said they have materials but will only give general descriptions about what they have. I understand their response so I think my next call will be to the Crawford, I bet someone there will offer more specific direction.

 

Thanks again, good sources and I will keep you posted on my research if you are interested.

Alex

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Posted (edited)

Richard Lichtfeld of Wisconsin, The Green Dragon on the forums here, went on a research trip to the Cleveland Public Library, and also to the Detroit Public Library, about 2008. The DPL has the National Automotive History Collection. It requires advance notice of several days before admittance for research. Looking at their online presence, it appears they have quite a few things. I typed in "Peerless" on their site's Digital Public Library, and the 1st picture was a fantastic shot of workers around three 1902 Peerless 2-cyl. cars. I posted it for a few minutes, but then read they don't allow reproduction of material without permission(which you can't get on a weekend).

 

The posts here on the 90 or so forums are organized by forum, thread and date. Everything entered remains, if you know how to search for it. The most recent stuff is on top of the pile. This forum could be just a jumble of 2,146 posts, if everyone had commented on the first post from about 2001, which I think was "Peerless Hidden In A Barn". Instead, other threads or topics have been added, like "Peerless For Sale Department", "Peerless Parts For Sale Thread", "The Missing Peerless Records Collection", and "1903 Peerless Brass Hood". It's still a jumble, but one divided into maybe 250 threads. That way there can be repeat comments on related things. [The Peerless Forum is a pretty quiet part of the AACA Forums compared to General Discussion, Buick, and Cars For Sale......but "Peerless Research Findings" has had hundreds of additions & has been viewed 33,000 times.]

 

It's a little confusing til you get used to it, but to make room for all these messages, things are archived. Do you see at the top of this page, left side, there are 7 little boxes that say "PREV, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7"(7 highlighted) ? Only room for seven posts on this page of "Peerless Research Findings" -- so you can go from the top of the pile(2019)(box 7) back to the original post[first post on that thread] in 2009, box 1. If you hit the "FORUMS" button at the top of the page, scroll down to the "PEERLESS" button on that index of all the forums, and go to the first page of the Peerless Forum, you'll find there are 10 boxes to hold all of the thread titles(25 threads/page). The boxes at the top of the page will read "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, NEXT" (1 is highlighted). In this case, it means that page(box 1) is the most recent stuff(2019), and you can go back 18 years to the oldest post(box 10).

 

Keep me posted on your research.

Now you're supposed to say you found some one and two cylinder cars bearing some resemblance to De Dion or Peerless horseless carriages.

 

  

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)
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On 4/29/2009 at 6:56 PM, jeff_a said:

8. There's an article in <span style="text-decoration: underline">Antique Automobile </span> (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.

 

 

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/

Edited by alextheantiqueautoguy
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Sounds fun. I'd go if it weren't an 1800-mile drive. A few years ago, I got to go to the Crawford Museum on a Monday, to examine one car for about an hour, but have only seen a few pictures of the warehouse.

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)

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On 8/21/2019 at 9:20 PM, jeff_a said:

There's a backissue of the Horseless Carriage Gazette with a  helpful chart of model evolution:

"The Adventure Continues: PEERLESS The Early Years" by Thomas Oliff, JAN-FEB 1992, pp 11-27{Please see partial list below}

[A companion piece covering 1900-1931 is "Peerless: All That The Name Implies", NOV-DEC 1991, pp 50-56 by Bill Cuthbert.]

 

YEAR.......MODEL....HP.........CYL.......B&S..........WB.................COMMENTS       

1901    Type 1(A).................. 1..............                                      Tricycle, 15 built   

1901              2(B) 2 3/4.........1..............                                      Motorette

1901              2(C) 3 1/2.........1..............                                      Motorette

1901              2(D) 5................1..............                                      Motorette

1901 & 02     3(E)  8................1...............                                       

1901 & 02     4(F)  16..............2.......4.5x5.5                                (first years of the 2 cyl. were cast separately)             

1901 & 02     5(G)  12..............2

1903              6(F)...16..............2......4_x5_ ................................(first car in Lake City, CO was one of these -- now owned by Bonhams auction house CEO Malcolm Barber)

1904              7.......35..............4.......4.25x5.5.....104"/107"

1904....Type 8(_)..24..............4...............................97" ............(first car in Salmon, ID was one of these) 

"_" = illegible

 

Both of the above writers remark on the difficulty in identifying Peerlesses by year and model -- as they sometimes used an illustration of a previous model to promote a new one, and weren't consistent on when model changeover occurred. 

 

 

I'm surprised that he does not list the 1900 Motorettes that Peerless was making. They showed a Type C at the first NY Auto Show, so it is  certain that Peerless was in the auto manufacturing business by 1900. Though I have read about the trike, I have never seen it mentioned in the trade magazines of the day, not once. They did not list Motorettes after 1901.

 

I'm not being argumentative below, just sharing what I have.


I have not seen the Type 5 mentioned in any year either. 

 

The earliest bore and stroke measurment I have is from 1902 for aType 4 is 4x4.5 sourced from Automobile Topics, April 5, 1902, Vol. 3, No. 25, p943.

 

I saw an article about the first car in Lake City, CO and thought their specs were off based on the sources I have but hopefully we will learn something from the Cleveland History Collection. Generally, I find owners are not really good sources for information on their cars. They don't research, they take what they have as urtext and nobody knows what the car may have been through. Don Boulton was an exception to that. I was very lucky to have seen his collection. Got to speak with him briefly.

I'm still trying to catch up with you on these posts. More later

 

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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.

Edited by jeff_a
re-phrased the phrase correctly (see edit history)

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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 Peerless Limo.

 

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

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)

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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 my have been a Packard, Mercedes, '32 Stutz, or a Cadillac. The owner was hauling it from OR  back to ONT 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.

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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

Edited by alextheantiqueautoguy (see edit history)

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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.

 

 

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)

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Here is the car that used to be the frontspiece of the Peerless Motor Car Club website, version 1.0, no longer in service. 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, 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.

 

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

 

image.jpeg

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)

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