Jump to content

early 1930s sedan - my grandpa with his grandpa's car - but what is it?


enthusiast
 Share

Recommended Posts

My grandpa (pictured here) is posing here with his grandfather's car in Ohio in the early 1930s, and I'm curious what the car is.  Hood ornament bears a resemblance to the chasing the donut goddess of speed of Packards but this one doesn't have the bent knee and doesn't have the donut.  It kind of resembles the winged hood ornament on Duesenbergs of that time period but also isn't quite right.  Anyone know what this car is?

Grandpa and car.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you so much, nzcarnerd - you must be right.  The spare tire holder, the ventilation gills, the lower door curvature, the curves in front of the windshield, the lip above the windshield - all of this points to the Marmon Big Eight.  Must be the Big Eight Brougham, as you point out.  Thanks so much!    

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I recall correctly, these bodies were sourced from Hayes Body Company and were styled by Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky.   The bodies were also supplied concurrently to Peerless for their Custom Eight line. 

 

Wonderful image of a rare Marmon, thanks for posting it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for the tip about the Peerless 1930-31 Custom Eight.  Turns out Tom Laferriere restored a 1931 Peerless Custom Eight Brougham ten years ago and posted images of it (reattaching them here), and, sure enough, it's amazingly similar to the car my great-great-grandfather had (see the picture at the top of this thread).  Had me confused for a while, but I think the radiator grill on my great-great-grandpa's car comes to a point at the top, almost like a pimple, as it seems to do in the Marmon images nzcarnerd shared, whereas the Peerless seems to have a bulkier emblem at the top of the radiator instead.  Also, the bumper on my great-great-grandpa's car has the cross-bars of the Marmon, which the Peerless seems not to have.  Still, the two cars certainly appear to be almost interchangeable, other than the radiator grille, which, unfortunately, I can't see well on the photo I have. 

1931 Peerless Custom Eight Brougham side view.jpg

1931 Peerless Custom Eight Brougham front view.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Enthusiast:

 

Thanks for including photo of the Peerless Custom Eight that also utilized the same bodies supplied by Hayes Body Co. of Grand Rapid, MI.

Hayes Body Co., Hayes Mfg., H. Jay Hayes, Eastman Metallic Body, Wilson-Hayes, Hayes-Ionia Co., Hayes-Hunt Corp., Victor Body, General Body - Coachbuilt.com

 

It was the standard practice for most of the smaller volume carmakers to source their bodies from outside body makers, witness the extensive list on the Coachbuilt site.    The major body makers were Murray Corporation and Briggs Body Company but there were myriad smaller outfits providing the service.   Fisher Body Co. had also been a major throughout the industry, GM one of their largest customers and the reason they bought the company in 1926 to have full control of that supplier.  

 

Marmon in Indianapolis and Peerless of Cleveland had competed at various time in the same or adjacent premium and luxury price segments, though had very different powertrain design and engineering.   Curiously enough, both companies ventured down-market into the medium-priced field with cars unlike they'd built before, both to no success.   The Marmon radiator shell 'peak' is one of their most distinctive design features.

 

Although the Marmon Big Eight club sedan was $2,770 new, by the early 1930's its resale value would have been a fraction of the original price.  As such, a young man with a steady income could avail himself of a very nice expensive car for relatively small outlay.    

Edited by 58L-Y8
'there' not their (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, enthusiast said:

Thanks so much for the tip about the Peerless 1930-31 Custom Eight.  Turns out Tom Laferriere restored a 1931 Peerless Custom Eight Brougham ten years ago and posted images of it (reattaching them here), and, sure enough, it's amazingly similar to the car my great-great-grandfather had (see the picture at the top of this thread).  Had me confused for a while, but I think the radiator grill on my great-great-grandpa's car comes to a point at the top, almost like a pimple, as it seems to do in the Marmon images nzcarnerd shared, whereas the Peerless seems to have a bulkier emblem at the top of the radiator instead.  Also, the bumper on my great-great-grandpa's car has the cross-bars of the Marmon, which the Peerless seems not to have.  Still, the two cars certainly appear to be almost interchangeable, other than the radiator grille, which, unfortunately, I can't see well on the photo I have.

 

Just to correct the record a bit,  Tom had the car on consignment where it went to a new owner on LI.   The new owner spent a lot of money on the restoration and it has since passed on to a very well known restorer who now owns it.   I do not know if the restoration has been completed yet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...