Peerless was a United States automobile produced by the Peerless Motor Company of Cleveland, Ohio from 1900 to 1931. The company was known for building high-quality, precision luxury automobiles. Peerless' factory was located at 9400 Quincy Avenue in Cleveland.
Established in Cleveland in 1900, Peerless Motors began producing De Dion-Bouton "machines" under license from the French Company. At the time, Cleveland was the center of automotive production in the US. Peerless employed Barney Oldfield as a driver of its Green Dragon racecar; in early speed races Peerless proved the durability of the product and setting world speed records. Peerless was noted for its use of flat-plane crankshafts in its
As the Peerless evolved, it, along with makes Packard and Pierce-Arrow, became known as the "Three-Ps of Motordom" (premium vehicles) in the US.
Peerless' downfall was in its quality. In the 1920s, the company was producing conservatively-styled vehicles that endured for ten or more years. Current Peerless owners retained their cars, which ran very well. New buyers of luxury cars were attracted to LaSalle, Packard, and the Studebaker President series.
End of Production
In 1930-31, Peerless commissioned Murphy Body Works of Pasadena, California, to design what the company envisioned as its 1933 model. The task was assigned to a young Frank Hershey. Hershey's design for Peerless was a remarkably clean, elegant vehicle, powered by the company's planned V16 engine.
Just as the car was ready to be shipped back to Cleveland, the Board of Directors pulled Peerless out of the automobile business and reoriented the company to brew beer under the Carling Black Label brand. The last production model was 1932. Hershey's prototype was walled up in a room at the Peerless factory where it sat until the end of World War II. Hershey's prototype is now owned by the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum in Cleveland.
The following Peerless vehicles are deemed "classic cars" by the Classic Car Club of America (CCCA): 1925 Series 67; 1926 — 1928 Series 69; 1930-1 Custom 8 and the 1932 Deluxe Custom 8. However, all Peerless vehicles are considered collectible.
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