This luxury automobile was introduced in 1917.Its name was known as a low price brand.In an unusual move for head of GM Billy Durant this car was entered into the high price field going against Packard and Pierce Arrow.This touring car featured a very ahead of its time “overhead valve” V8 engine.This would be a first for this high volume car company but not its last. They would not produce another V8 car till 1955. The advanced V8 engine featured a central camshaft, counter balanced crankshaft and detachable crossflow cylinder heads. Horsepower for this V8 wonder was very high for the time 55.The most for this maker till 1932. At 288 cubic inches the little V8 was fed thru a two barrel Zenith updraft carburetor. While Ford’s Model T featured a planetary gear set this car used a very modern 3 speed manual with a leather faced clutch and single reverse gear. Riding on a 120 inch wheelbase and weighing at 3200 lbs it was over two feet longer and half a ton larger than its 4 cylinder siblings. Featuring full electrical items such as lights and starter as standard equipment its price was $1395.00.Higher than Buick or Hupmobile.That very vaulted pricing would hurt sales.In its first year only 511 units were produced. While the other models of this make would top 111,000 for model year 1917. As much of a mechanical marvel this touring car was it only lasted two years.Production would stop in 1919 with only a total of 1500 being produced. What Auto is This??
Tag Archive: Packard
As the saying goes..”All good things come to those who wait” Well not too sure about all good but in my case a 1929 Peerless Model 6-81. For as long as my car soaked brain can recall parked in my hometown of Port Jefferson NY has been a very lonely 1929 Peerless. As some of you know in its day Peerless was one of the “Three P’s Of Motordom” in the 1920,s and 1930′s. Considered one of the best cars of its era. The other two P’s being Packard and Pierce Arrow. Some say the thing that killed Peerless was they made the cars too good.
The average car in its day would last maybe 5 years. Peerless was known for going 10 years plus with no major repairs. Truth be told it was The Great Depression and Peerless lack of a lower priced model that sent it packing by late 1931. The story of this wonderful piece of automotive history is a two part love affair. It’s soon to be past owner is an amazing women who purchased the restored jewel over 18 years ago. From the start she had a love affair with the Peerless. Her intent was to use it for her costume company as a prop and for weekend drives with her husband.
As time and life passed by the Peerless was parked and became part of the backdrop of our pretty harbor town. Still she refused to sell it hoping that one day it could be brought back to its past glory. Many people asked but she refused despite the price. As with most love affairs it is tough to let go. The second part of the love story is me. I have always had a desire and romance for cars from the 1920′s and 1930′s. Years ago when I spotted it parked it was love at first sight. For years me and the owner would talk. About life. About the Peerless.
About her future plans for the Peerless. She was glad to know that I knew about the history of Peerless and its role in automotive history. Still no sale. She promised if she did sell it I would be the person she would sell it too. I had to promise to keep it close by and not sell the car for profit. I did. But I was running out of time. I needed to have a classic car ready for the Lincoln Highway 2013 tour. When I was at Spring Carlisle 2012 I fell for a fully restored 1936 Chevrolet Standard for a great price. Still it was not the Peerless. I called her son explaining I needed to know if she wanted to sell or not. If not than I would purchase the beautiful old Chevrolet. Few hours later the phone rang and she was ready to let her love go. Maybe she felt like I was cheating with another car or something in her life had changed. Sometimes its tough to let go. So now its a race to August 2013 to get the much loved Peerless ready for the Lincoln Highway Cross Country Tour. Unlike most love stories this one is going to have a happy ending. Oh well this is another fine mess I’ve gotten myself into.. ENJOY THE PEERLESS BEFORE SLIDE SHOW..
This car maker was founded in 1903. This model made its debut in 1936. In 1935 this car maker decided due to many updates on its 1936 models it would re-name the entire line of vehicles. This models name came about when an engineer spent time in England. He came up with the name when tested cars that would do over 100mph..
Its elegant style was penned by famed designer Harley Earl. Its name would be know as this makers full size sporty models from 1936-1958. The layout of the first generation cars were simple. mount your most powerful “straight eight” engine to a shorter wheelbase but with luxury appointments. The shorter wheelbase and powerful engine was good for over 100mph top speed..
Its smooth running straight eight engine measured 320 cubic inches. Horsepower was 165. Some applications could be purchased with dual carbs. Unlike other straight eights of the day this was not a flathead like rival Packard. The valve in head design was advanced for its day.The engine was robust and reliable. Sporting ten main bearings and pump type oil pressure system..
All this power and luxury gave this 1936 model the nickname “The Bankers Hotrod”. Not a great nickname during Depression Era America. The first series was made between 1936-1942. World War II would halt production. It would return in 1954-1958 as a sporty full size model. Sadly it would return in other years. The worst being a front wheel wheez box between 1978-1981..with an emissions ladden four cylinder lump under the hood.. The true glory days of this bankers hotrod would never be re-captured. What Auto is This??
Not sure when it happened. Maybe as young lad I had spotted a classic car going down the street or in a movie. As long as I can remember I have been drawn to wide white walled classic from 1920′-1940′s. Now don’t get me wrong I have had my share of Muscle Cars, Triumphs, Benzes and VW’s but my true love is wire wheeled, running boarded and dual side mounted war wagons from the FDR years. Alot of you know my first car back in 1975 was a 1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster Convertible. Purchased for $500.00 from Ron’s Esso I worked an entire summer washing pots in a steamy Italian restaurant to save the money. The tired looking old Chevy was solid but a little worn out. In the days of Mustang’s ,Camaro’s and screaming chicken Trans Am’s I was an outcast from the start. Most of my speed freak friends were shocked when I didn’t want to Hot Rod my 48 Chevy droptop. The sturdy 216 Stovebolt Six was a runner and the stiff when cold vacuum shift were in good working order. I still today feel like you are destroying history when you chop up a restorable classic car.
Never a Hot Rodder myself I still respect what they do. I just love them original. Me and my 48 Chevy were a little slow but we always made it to and back from my teenage adventures. She got the name “Betsy”. My Mom’s idea and it stuck. I had her painted in the original maroon with leather and broadcloth seats. In the days before the internet and Coker Tire I slapped on white wall paint to simulate wide whites. As I drove Ole Betsy we became close friends and I learned to love convertibles.
A few years passed and Betsy was getting in need of an engine rebuild. Choosing between Betsy or fast cars,beer and girls my young stupid mind would make one of its many bad choices. I let her go and bought a 1971 Camaro that was neither fast or as charming as Betsy. Remembering my long gone friend makes me teary eyed for simpler days and my first car love. When you were fixing an old car in those days you had no internet or eBay to help you in your search for rusty gold. The Carlisle Fairgrounds swap meets had just started and Hershey was only once a year. So you has to count on luck, word of mouth, Hemmings Motor News or my favorite Cars and Parts Magazine. I think it was Car and Parts that gave me a true love of Packards, Peerlees, Hudsons and other long gone classics. The thing I loved about Cars and Parts was yes it had an excellent classified section but it told great stories and history of old cars. Alot of my overstuffed automotive brain came from the pages of Cars and Parts.
I would wait every month by the mail box for it to come. Cars and parts also had a wonderful section called the “Tool Bag“. In the Tool Bag people would ask all kinds of repair questions. Not normal things but stuff like “When installing my king pins on my 1931 Hupmobile do I put the clevis pin in from the bottom or top?” I would save every issue and go back to re-read about grand classics from the days of The Great Depression. As the years past Cars and Parts to keep pace had to do some features on newer cars from 1960′s and 1970′s. Sadly like all things in life everything comes to an end. Cars and Parts readers would dwindle more and more every year. Part of the reason was that some of the older subscribers had passed away into that big junkyard in the sky. Interest in brass era cars and older classic cars were giving way to muscle cars and big dollar Barrett Jackson darlings. You could find almost anything on the internet and the monster known as eBay gave you instant access to millions of listings worldwide. Not sure but I think eBay has hurt the old car hobby. That’s a story for another time. Even I had lost track of my old friend as life and work kept me busy. I found Cars and Parts magazine again a few years back. Still had the same charm but in a smaller package. I paid my subscription but never got the promised 3 years. Cars and Parts Magazine has been gone for a few years now. I still go thru some of my older issues. Even today I find some fact or piece or trivia I didn’t know. Oh well Cars and Parts Magazine thanks for the memories and a sad goodbye to an old friend.
The 1930′s was a crucial decade in history. As we said good buy to Prohibition we ushered in The Great Deprssion. In some people opinions Franklin D Roosevelt was our greatest president as his New Deal gave hope to a starving nation. FDR’s New Deal provided jobs that helped America expand. Roads were built. Bridges and Dams were built that changed the landscape forever. People were able to travel in perhaps the only possesion they had. Their automobile. The 1930′s was the era of some of the grandest classic’s of all time. the rise of Packard. The rise and fall of Pierce Arrow and Peerless. The V16 Cadillac. We said goodbye to many a car company and watched as GM became a powerhouse. The 1930′s was the very worst and the very best that the auto industry had to offer. Take a trip back to the 30′s with Carlisle Johnny and C.A.R.S.Classic Auto Appraisals to a simpler time. Using great old ads, trivia and photos from Great Depression icon Dorothea Lange we will show you the blight and delight of one of the grandest decades in automotive history.
This car company was formed in 1913 when it was purchased from The Edwards Motor Car Company located in Long Island New York. It was swiftly moved to Elyna Ohio in 1914 and then to Toledo Ohio in 1915. it would remain in Toledo till its demise in 1933. It was known for its unusual Sleeve Valve type engines.Mostly in four and six cylinders they did produce a short lived V8 sleeve valve from 1917-1919. Slow sales and poor reliability killed the V8 with only a handfull being produced. In 1914 the price of a four cylinder model was a lofty $2500.00. That pricing would put them in the same league as Packard and Cadillac. With upgrades and improvements in production the prices would go an almost Chevy like level. By 1922 they would produce and average of 55,000 vehicles per year. by 1929 the featured car would only be available with a six cylinder engine. Power ranged from 53-87 horsepower. By this time features and appointments would put them in the same league as Buick and Peerless. Thses upgrades would prove to be fatal when The Great Depression hit in late 1929. Despite that the larger models were considered the finest offerings from this soon to be orphaned make. What Auto is This??
The answer to 07/12/2011′s What Auto Is This?? Quiz is the fabulous 1929 Peerless model 8-125. Peerless started life as a maker of fine bicycles and clothes wringers.Known for uber luxury and the finest engineering Peerless was considered one of America’s premium makes.Known as one of the “Three P’s” they were mentioned in the same breath as Packard and Pierce Arrow. Peerless would try to go for the lower priced market in the late 1920′s with six cylinder models. Sadly due to slow sales and The Great Depression Peerless would close its doors in 1932. In a last ditch effort to gain investors they produced a handfull of V16 models that were the wrong cars at the wrong time..