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: Pierce Arrow
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..
Did You Know? Packard Was The First Car Company To Offer Air Conditioning In 1939 ..Trivia For 1930′s Week
Unlike most independent makes Packard surrived The Great Depression. Part of the reason was that by the mid 1930′s Packard offered lower priced cars. Some models even came with a entry level six cylinder. Offering Packard quality at a Nash prices. With this lower price model Packard was able to keep the cash flow going. Not wanting to sell entry level products would prove to be the demise of luxury makes like Pierce Arrow and Peerless. Packard still catered to their target customers the Richie Riches of the day. in the 1930′s Packard prodcued some of the grandest classic cars of all time. By 1939 things were looking better thanks in part to FDR and his New Deal programs. Partly because people were just feeling better about things. One of Packards biggest markets was to export to heads of states in other countries. Wanting to keep these mucky mucks cool was something Packard wanted to do.
Using the same basic idea as a home air conditioning unit Packard mounted a crank driven compressor to the engine. Mounted in the trunk was 150lbs of condensor, evaporator, and hoses that fed thru the bottom of the car to a rear seat mounted unit. Guess the slobs in the front seat could melt. The option was not offered in the lower series cars. In fact no mention of the mammoth system even entered any Packard brochures till 1941. As you guessed only 84 cars got the $274.00 option in 1939. Packard placed ads in Life Magazine bragging “Forget the heat this summer in the only air condtioned car in the world” Did You Know?
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.
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..
Once considered royality of American cars this car for the rich was spoken in the same terms as Packard and Pierce Arrow. First starting as a maker of bicycles and clothes wringers they would make superb vehicles from 1900 till 1931 when the Great Depression sent it into grave yard of great cars. Based in Cleveland Ohio this inovative car company would be the first American car to use a front mounted engine with a driveshaft powering the rear wheels. Sure sure of the quality of their product they used the slogan “All that the name implies” The ritzy interiors were described in glowing terms as “”An interior resembling a cozy and luxuriously furnished drawing room.” With all the hoopla about luxury they also bragged about the robust mechanic. Engines featured a durable dual plane crankshaft with full oil pressure. Famous race driver car driver Barney Oldfield would be hired to drive these amazing cars to speed and durability records. Even before The Great Depression sales were starting to slip. They tried to venture into the lower price markets. The new slogan would be “Now There’s a …….. for Everyone.” Introduced in 1929 the new “Six” cylinder models were much more advanced than the offerings from Buick or Nash. When to bottom fell out in 1930 the end was only a few months away. In last ditch effort to peak interest they made a handfull of super luxury v16 models in 1931 beating Cadillac’s super classic to market by almost a full year. The doors would close in in late 1931. A few cars were sold as 1932 models but this once proud american icon would fall into the automotive wasteland known as the Great Depression. What Auto is This??