Peerless Motor Company produced Peerless automobiles. Peerless had a history from 1901 to 1931. It was a luxury American automobile manufacturer based in Cleveland, Ohio.
These cars stood for high quality, luxurious design, and engineering excellence. They ranked in the same category as Duesenberg and Pierce-Arrow. The company produced a variety of cars, including luxury sedans, touring cars, and roadsters.
Innovative engineering: Peerless meant innovative engineering. This included the use of aluminum in engine components and the introduction of hydraulic brakes. The company was also an early adopter of six-cylinder engines and four-wheel brakes.
High-end luxury: Peerless cars were among the most luxurious of their day. They featured custom interiors, plush upholstery, and fine wood trim. The cars were often custom-built to order for wealthy customers.
Unique design: They incorporated unique, striking design. The company was one of the first to introduce a sloping windshield and a curved instrument panel. These gave the cars a distinctive look.
Quality construction: These automobiles represented a high standard of quality, using the finest materials and the latest manufacturing techniques. The company implemented rigorous testing and inspection processes. They ensured that every car was built to exacting standards.
Peerless Models over the Years
Here are some of the notable Peerless models:
Peerless Model 8: This was one of the earliest Peerless models, produced from 1902 to 1904. It was a high-end touring car powered by a four-cylinder engine.
Peerless Model 36: From 1904 to 1908, the Model 36 was a large touring car with a 36-horsepower six-cylinder engine. It had a smooth ride and luxurious features.
Peerless Model 60: From 1908, the Model 60 was a high-performance car with a 60-horsepower six-cylinder engine. It competed extensively in racing and endurance events.
Peerless Model 56: This was a popular model produced from 1916 to 1924. It was a medium-sized car with a 56-horsepower six-cylinder engine. It had a range of body styles, including touring, roadster, and sedan.
Peerless Custom Eight: From 1930, the Custom Eight was a top-of-the-line luxury car with an eight-cylinder engine. It had custom-built bodies by the world’s leading coachbuilders, such as LeBaron and Murphy.
Peerless automobiles achieved racing prowess. The company competed in a number of races and endurance events during its existence. Here are a few examples:
Vanderbilt Cup: In 1905, Peerless entered a team of cars in the prestigious Vanderbilt Cup race, held on Long Island, New York. The team included three Peerless racers. Barney Oldfield, Louis Chevrolet, and George Robertson. Oldfield finished second in the race, behind only the legendary driver Vincenzo Lancia.
Glidden Tour: Peerless cars also competed in the annual Glidden Tour. This was an endurance event that tested the reliability and durability of automobiles. In 1907, a Peerless Model 24 was the only car to complete the entire 1,750-mile tour without a single mechanical failure. This earning the company the coveted Glidden Trophy.
Elgin National Road Race: Peerless also competed in the Elgin National Road Race, held in Illinois from 1910 to 1915. In 1912, a Peerless Model 60 driven by Teddy Tetzlaff won the race, setting a new course record in the process.
Several notable celebrities drove Peerless automobiles during the company’s existence. Here are a few examples:
Clara Bow: Clara Bow was a popular silent film actress in the 1920s, known as the “It Girl.” She reportedly owned a Peerless Model 69 Sedan in the early 1930s.
Rudolph Valentino: Rudolph Valentino was a legendary film actor in the 1920s. He performed in silent films such as “The Sheik” and “Blood and Sand.” He owned a Peerless, although the exact model is not known.
Fatty Arbuckle: Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle was a popular comedian and film actor in the 1910s and 1920s. He owned a custom-built Peerless limousine, known for its luxurious features.
John D. Rockefeller: John D. Rockefeller was a wealthy industrialist and philanthropist in the early 20th century. He reportedly owned a Peerless touring car in the early 1900s.
King Alfonso XIII of Spain: King Alfonso XIII of Spain was a monarch who reigned from 1886 to 1931. He reportedly owned a custom-built Peerless limousine during his reign.
Peerless produced other products in addition to passenger cars. Here are a few examples of other products made by Peerless:
Trucks: In addition to automobiles, Peerless also produced trucks, beginning in 1911. These trucks incorporated durability and reliability. They had various uses, including commercial transport and military applications.
Engines: Peerless also produced engines for a variety of applications, including boats, tractors, and industrial equipment. These engines won acclaim for their reliability and durability, and found their way to a number of manufacturers in a variety of industries.
Sewing machines: In the early 1900s, Peerless produced a line of sewing machines, which emerged under the brand name “Peerless Princess.” These machines represented quality and durability, and were popular among home sewers and professional tailors alike.
Bicycles: In the early years of the company, Peerless also produced bicycles, although this was a relatively short-lived venture. The bicycles were popular among cyclists of the day, but the company eventually shifted its focus to automobiles.
Several individuals and entities owned The Peerless Motor Company during its existence. Here is a brief overview of the company’s ownership:
A group of businessmen from Cleveland, Ohio, including Louis P. Frey, Edward P. Costigan, and William E. Sawyer, founded the company in 1900 .
In 1912, Harry C. Stutz, the founder of Stutz Motor Company, purchased a controlling interest in Peerless.
In 1916, ownership of Peerless passed to the Cleveland Tractor Company, a manufacturer of tractors and other heavy machinery.
In 1926, the assets of the Cleveland Tractor Company accrued to the Pennsylvania-based firm New Era Motors, which then became the Peerless Motor Car Company.
In 1929, the assets of the Peerless Motor Car Company then passed to the struggling Auburn Automobile Company, but production of Peerless-branded cars continued until 1931. The company ceased operations as another casualty of The Great Depression.
Auto Makers and the Great Lakes
Try doing a Map Search on our website, using NAICS code 336110 for automobile manufacturers. Proximity to the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway was a significant factor in the growth of auto manufacturing. The Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway provided a major transportation network for the movement of raw materials and finished goods. This made it more cost-effective for manufacturers to transport materials and products to and from their factories.
Car-making benefited from the availability of water power from the Great Lakes and their tributaries. These were a source of energy for early factories, including those involved in the production of automobiles. Water power ran machinery and equipment, such as lathes, milling machines, and drills. These were essential to the manufacturing process.
Furthermore, the Great Lakes region had an abundant supply of natural resources, such as iron ore, coal, and timber. These became essential to the production of automobiles. These resources moved most efficiently by water, making it feasible for manufacturers to establish factories near the Great Lakes.
- Year Started: 1901
- Year Ended: 1931
- Origin Of Name: Meaning “without equal”
- Location Sales: Worldwide
- Brand Name Predecessor: N/A
- Brand Name Successor: N/A
- Owner Original: Louis P. Frey, Edward P. Costigan, and William E. Sawyer
- Owner While In Use: Several
- Owner Successor: N/A
- Year Resurrected: N/A
- What’s Popular Today: Lexus
- Naics Code: 336110
- Location Headquarters: Cleveland, Ohio, USA