This 1917 Peerless Model 56 Two-Power Range Cloverleaf Roadster was offered for sale at the 2007 Sports and Classic Car Auction presented by The Worldwide Group, in Hilton Head Island, SC where it was estimated to sell for $50,000 - $70,000. It is powered by an eight-cylinder engine that measures 330 cubic-inches and capable of producing 80 horsepower. There is a three-speed manual gearbox and rear wheel mechanical drum brakes. It is finished in its original green paint scheme with black accents. The interior is black and contains all of its original instrumentation. There are many features and options including an electric horn, factory tool kit and jack, parabolic head lights with diffusing lamp, tail lamp, dash lamp with night light and extension cord and socket, ignition switch, and tool box lock.
The Peerless Motor Car Company was established in Cleveland, Ohio in 1889, at the time they were known as the Peerless Wringer & Mfg. Company. In 1892 it became known as the Peerless Mfg Company, originally a washing-machine wringers producer. In 1895 the company moved to new facilities and began soon began making bicycles. By the turn of the century they were making automotive parts, at which time they were renamed to the Peerless Motor Car Company.
Their craft was in the luxury car segment, hand building elegant and stately machines that rivaled all others that traversed the roadway. They were one of the 'Three P's', sharing that title with Packard and Pierce, of which were the dominant players that catered to the wealthy in society.
Peerless ran advertising that touted their product as having 'Silence and Comfort, all that the name implies.'
In the post war recession of the 1920s, Peerless, like many other prominent nameplates of the time, was forced to cater to a wider audience to stimulate sales. They lowered their prices and attempted to promote medium-sized cars. As the 1920s came to a close and followed by the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Peerless company was forced to close their doors forever. The company went out of business in 1931.
This example offered for sale is one of the few remaining examples of its kind. The two-speed rear end for city and country driving was introduced in the eight line-up for 1916. The concept was continued through 1917.
At auction, the rarity of this model, the exclusive heritage of the marque, and the wonderful restoration, were enough to entice a high bid of $51,700 including buyer's premium.