Monday, April 9, 2012

1959 Peerless GT

I've posted a few Peerless GTs before. They either needed complete restoration or finishing. This one is complete and in immaculate condition.

In one of the earlier posts I wrote a little bit about the history of the Peerless company. In order to save some time, I'm going to copy the text here. (I know, I know, that's being a bit lazy, but, really, since Peerless has been out of business since 1960, there's nothing new to add.)

The Peerless GT was built from 1957 - 1960. It used Triumph TR3 running gear, but had it's own frame and suspension. The body was made of fiberglass.

The idea for this car came from a British restaurant owner named Jimmy Byrnes. Byrnes asked a man by the name of Bernie Rodgers to design a race car for him. Rodgers did, and the prototype was initially given the name "Warwick". Reaction to the car from people who saw it was very positive and Byrnes and Rodgers decided to see if there might be a market for it. Byrnes showed the prototype car to John Gordon, a friend who owned a used car lot. Gordon suggested some revisions and eventually Byrnes, Rodgers and Gordon formed a company to produce the cars.

The name change from Warwick to Peerless happened after the partners acquired a bankrupt car dealership. It once sold American made Peerless vehicles. The three partners liked the Peerless name and renamed the car. (The US Peeerless company hadn't produced cars since the 1930s. After the repeal of prohibition in 1933, Peerless converted their automobile factory into a brewery and started brewing Carling's Black Label. Sometime in the 1970s they sold it to the Pabst Brewing Company.)

The demand for the Peerless GT was very good. Meeting the demand was not. The bodies were manufactured by an outside company and they could not create them fast enough. Eventually Peerless contracted with another company to manufacture the bodies, but by that time fighting among the partners caused Gordon to leave the company. With him went most of the company's energy and enthusiasm and the company folded in 1960. (Gordon went on to form the Gordon-Keeble car company.)

Just 325 cars were built before the company collapsed. (Later, Byrnes and Rodgers built another 75 or so under the old Warwick name.)

This car is in beautiful condition. It has had some mechanical upgrades (bigger pistons, Weber carbs, TR4 transmission), but looks stock.

Located in Scottsdale, AZ, click here to see the eBay listing. (Which has a ton of good, clear pictures.) This car was recently listed on Hemmings for $34,500.00

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