1923 Peerless 66 Speedster – “The Fearless Peerless”
Chassis No. 66A604
Engine No. 66-A-604
70 bhp, 332 cu. in. L-head V-8, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle, semi-elliptic leaf spring suspension, and rear-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 128 in.
Vintage speedsters have been produced by enthusiasts on a variety of chassis, but this is one of very few built on the basis of a Peerless, the Cleveland-built car considered one of the “Three P’s” of great American motoring, alongside the famous Packard and Pierce-Arrow. Peerless was renowned in its time for its durable, conservative engineering, reflected in the long-term reliability of its product.
Former owner Ivan Jones and his late wife, Audrey, of Littleton, Colorado, spent the late 1970s painstakingly gathering parts for the car from points East and West. Mr. Jones was a car aficionado and skilled craftsman. Inspired by the speedsters produced by Peerless in the teens, they then built this automobile, together, by hand, completing it in 1981. The car is well-finished, with fenders reminiscent of Brass Era performance cars such as Simplex and American Underslung, a 1922-23 Peerless radiator shell, Peerless Model 66 drum headlights, and cream wire wheels, shod in blackwall tires.
The interior features two bucket seats, in the manner of the Mercer Raceabout, forward of a large original Peerless-badged oval gas tank with fillers on both ends, wooden storage box, and dual rear-mounted spares. All components except for the body panels are Peerless, with the seats and teak dashboard being Mr. Jones’ own creations. The windshield frame was cast from a wooden prototype made by Mr. Jones. He even went so far as to shoot the elk that donated its hide to the seats, lovingly upholstered by Mrs. Jones.
Power is supplied by a 1923 332 cu. in. Peerless V-8 and three-speed transmission, on the original frame, all acquired after years spent powering a sawmill in the Midwest. Side exhaust emerges from the right side of the hood and disappears under the body, a touch reminiscent of period Grand Prix cars as well as supercharged Duesenbergs. Current owner added a gear-vender overdrive for comfortable cruising speeds.
Ivan and Audrey Jones subsequently traveled the United States with the speedster that they dubbed “The Fearless Peerless.” Together the trio enjoyed several tours with the Veteran Motor Car Club of America. Among its duties was leading the parade lap for Indy drivers at the Denver Grand Prix in 2006, driven by longtime friend Jimmy Aretakis. It was also well-known in print, appearing on the cover of the May/June 2002 issue of the VMCCA magazine,The Bulb Horn.
There are few more distinctive, fun vintage speedsters than this car – a truly one-of-a-kind creation, with robust, well-proven performance and bodywork crafted with love and care. It is genuinely thrilling to drive and ready to add more adventures to its long history.
- There are no features available