Peerless - 1900-1931- Cleveland, Ohio

    Already well known for their automobiles, it was not until 1911 that Peerless entered the commercial vehicle field with a line of large trucks ranging from 3 to 6 tons. Within the year they began producing funeral vehicles and ambulances as well. They were built on the Model 60 six-cylinder chassis which featured a nice professional-car-length 140" wheelbase. A new 137" chassis appeared in 1914 and was used until 1915.

Peerless also offered a cheaper line of casket cars and service vheicles based on their 4-cylinder Model 40 chassis with a 125" wheelbase between 1912 and 1914. In 1915 the six-cylinder Model 38 (125" wheelbase) and Model 48 (137' wheelbase) replaced the 4 cylinder models.

Funeral cars were only offered from 1912 through 1915, and the numbers that were built are very small. Commercial vehicle production ceased in 1918, and the firm folded within two years of the 1929 stock market crash.

The company, once renown as one of the three P's - Packard, Pierce and Peerless, the standards in luxury automobiles - was founded in 1900 and ceased production in 1932 as the Great Depression deepened.


Peerless. This is one of those firms that just changed its business efforts to a new venture when the stock market crashed. An article many years ago in SPECIAL INTEREST AUTOS on Peerless explained the change, and it involved being licensed as the importer of Red Cap Ale from Canada. My description is too brief to get the right picture of what transpired, though, so that article is worth finding and reading for
the facts. BDW


    For more information please read:

The Professional Car (Quarterly Journal of the Professional Car Society)

Gregg D. Merksamer - Professional Cars: Ambulances, Funeral Cars and Flower Cars

Thomas A. McPherson - American Funeral Cars & Ambulances Since 1900

Carriage Museum of America - Horse-Drawn Funeral Vehicles: 19th Century Funerals

Carriage Museum of America -  Horse Drawn - Military, Civilian, Veterinary - Ambulances

Gunter-Michael Koch - Bestattungswagen im Wandel der Zeit

Walt McCall & Tom McPherson - Classic American Ambulances 1900-1979: Photo Archive

Walt McCall & Tom McPherson - Classic American Funeral Vehicles 1900-1980 Photo Archive

Walter M. P. McCall - The American Ambulance 1900-2002

Walter M.P. McCall - American Funeral Vehicles 1883-2003

Michael L. Bromley & Tom Mazza - Stretching It: The Story of the Limousine

Richard J. Conjalka - Classic American Limousines: 1955 Through 2000 Photo Archive

Richard J. Conjalka - Stretch Limousines 1928-2001 Photo Archive

Thomas A. McPherson - Eureka: The Eureka Company: a complete history

Thomas A. McPherson - Superior: The complete history

Thomas A. McPherson - Flxible: The Complete History

Thomas A. McPherson - Miller-Meteor: The Complete History

Robert R. Ebert  - Flxible: A History of the Bus and the Company

Hearses - Automobile Quarterly Vol 36 No 3

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Dictionary of World Coachbuilders and Car Stylists

Daniel D. Hutchins - Wheels Across America: Carriage Art & Craftsmanship

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Dictionary of World Coachbuilders and Car Stylists

Michael Lamm and Dave Holls - A Century of Automotive Style: 100 Years of American Car Design

Nick Georgano - The Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile: Coachbuilding

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Automobile Manufacturers Worldwide Registry

G.N. Georgano & G. Marshall Naul - The Complete Encyclopedia of Commercial Vehicles

Albert Mroz - Illustrated Encyclopedia of American Trucks & Commercial Vehicles

Beverly Rae Kimes & Henry Austin Clark Jr. - Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1942

John Gunnell - Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1946-1975

James M. Flammang & Ron Kowalke - Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1976-1999


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