Displacement: 1,991 cc
Horsepower: 100 bhp @ 5,000 rpm
Engine Torque: 118 ft lb @ 3,000 rpm
Top Speed: 107 mph
0 - 60 mph: 12.3 seconds
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The story of the Peerless Car Company is one of those wonderfully improbable British yarns. An English hotelier, restaurateur and avid motor racing enthusiast named James Byrnes decided that he wanted to produce his own world-beating racecar. His newest restaurant's proximity to the Standard Triumph factory attracted most of the company's directors & management and consequently he decided upon using the drivetrain from their highly successful TR3 as a basis for his new machine. He had a chum of his design and build a tubular space frame chassis and a handsome aluminum body. This prototype was heavily tested and passed with flying colours. Byrnes then presented it to an old army friend of his that had a used Rolls-Royce dealership. He suggested a few changes to the design, which were duly implemented, and then full-scale production was to begin. They secured premises in a bankrupted Jaguar dealership, west of London, which initially had been a facility for reconditioning and reselling ex-army trucks supplied to Britain in the Great War by the American Peerless Company and had consequently always been known as Peerless Motors. Apparently, nobody could come up with a better name for the new car and so Peerless stuck. Orders flooded in faster than production could keep up with them. And this situation was further heightened when, in an incredibly bold PR move, they entered a Peerless in the legendary 24-hour race at Le Mans. No one expected them to last the whole race but, after twenty-four grueling hours in almost incessant rain, it finished first in class and sixteenth overall, despite a competing field full of far more powerful (and race proven) Ferraris and Jaguars. Everything was looking rosy and a revised Phase 2 version was even introduced, but then squabbling amongst the board members led to a lack of confidence in the suppliers, ultimately resulting in the company going into receivership having completed a mere 290 examples.
Offered here, is an incredibly original, early Phase 1 car in British Racing Green with grey leather. It is a rare, factory left hand drive version with overdrive transmission & wire wheels. The Phase 1s are easily distinguished from the later cars by their more stylish 'P' emblemed grille and the double fairings moulded into the bonnet. Never wrecked or rusted, it is a true survivor. Mechanically, it is very strong, runs & drives well and steers and brakes straight.
Peerless' are very reasonable to maintain due to the wealth of readily available TR3 parts they contain. They also represent an excellent opportunity to enter the world of vintage racing & classic rallying. Their rarity and age makes them highly eligible for most events and they are competitive & fun to drive. There are few cars that meet all these criteria and yet can still be bought so inexpensively.