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johnnygetwnc

Seeking Peerless truck experts

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Hello,

Let me quickly introduce myself and explain why I am writing. I am a railroad historian, and I specialize in the East Tennessee & Western North Carolina Railroad, known for part of its history as the Tweetsie. I have written seven books (Along the ET&WNC vols. 1-6 and the Railroads of Johnson City). I currently produce a twice a year magazine for the ET&WNC RR Historical Society, called Every Time With No Complaint. 

I am currently trying to finish up a story on their bus/trucking subsidiary. Before buying the bus company, they built and temporarily operated a gasoline motor car built with a Peerless truck motor and chassis, with a trolley car body.I am looking for any information on how a Peerless truck ran, its pros and cons, the size of engine and number of cylinders... actually some opinions about Peerless trucks that one cannot find with Google. I am over 50 and do serious research, but for a rabbit chase search like this does work best with the computer.

Can some of you WWI experts give me some perspective on how a Peerless truck worked?

Johnny Graybeal

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Yes it was that discussion from years ago that brought me here. Google can sometimes be a friend. I would appreciate permission to use that illustration in my story? Does anyone here have experience in how these old vehicles worked? Has anyone ever driven one?

 

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OK. That image came out of an original Peerless sales brochure. I can rescan it and send you a better copy and you are welcome to use it. We have two Peerless trucks in the collection (but you know that already). Neither are restored and we have not driven them. They would however be much like any other early chain drive truck of this period. Do you have an image of the Peerless railroad car. I would be interested to see it. Did it look much like a truck on railway wheels? The British army War Department converted four Peerless trucks to operate on rails when we fought the Ottomans in Mesopotamia (Iraq) during WW1. An easy conversion. Just change the wheels. No idea how they operated though. I would not think that they had much traction or stopping power but that is all part of the fun. 

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I would appreciate a higher resolution scan of that image for the article. I have all of two photos of the car on the East Tennessee & Western North Carolina and two on the East Broad Top. One of each is attached.

 

138a.tif

M-2.jpg

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 I see that the chains to the rear wheels have been extended so I expect the drive train has just been removed from the Peerless chassis and put into a railway carriage chassis. The Peerless used a hand crank to start it, but with nowhere to stand as the engine is in the carriage I presume that it is electric start? As for driving it, well hard to say but I expect the chain drive was quite noisy and the chains were supposed to be removed every thousand miles and cleaned. Probably not required so often if it was on rails as opposed to a muddy road.

Hope that helps. Are you aware of any Peerless survivors in the USA? Apart from one chassis I dont think that there are but I had to ask.

 

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On ‎7‎/‎30‎/‎2018 at 11:17 PM, Great War truck said:

Just change the wheels. No idea how they operated though. I would not think that they had much traction or stopping power but that is all part of the fun. 

One of the Land Rover conversions to run on rails, others used guide wheels but the tyres provided drive:- 

 

Even the military had an experimental Land Rover conversion in 1963:-

https://www.irsociety.co.uk/Archives/9/longmoor.htm

 

A promotion by Land Rover, a Discovery Sport to pulling a 100 tonne in 2016:-

 

Series Land Rovers were capable of pulling fairly heavy loads so the Peerless may have performed reasonably well:-

Land Rover.PNG

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OT but I am impressed with the load pulled by the rail wheeled Land Rover. I would have expected traction / adhesion to be a limitation. While a narrow contact area I would have expected those with road wheels and tyres plus guide wheels to have better traction.

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