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WW1 Peerless lorry restoration


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When asking about Peerless truck survival I can only make an educated guess.........car history is my strong point, trucks not so much. After the first war, Peerless was at best 30 percent of the company it was during the conflict. Also, the “American” attitude of vehicles was much different than the rest of the globe. We didn’t repurpose vehicles like many other countries........also, with the regional aspect of sales and service, people were much ,more likely to keep and save local equipment. There are very few WWI trucks of any brand..........very few in the states. I see FWD most often from the war time era. I get around to shows, events, and collections more than you can imagine. You just don’t see the stuff. I think the reason is three fold. WWII scrap drives ate up 99 percent of the early cars and trucks. I know people who were buying cars in 1942 during the scrap drives.....paying 15 dollars for a Stanley Steamer that still ran.(Family member now long passed.) American roads were much better than the rest of the world, and early trucks were slow.......so they literally couldn’t keep up with the “modern world” in the US in the mid 30’s. So off to the scrapper they went. Finally Peerless fell off a cliff post WWI, it was a local car manufacturer in Cleveland Ohio........parts would have been difficult, and the company was basically gone in 1928......and lingered to 1931. Why deal with an old, obsolete truck, when there were newer units easier to service for little money. What happened in the states is much different than the rest of the globe.  More later on which cars and truck were looked upon more favorably than the others. Ed.

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Can't leave Dad to have all the fun! Now that the front wheels are on along with the track rod, king pins and stub axles, the king pins need some greasers. We are fortunate to have the remains of

Guy, a forum member put me on to a recent auction in case there was anything there that caught my eye. Something most certainly did, four Peerless front wheels. I put in an on line bid and was delight

A Genie! Gosh that made me laugh. Nothing quite so exciting really. Here is a picture of the store room.

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Really interesting Ed, I have this impression that the US being so large it must have plenty of the older stuff tucked away. 

We watch programmes like American Pickers and they seem to find a lot of WW1 era bikes and the like but never anything bigger.

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Moving on to complete the "Releasing Springs" for the Service Brake Band - one of the two originals was very badly rusted and most of the second one was missing. There was sufficient remaining of the rusted one to use as a pattern for new ones. Luckily, both bottom plates of the originals were good enough to use again so it just meant that only new rods had to be made to hold the springs. The originals were just screwed into the bottom plates and it was possible to pick up the threads in the bottom plates for the new ones. The new rods were threaded appropriately - but were also silver soldered in.

Die Springs were ordered from Amazon and arrived the next day. Identical length to the originals but now they look a bit short. That can be re-assessed later if needs be.

Next, the Brake Bands. we have the steel rolled ready to go for these but they are over length and will have to be shortened as the first job.

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On 10/10/2020 at 3:42 AM, edinmass said:

When asking about Peerless truck survival I can only make an educated guess.........car history is my strong point, trucks not so much. After the first war, Peerless was at best 30 percent of the company it was during the conflict. Also, the “American” attitude of vehicles was much different than the rest of the globe. We didn’t repurpose vehicles like many other countries........also, with the regional aspect of sales and service, people were much ,more likely to keep and save local equipment. There are very few WWI trucks of any brand..........very few in the states. I see FWD most often from the war time era. I get around to shows, events, and collections more than you can imagine. You just don’t see the stuff. I think the reason is three fold. WWII scrap drives ate up 99 percent of the early cars and trucks. I know people who were buying cars in 1942 during the scrap drives.....paying 15 dollars for a Stanley Steamer that still ran.(Family member now long passed.) American roads were much better than the rest of the world, and early trucks were slow.......so they literally couldn’t keep up with the “modern world” in the US in the mid 30’s. So off to the scrapper they went. Finally Peerless fell off a cliff post WWI, it was a local car manufacturer in Cleveland Ohio........parts would have been difficult, and the company was basically gone in 1928......and lingered to 1931. Why deal with an old, obsolete truck, when there were newer units easier to service for little money. What happened in the states is much different than the rest of the globe.  More later on which cars and truck were looked upon more favorably than the others. Ed.

Thanks Ed. So the chances of finding one or parts in the USA are pretty slim then. I was aware of a Peerless chassis up for sale over there but it was very expensive and completely stripped of parts. Interesting things keep turning up in Australia and NZ and i thought it just a matter of time before something turns up in the USA. Nearly 30 years down the line and nothing yet.  Never mind. I think looking for an engine in France will be my best bet.

Tim

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Tim has summarised the non-availabilty of Peerless "bits" very well but we are always surprised that there is so lttle around when the British bought so many of them during the Great War. Tim found and bought four front wheels recently at an auction but we have been unable to find out where they came from so do not know their origin. The only thing that we found in the USA was a Radiator which had been retained by a family as a "keepsake" from a Tanker Lorry that they had owned for many years and had used until it died when they scrapped it but used the chassis frame as a "drag" on their farm! We shall keep on looking as we do have enough parts for a second Peerless but no original Peerless engine for it!

Tony

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After fifty years in the hobby, and this week would have been fifty years since my first Hershey meet.......I can tell you Peerless stuff has been non existent since WWII. Many of the early truck chassis have been made into speedsters. (Repowered with bigger engines.)I have seen a handful of V-8 Peerless cars from the 1915-1920 era........EVERY ONE was cut down into a speedster. Peerless was an early “must have” for many collections and museums. They simply just don’t get out often. Many people are afraid to drive things that parts are non existent. Now many of the “best” Peerless cars are stuck in museums and never run, never mind getting out to a show. Here in the states, there are a few HUGE early Napier cars...........I have a few friends with them, and in forty years I have never seen one run. It’s a shame........a vehicle that is historically important and it’s a static trophy in a garage. Recently I was at a top five car collection in the world. A new purchase was being delivered, and I asked the new owner if he was going to drive it. As they were pulling it into the museum garage he said to me.......”it will probably never run again”. Very sad.......I actually twisted his arm and had him let me go for a ride before it was parked. The last half mile I tossed his mechanic out of the drivers seat and drove it the three or four blocks back to the shop. He looked at me funny and said “why did you want to drive it so bad?”. Sad some people are collectors and others are drivers. Regardless of what any machine costs......it’s was made to be used. Art is for hanging on the walls, cars are for the open road. Peerless will always be knows as the most obscure of the “Three P’s” as we refer to them here. I last worked on a 1915 touring car.........it was the last of the “T head” cars before they went to the off the shelf V-8 they purchased from a supplier.........and thus the Peerless slide had begun from a fantastic hand crafted masterpiece to just another assembled car. They never even made money on their past reputation as things went downhill. Ed

 

PS- If you ever find parts in the states you need, contact me and I will be happy to help. We have trucks criss crossing the country going to and from shows, as well as our “road trips” we do........we drive around with an empty trailer trying to spend money on things most people just don’t understand. We can handle large and heavy items easily......👍
 

 

The Peerless below is a 1912 13.5 liter 90 horse power car. It’s on a Packard chassis, as the engine was found sitting in the dirt in a Detroit junk yard in 1946. It’s now in a friends collection, and only one of two pre WW1 Peerless cars active in the states right now. It’s a fantastic ride!

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Thanks again, Ed for all of that! I have read through that long article on AACA and very much enjoyed the story and the culmination of it all. A great entertaining few hours!

Well, we are not pushed into finding the second Peerless engine as we have plenty to get on with but we know that some things turn up when you least expect them - so just wait and see. Tim would know for sure but I don't think that we have heard of any Peerless stuff in Australia or NZ and if there are any bits around, they are likely to be in France.

And thank you for your offer of help shoud we be fortunate to find anything in the USA!

Tony

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Tony, I have been watching your work for years, and thoroughly enjoyed it all. Every time I am working on a car and get discouraged I just go back to the first few pages of the Thorny and I say to myself.......my problem isn't too bad!👍

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14 minutes ago, edinmass said:

Tony, I have been watching your work for years, and thoroughly enjoyed it all. Every time I am working on a car and get discouraged I just go pack to the first few pages of the Thorny and I say to myself.......my problem isn't too bad!👍

Made me laugh!

Tony

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4 hours ago, Minesweeper said:

Made me laugh!

Tony


 

Tony, not only is it literally true........recently I needed to make an entire water pump for a fantastic American auto.........a seven figure car. The car is what legends are made of..........and the owner asked me “how much to make that pump” I gave him a number and a time frame........he almost passed out............and he asked can I get it done in 60 days. I said sure.....triple to quadruple the money. He started talking to himself. I referred him to all your threads from your restorations. I explained him the inverse relationship between time and money when making nonexistent parts. He was talking to himself for weeks. We got the pump done in 71 days.......all in. From nothing to driving. The actual cost was 25 percent of what I quoted as a worst case scenario. We ended up with two pumps.....one for the shelf. We figured to make an extra was reasonable in the event we screwed up the castings. He was impressed with your restoration  achievements..........and thinks all of us are nuts! Personally, I like being crazy......I’m pretty good at it!👍

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I will agree to those comments from edinmass.

 The Gosling's work is an inspiration to me as well. Their attitude to collecting and storing items for decades is just part of the format. Then at some point in time another otherwise missing  part could well turn up. These projects take time!

 Doug

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Back here in the states many clubs have an award given each year for “The most heroic Restoration.” The Gosling’s work would put all of the past winners to shame! As a matter of fact, they would probably be sent into Hospital for an (psychological) evaluation just for making the initial purchase of their lorry projects! They are true craftsmen and stewards of history. Both their vehicles and this thread of the restorations will forever be looked upon by others taking up the challenge of preserving history for all others that follow. It shows every long journey begins with the first step........and most importantly, having the character and perseverance to see the thing through. I can't compliment them enough. “Jolly good show!” Best, Ed.

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4 hours ago, edinmass said:

Back here in the states many clubs have an award given each year for “The most heroic Restoration.” The Gosling’s work would put all of the past winners to shame! As a matter of fact, they would probably be sent into Hospital for an (psychological) evaluation just for making the initial purchase of their lorry projects! They are true craftsmen and stewards of history. Both their vehicles and this thread of the restorations will forever be looked upon by others taking up the challenge of preserving history for all others that follow. It shows every long journey begins with the first step........and most importantly, having the character and perseverance to see the thing through. I can't compliment them enough. “Jolly good show!” Best, Ed.

As a keen follower of the Gosling's work also, I draw inspiration for projects with which I am associated, that the impossible only takes time. I have also become aware of the extreme lack of early examples of trucks in USA.

I have a strong interest in Corbitt, made in Henderson NC, a 1921 example of which lurks in pieces in my district. It is one of two I know to exist in Australia, along with just one in USA. If it could be pried from its owner, I would have a go at it myself. Corbitt made trucks for the military. They also made cars from 1908 to 1915, but not a single example exists (one bare chassis does). The volunteer group I am a member of is well into the restoration of a 1918 International, not rare by any means, but hugely challenging just the same.

Ian

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Tim and Tony, this has just become available in the states........the restoration would be much too easy for you.......But it would make you the owners of two of the three P's! And the BEST one of the three! (I'm a multiple Pierce Arrow owner.)👍

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14 hours ago, Minesweeper said:

Tim is a Joker and he likes to pull legs!

Tony

It is true. Sorry. I would love to have some Pierce Arrows, but the wife said "You buy one more old truck and you will never see me and the kids again"! .........................

 

 

How much did you say they were? 

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2 hours ago, Great War truck said:

It is true. Sorry. I would love to have some Pierce Arrows, but the wife said "You buy one more old truck and you will never see me and the kids again"! .........................

How much did you say they were? 

That made me laugh!

When I got hold of the Dennis Diff a few years ago, the bloke who sold to us had a Packard and it was available. I did not take it up as we had enough to get on with! He may still have it - I have not seen it since!

Tony

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Steve.....you could buy the Pierce, and use it as a tow truck to get the Peerless back home in style..........functional and convenient! 🤔
 

FYI- do you know why divorce is so expensive? Because it’s worth it! Back to trucks.

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On 6/5/2020 at 9:41 AM, Alastair said:

I have a 1911 Renault and the exhaust manifold has a female thread for attachment of the down pipe.  The thread is almost non existent and obviously a very non standard size.  Does anyone know whether the Pyro Putty mentioned above set hard enough for me to cut466483643_Exhaustmanifold.thumb.JPG.26da31390b1356b7f88301f305229a8d.JPG a viable thread in it?

Off topic for this thread, but here is how it got fixed: 

 

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