The Peerless Motor Car Co, noted for its luxury automobiles, grew out from the Peerless Wringer & Mfg. Co in Cleveland, a producer of washing-machine wringers. The company produced bicycles from the late 1890s. By 1901 it was making automobiles and parts.
Their chief engineer, Louis P Mooers designed the first completely original Peerless and began entering his designs in automobile races with some success until he left in 1905.
A Peerless was entered at the 1903 Gordon-Bennett Cup race. Here is its description from the Automotor Journal:
“The large Peerless Gordon-Bennett car, weighs about 2,200 lbs. [1 ton], and has an 80 h -p. engine. The wheel base is about 9 ft., (2743 mm) and the wheels are 34 in. in diameter, the rear wheels having 4 1/2-in. tyres, and the front ones 4-in. The engine is of the 4-cylinder vertical type, with a bore of 6 in., [152 mm] and a stroke of 6 in [152 mm]. The cylinders themselves are constructed of steel tubing, screwed into cast jacketed-heads, and the inlet-valves, which are mechanically operated, are arranged on the opposite side of the cylinders to the exhaust valves. Two ignition systems are employed, the one being the ordinary high-tension, and the other a magneto low-tension ; both are arranged so that they can be timed by the driver. The high-tension plugs are fixed immediately above the inlet-valves, and the low-tension igniters pass through the walls of the inlet valve chambers. The change-speed gear provides four forward speeds and a reverse, and is of the sliding spur-wheel type. A direct through-drive is obtained on the top speed to a longitudinal shaft, which drives the live-rear-axle in the usual way. Ball bearings are used throughout. The main frame is constructed out of 3/16-in. sheet steel, formed in precisely the same way as a pressed steel frame, although no dies were
available at the time for stamping it in the ordinary manner.
The petrol tank is beneath the driver’s seat, and the mechanism is so arranged that the front wheels carry about 400 lbs. more weight than the rear wheels”.