1958 Peerless GT
Year of manufacture1958
1958 Peerless GT Sports Saloon
Chassis no. GT2-00198
A racing mechanic with considerable experience of spaceframe construction, Bernie Rodger was approached by John Gordon (later of Gordon-Keeble fame) and James Byrnes to built the prototype of a new 2+2 sports saloon: the Warwick. Noteworthy features of this very pretty Italianate GT included leaf-sprung De Dion rear suspension and the Triumph TR3 2.0-litre engine, overdrive gearbox, and front suspension, including its disc brakes. By the time production began in 1958 the car had been renamed 'Peerless', while bodies were now of glassfibre construction instead of the prototype's aluminium panelling. A very capable car, the Peerless had room for a family and its luggage, was good for a top speed of more than 110mph (177km/h) and cost a relatively affordable £1,500. Unfortunately for Peerless, this was approximately the price of a Jaguar 2.4-litre saloon...
In 1958 a solitary Peerless started the Le Mans 24 Hour Race; the only four-seater in the field, it finished in a highly creditable 16th place overall. Despite a favourable reception and the valuable publicity gained from its Le Mans exploits, Peerless was soon in financial difficulty and production ceased in 1960 after an estimated 325 cars had been made. Bernie Rodger then revived the design in improved form as the Warwick, but by the end of 1961 this too had gone. However, that was not quite the end of the Peerless saga; John Gordon and Jim Keeble then took the concept a stage further, fitting a Chevrolet V8 engine into a Peerless-type chassis to create the Bertone-styled Gordon-Keeble of 1964.
One of only 70 made in left-hand drive configuration, this ultra-rare Peerless GT has a race-prepared Triumph TR3 engine producing 100bhp and is eligible for the Le Mans Classic and Goodwood Revival events among others. Described by the vendor, a Belgian private collector, as in generally good condition with original interior, this restored car is offered with Belgian Carte Grise (Oldtimer) and Contrôle Technique.