1920 Peerless 4-Passenger 4-Door Roadster with a rich history
Duncan’s Auctions is proud to bring to market this RARE ORIGINAL SURVIVOR, a 1920 Peerless Model 56 4dr 4 Passenger Roadster. (Titled VIN 264978). The car was originally purchased new by Peter Fank of Estherville, Iowa, in 1920. The list price was $2,990, approximately seven times the cost of a new Ford of the era.
Mr. Fank was born in Luxembourg, Germany, in 1873. In 1912, Mr. Fank’s parents, along with Peter and his sister Josephine moved to the United States. By 1918, Mr. Fank was farming in Spirit Lake, Iowa. Mr. Fank was 44 years old when he purchased this car. He drove it sparingly for 10 years, when the car was parked “on blocks” in a garage at the family home, in about 1930. The mileage of 21,597 is believed to be the actual mileage of the vehicle, based on its known history.
Mr. Fank died September 1, 1937 and the car remained “on blocks” in the garage at 402 South 10th Street in Estherville, Iowa, until the death of his sister Josephine in 1964. There was a newspaper article along with a photo when the car was “discovered” after her death.
William Harrah, owner of Harrah’s Club in Reno, Nevada, then purchased the car through one of his agents in 1964. Mr. Harrah was a true collector and historian of antique cars and had a huge museum complex, research library and restoration facility in Sparks, Nevada.
After Mr. Harrah’s death in 1978, Harrah’s Club was sold to Holiday Inn. All of the assets of Harrah’s Club (including the 1,400 cars in his automobile collection) were then owned by Holiday Inn. A relatively small percentage of the more significant cars were donated to what later became the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada. There were several auctions to sell the remainder of the cars and in the end, the auctions netted $100 million dollars.
In 1984, this 1920 Peerless was sold at auction to Glenn Weatherford of Burleson, Texas. In January, 1987 Mr. Weatherford sold the car to Grant Quam and delivered it to Ames, Iowa. The title had never been transferred out of the name of Harrah’s Club when Mr. Quam purchased the car. The title provided to the new buyer will show Harrah’s Club as the previous owner. Also, the original plaque from Harrah’s collection is still with the car.
All supporting documentation for this car will be provided to the new owner, including the Harrah’s Placard, the 1964 Emmetsburg, Iowa, newspaper article from when the car was “discovered” after Josephine Fank’s death, the original 1937 Driver’s Licenses of Peter and Josephine Fank, along with Ancestry research done on the Fank family.
The car is in unbelievable Original Condition. It would be a top contender in any Preservation Class competition, wherever it would be shown. The car has been out of the public eye for most of the time, since it was sold by Harrah’s, in 1984. To illustrate just how original and untouched this car is, it still has the factory installed original white rubber radiator hoses on the factory V-8 engine. The original factory tool kit for this car is in the trunk, as well as the original air hose kit for airing up the tires. Peerless automobiles had an air compressor incorporated into the engine that was driven off the timing gear. While the photos of the car shows a single rear mounted spare tire with leather straps, there should be two spares mounted on the car. Mr. Quam does have the second spare tire and it will go with the car. This car has been kept in a climate controlled building since he purchased the car.
In an oral history given to Iowa Public Television in 1999, Mr. Quam talks about this car and it’s history.
“They are only original once.” It is as if this phrase was written to describe this car. Finding a car that is this original is almost a once in a lifetime opportunity. Even Bill Harrah, who had his own extensive restoration facility, could not bring himself to restore such an original, well preserved car and had made the statement that of all the cars he had purchased over the years, this one was one of the most complete, original cars that he had ever owned. Bear in mind that this was back in the 60’s, when the conventional wisdom was to repaint and “fix up” cars like this. The concept of a Preservation Class for cars such as this, was still 50 years away!
All of the other attributes of this car when coupled with the history of ownership by William Harrah, makes the opportunity to purchase this car an event that only presents itself once in a lifetime.
According to the appraiser for this Car Collection, this car would be rated Condition 2 as a Collector Car and a Condition 1 as a Preservation Vehicle, on the Standard Grading Scale for collector cars.
Duncan’s Auctions can arrange for Storage of the vehicle until pick-up is scheduled and/or arrange for enclosed transport to buyer’s location.
Worldwide shipping can also be arranged by Duncan’s Auctions.
For more information contact:
Rick Duncan (President of Duncan’s Auctions)
Also go to www.duncansauctions for more information concerning the auction, terms, payment options, bidding and/or selling your classic.
SOLD WITH RESERVE AND SUBJECT TO CONFIRMATION OF THE FAMILY, BUT THEIR DESIRE IS THAT THIS CAR WILL GO TO A HOME WHERE IS WILL BE TREASURED AND APPRECIATED FOR ITS RARE PRESERVATION VALUE AND AN OPPORTUNITY TO PRESERVE HISTORY, JUST AS MR. QUAM DID.
Announcements concerning this car will be ongoing and it will be offered live by video on March 9, 2019 at The Watters Creek Convention Center in Dallas/Allen, Texas by Duncan’s Auctions. Inspection and/or preview is by appointment only. Please contact Rick Duncan for more information.