May 06 2019

Mystery Foto #18 Solved: The Peerless Green Dragon at the 2004 Greenwich Concours d’Elegance


Dick Gorman challenged you to identify this weekend's Mystery Foto.

Answers to the Mystery Foto questions:

  • Identify the race car including: year, manufacturer, model and its most prominent drivers. Note: Graphics on the race car have been removed.

​This is a Peerless Green Dragon that was originally built in 1904 and driving by Barney Oldfield.

This automobile was the focus of discussion in the AACA Forum in 2009.

Richard Lichtfel Posted January 29, 2009 AACA Forum

This is a recreation of the Green Dragon that was destroyed in August of 1904 in St.Louis. The original was a 40 hp T head engine that Louis Moorers raced in the Gordon Bennett race in Ireland, the car was then brought back to the Peerless factory and modified with new wheels, new radiator between the frame horns and aerodynamic hood with exhaust system. Barney Oldfield drove this to success but crashed in St.Louis killing two spectators and completely destroying the car by ending up wraped around a large oak tree. Nothing was left of this car. A new 60 hp Green Dragon was made with an overhead valve engine, underslung frame, and pointed radiator. This new Dragon is the one Barney broke all the speed records with. It looks like they did a nice job with this replica but it is too bad if it was done at the expense of a nice touring car.

Jeff Posted January 31, 2009 

In the discussion about Barney Pollard's car collection in the general discussion area a few weeks ago someone was talking about one Peerless that had been re-bodied. I believe this is the same car. The streamlined version of the car has been around: the 2004 Greenwich Concours, the Daytona Birthplace of Speed event in 2005, and the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run in 2007.

The Peerless won "Most Awesome High Performance Car" at Greenwich and was described as having an 11-liter motor with a 6" x 7 1/4" bore & stroke. My records don't show them as members of the Peerless Motor Car Club, but I think Richard S. King of Connecticut and John Price of Utah have been owners recently. I saw a picture of the Green Dragon at the London-to-Brighton with "The Honourable John Price" listed as driver. John's the U.S Ambassador . 

  • Link this race car to the Vanderbilt Cup Races

​Barney Oldfield drove in two Vanderbilt Cup Races (1914 and 1915)

  • Name previous and current owners of the race car

This automobile was owned by Barney Pollard, Richard King and currently by John Price.

  • Kudos question: Where and when was this photograph taken?

​The 2004 Greenwich Concours d'Elegance where it won "Most Awesome High Performance Car".

Comments (4)

Congrats to John Harley, Penny and Randy Reed for identifying the Peerless Green Dragon.

Kudos to John Harley for identifying the Greenwich Concours as the location for the Mystery Foto.

 

Enjoy,

Howard Kroplick



2004 Greenwich Concours d'Elegance

Dick Gorman: Back in 2004 I was at the Greenwich Concours and photographed this wonderful 1904 Peerless Green Dragon.


Price Museum of Speed

The Green Dragon is owned by John Price and exhibited at the Price Museum of Speed.


History of the Peerless Green Dragon

Barney Oldfield and the Amazing Peerless Green Dragons Part I

Source: TheOldMotor.com



Comments

May 04 2019 S. Berliner, III 11:55 PM

Wow!  This one doesn’t look even VAGUELY familiar but I know where it was taken - directly in front of the cutest little Bugatti model or pedal car!  Sam, III

May 05 2019 John Harley 12:03 AM

Howard

One of the Peerless Green Dragons. Most famous pilot was Barney Oldfield. Picture was taken at Greenwich Concours some years back. Stanley ion the background was originally the property of Carlton Stanley. Current owner had got fish some parts of it out of the pond it was ditched in.

The Peerless was living in Connecticut at the time, in a well stocked garage. I remember it being driven to the Calf Pasture Beach Show one year through downtown Norwalk. Yes, it does belch flames through the exhaust stacks.

Keep up the good work!

John Harley

May 05 2019 Penny 8:20 AM

Dear Howard: The car is one of at least 2 peerless aka Green Dragons. The first was built in 1903 by Moors for Peerless. At 17 liters, 80hp , 3 speed transmission, it was a formidable car but 1200 lbs overweight for the Gordon Bennett Race.  In 1904 it was driven by Joe Tracy. In 1908 by Ralph DePalma at Minn. State Fair. Barney Oldfield became its primary driver and rarely lost a race. I had the rare privilege to ride as navigator in the car you have pictured on a 52 mile Horseless Carriage Tour in 1999. At that time the car was owned by Richard King of Redding, CT who kindly invited me to ride in his car.  I wrote an article about my ride which appeared in the Horseless Carriage Gazette issue Jan/Feb 2000. It was called Biondi‚Äôs Run.  Don Meyer of New Jersey was the driver. Holding on for dear life, choking on the clouds of blue exhaust, deaf from the roar of the engine as we careened around country roads and towns,  it was the most wonderful experience!  To ride at speed in one of these monsters is the thrill of a lifetime and one definitely comes to quickly understand the perils of early
racing. At the time I rode in it the car sported the name Peerless in large red type on the hood. I would guess that this is not the original car but perhaps the second one built after Barney wrecked #1.  Thanks Dick for a really great memory of that ride.

May 05 2019 Randy Reed 3:12 PM

Lots of controversy about this car. Supposedly created in modern times from an original road car to replicate a 1904 Peerless Green Dragon race car once driven by Barney Oldfield. Many modern owners with the car now in the Price museum in Utah. This car illustrates the problems associated with establishing provenance with restored racing cars and racing motorcycles.

May 07 2019 frank femenias 12:50 AM

This racer was out of my scope but great looking 1904 replica with what seems semi-pneumatic tires with no air required. I don’t see the air valves. Reminds me of a few bikes back in my childhood, and quite possible the 1904 standards. This likely one of the earliest 4 cyl racers

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