• Rare Australian make
• Fafnir engine
• An older restoration
Not to be confused with the English and American manufacturers of the same name, the Australian Peerless - as seen here - was built by Healing & Co of Melbourne, a firm originally set up to import cycle components. This obscure make does not appear in Tragatsch but it is mentioned in Robert Saward's book, 'A-Z of Australian-made Motorcycles: 1893-1942'. Alfred George Healing's involvement with motorcycles began in 1903 when he imported some FNs from Belgium, after which he announced his own Minerva-powered machine: the Petrel. Within a few years Healing had adopted the name 'Peerless' for his products, which now used the German-made Fafnir engine and featured a distinctive fuel tank - semi-circular in section - that wrapped around the frame's lower top tube.
Healing also obtained the Australia and New Zealand distribution rights to the UK-built Precision engines, which were used for models marketed simply as 'Precision'. After WWI, Healing expanded the components side of its business and became a major supplier to other Australian motorcycle manufacturers, some of whose products were assembled entirely by Healing. The company took on the agency for JAP engines, but soon fell out with the British engine supplier. Healing's other business interests gradually began to assume greater importance, and the company had effectively ceased making motorcycles by the mid 1920s.
Powered by a single-cylinder Fafnir engine, this particular Peerless was owned by Jack A P Kaines and kept at his property 'Rotting Dene' in Aldgate, South Australia before he acquired the Pflaum flour mill buildings at Birdwood to establish what is now the country's National Motor Museum. Warren Hicks became owner of the Peerless when he swapped a White steam car chassis with Kaines in exchange for several motorcycles. Hicks repaired the Peerless and rode it at his Greenhill Road property before passing it to Laurie Wienert, who already owned the remains of another. Around 1975, Bill Moseley bought the machine and commenced its restoration, but a serious accident prevented him from completing the work. He offered the Peerless for sale in 1995 when it passed to the present owner, who finished the restoration and rode it on a Birdwood rally in 1996, back to where it started. Noteworthy features include a Bosch magneto, P&H lighting, and a Brown & Barlow carburettor.
This rare Australian motorcycle is offered with period photographs (x2) and an illustrated marque history.