1936 Pierce Arrow 1601 2/4 Coupe Original Unrestored Low Mile Example
Pierce Arrow produced the finest cars of the Classic Era in the opinion of many savvy Collectors. They were way over engineered and had features ahead of their time in many respects.
The forerunner of Pierce-Arrow was established in 1865 as Heinz, Pierce and Munschauer. The company was best known for its household items, and especially its delicate, gilded birdcages. In 1872, George N. Pierce bought out the other two, switching the name to George N. Pierce Company and in 1896, bicycles were added to the product range. A failed attempt to build a steam-powered car was made in 1900 with license from Overman, but by 1901 Pierce built its first single-cylinder two-speed (no reverse) Motorette with the engine licensed from de Dion. In 1904, a two cylinder was made named the Arrow. In 1903 Pierce decided to concentrate on making a larger, more luxurious auto for the upscale market, and the Pierce-Arrow automobile was born. This proved to be Pierce's most successful product, and the solidly-built cars with powerful engines gained positive publicity by winning various auto races. During this period, Pierce's high-end products were sometimes advertised as the Great-Arrow. In 1908 Pierce Motor Company was renamed The Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company.
In 1909, President William Howard Taft ordered two Pierce-Arrows to be used for state occasions, the first official automobiles of the White House. An open-bodied Pierce-Arrow carried Woodrow Wilson and Warren G Harding to Harding's 1921 inauguration. A restored 1919 Pierce Arrow is on view at the Wilson Presidential Library. Herbert Dawley (later a Broadway actor-director) joined Pierce-Arrow in 1912, and designed almost every model until 1938. In 1914, Pierce-Arrow adopted its most enduring styling hallmark when the headlights of the vehicle were moved from the traditional placement on either side of the radiator into flared housings molded into the front fenders of the car. This gave the car an immediate visual identification from the side; at night it gave the car the appearance of a wider stance. Pierce patented this placement and it remained in place until the final model in 1938, although Pierce always offered customers the option of conventional headlamps. A small minority of customers purchased these less distinctive models. Through 1914 Pierce-Arrow also produced a line of motorcycles.
The Pierce-Arrow was a status symbol, owned by many Hollywood stars, corporate tycoons; royalty of many foreign nations had at least one Pierce-Arrow in their collections. In American luxury cars it was rivaled only by the Peerless and Packard, which collectively received the accolade Three P's of Motordom.
This Fine Original Unrestored Example has covered less than 6000 miles from new. The car was acquired by the Sellers Grandfather from the widow of the Original Owner in the 50's. The original owner reportedly died shortly after purchasing the car, and she simply stored the car until selling it. It has remained in that family since and was up and running as recently as a decade ago, but has been stored since his death in a climate controlled environment. The engine does turn freely.
After the usual recommissioning this car will be a certain star of the Preservation Class at any Major Concours. Certainly this is a rare opportunity for the savvy Pierce Collector to add a seldom seen and honest example to his collection.