1933 Pierce Arrow 836 Brougham- Honest Example in Great Driving Condition
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 very rare Brougham lived in California until being acquired by the Seller in 2016. The car had been stored for about a decade by its second owner, and sports many original features. The paint appears to have been resprayed long ago in its original livery, and the interior was redone by an heir of the original owner who was a Yale Grad so picked Yale colors for the interior. Since acquisition the car was recommissioned mechanically including: the Fuel Tank reconditioned, Carburator rebuilt, Radiator recored, Water Pump rebuilt, Oil Cooler rebuilt, and of course all fluids changed.
The car is running and driving but has been found to have a bad head which will need replaced. The steering and brakes operate well and the car shifts nicely through the gears. All the gauges work properly with the exception of the Capillary Fuel Gauge, and all the lights and accessories operate as they should.
We have had the opportunity to represent several of these Pierce Broughams over the years, they always sell quickly, and to be frank one of the few cars I regret selling and not keeping for my personal collection was a 32 Pierce Brougham. This is just a drop dead gorgeous body style that exudes the elegance and class of the Classic Era like few cars do.
Certainly this is a rare opportunity for the savvy Pierce Collector to add a seldom seen and honest example to their collection.