1933 Pierce-Arrow 1236 Salon Club Sedan
The forerunner of Pierce-Arrow was established in 1865 as Heinz, Pierce and Munschauer. The company was best known for its household items, especially its delicate, gilded birdcages. In 1872, George Norman Pierce (1846–1910) bought out the other two principals of the company, changed the name to the George N. Pierce Company, and in 1896 added bicycles to the product line. The company failed in its attempt to build a steam-powered car in 1900 under license from Overman, but by 1901, had built its first single-cylinder, two-speed, no-reverse Motorette. In 1903, it produced a two-cylinder car, the Arrow.
In 1904, Pierce decided to concentrate on making a larger, more luxurious car for the upscale market, the Great Arrow. This became the company's most successful product. The solidly built, four-cylinder car won the Glidden Tour in 1905, an endurance run to determine and celebrate the most reliable car. Thirty-three cars entered the 350-mile race from New York City to Bretton Woods, New Hampshire; the race was won by Percy Pierce in a Great Arrow.
The noted industrial architect Albert Kahn designed the Pierce Arrow Factory Complex at Elmwood Avenue and Great Arrow Avenue in about 1906. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. George Pierce sold all rights in the company in 1907, and he died three years later. In 1908, Pierce Motor Company was renamed as the Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company.
In 1909, U.S. President William Howard Taft ordered two Pierce-Arrows (and two White Model M Tourers) to be used for state occasions, the first official cars of the White House. In 1910, Pierce dropped its other 4-cylinder models and focused exclusively on 6-cylinder cars. The model 6-36, 6-48, and 6-66 continued for the next decade. Starting in 1918, Pierce-Arrow adopted a four-valve per cylinder T-head inline-six engine (Dual Valve Six) and three spark plugs per cylinder, one of the few, if only, multi-valve flathead design engines ever made.
In 1910, George Pierce died. In 1912, Herbert M. Dawley (later a Broadway actor-director) joined Pierce-Arrow, and he designed almost every model until 1938. Until 1914, Pierce-Arrow also made a line of motorcycles, including the Pierce Four.
The Pierce-Arrow was a status symbol, owned by many Hollywood stars and tycoons. Most of the royalty of the world had at least one Pierce-Arrow in its collection. Some have described Pierce and two of its rivals among American luxury cars, Peerless and Packard, as the "Three P's of Motordom." Industrial efficiency expert Frank Gilbreth extolled the virtues of Pierce-Arrow, in both quality and in its ability to safely transport his large family. Its wheelbase was 12 ft 3 in (3.73 m). The transmission was a four speed manual in 1919. Actor Sessue Hayakawa (famed for his role in Bridge on the River Kwai) drove a custom-ordered gold-plated Pierce-Arrow. A restored 1919 Pierce-Arrow is on display at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library. An open-bodied Pierce-Arrow carried Woodrow Wilson and Warren G. Harding to Harding's 1921 inauguration, and one was used prominently in the 1950s movie Cheaper by the Dozen.
This very rare 12 Cylinder Club Sedan was delivered new to Montana, and reportedly lived many years in that state. The car was purchased in 1982 by Dr. Tom Brumley in Napa CA. Dr. Brumley embarked on a ground up restoration in 1986 utilizing the top specialists in the Bay Area, and the car was completed in 1996. It made its Debut with an appearance at Pebble Beach that year, scoring a Class Award. The car scored 100 points at the 1998 CCCA Michigan Grand Classic, received the Most Elegant Interior Award at the 1999 Silverado Concours, and the Sam Adams Most Elegant Closed Car Award at the Ault Park Concours in 2001. Dr. Brumley sold the car to Tom Martindale in 2010. Mr. Martindale found the car in need of mechanical work and had many things attended to including new Valve Springs, Rebuilding most peripheral components such as Starter, Generator, Carburators, Steering box, Water and fuel pumps, adding a second 6 volt battery for starting purposes only, and more. Mr. Martindale enjoyed the car for 3 years before selling it to the current owner in 2013. The current owner further improved the car mechanically adding an overdrive, redoing the Fuel System stem to stern, and some other maintenance items. The car has participated in numerous shows and tours under their ownership, including the Detroit to San Francisco Henry Joy Lincoln Highway Tour in 2015; it received a Senior First in CCCA judging in 2017, and received the prestigious Bernard J Weis Trophy at the 2019 Pierce Arrow Society National Meet.
Here we have an exceptionally rare and attractive Pierce Arrow that can be immediately pressed into service on either the Concours or Touring Circuit without hesitation. The 32-35 Pierce Arrow is arguably one of the most attractive and technologically advanced cars of the Era. This is a rare opportunity to acquire a stunning example of the finest Pierce Arrow had to offer.