1934 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Convertible CoupeSOLD
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Estimate: $160,000-$220,000 US

AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of $220,000

Model 1245. 175bhp 462cu. in. L-head V12 engine with three-speed manual transmission, four-wheel leaf spring suspension, solid front axle and live rear axle, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 139"

It is difficult today to appreciate the respect accorded the Pierce-Arrow marque as the age of the automobile dawned. If price was a consideration, one did not buy a Pierce-Arrow. Instead, the company catered to the social and economic elite of the day - and catered they did. Special colors not available to others were kept on hand for important families. Seats, carpets, trunks and luggage were all custom fitted.

Important as it was to cater to such whims, a Pierce-Arrow was much more. Outstanding engineering gave the cars exceptional reliability, smoothness and sophistication. Quality of construction gave long life - many early owners had their chassis rebodied more than once.

Unfortunately, Pierce-Arrow relied too heavily upon the carriage trade, and slowly mass produced cars began to improve in quality and encroach upon the fine car market.

Cadillac's introduction of the Sixteen in 1929 launched the mutli-cylinder race, and Pierce-Arrow was obligated to respond. The new Twelve was a clean sheet design, introduced in 1932.

At introduction, it offered a 452 cubic inch, 150bhp engine, catapulting the new car into the front ranks. By 1933, horsepower was up to 175, and the new car was setting records.

In 1932, legendary driver Ab Jenkins drove a 33,000 mile prototype to the salt flats of Bonneville, where he set several records – then drove the car 2,000 miles back to Buffalo! Returning the following year, he managed to set no less than 79 new records.

By 1934, talks with Auburn and Reo failed, and the company went into bankruptcy. A group of Buffalo area businessmen resurrected the company, raised $1 million, slashed the workforce, and set about introducing a new model – a tall order, ultimately doomed to fail.

The result is that the legendary Pierce Arrow Twelve became the swan song of one of the greatest automobile manufacturers of all time.

Although the early history of the example offered here is not known, at some point during the 1960s, it joined the legendary Harrah ’ s automobile collection in Reno, Nevada. The car was sold when Holiday Inn Corporation conducted a series of auctions in the mid to late 1980s.

The buyer at that time, a California collector, began the process of restoration in the early 1990s, completing a professional body-off restoration in 1995. A variety of well respected artisans participated in the project: Eric Rosenau rebuilt the engine, which still runs nearly silently today. Paint and assembly was carried out by Larry Munson, while the original leather upholstery was re-upholstered by noted trimmer Ken Nemenick. Notably, during the chassis restoration, a set of high speed gears were fitted in order to permit relaxed cruising at today ’ s highway speeds. The car is well equipped, including dual sidemounted spares with metal covers, rumble seat, and of course the famed Pierce-Arrow Archer mascot.

Since completion, s/n 3010110 has been shown and judged just four times, winning its class each time shown – including the National Pierce-Arrow meet in San Diego in 1996. In addition, it has been awarded its CCCA National First Place award, and carries Senior badge no. 1979. In its last judged meet, this wonderful Pierce- Arrow was awarded a near perfect 99 point score in CCCA judging.

Although build records are long lost, Pierce-Arrow club records indicate that just four of these remarkable 12-cylinder convertible coupes remain. It is unlikely any are better than the example offered here, making this an exceptional opportunity to acquire one of the finest examples of the rarest – and many would say most desirable – of all Pierce-Arrows.

Reference Number 11244

as of 7/14/2007

Car 1934 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Convertible Coupe
VIN 3110110 
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