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Pierce-Arrow

Overview

In America the cars of this make, that unfortunately has now become obscure, could easily compete with makes such as Lincoln, Cadillac and Packard.  The expensive, deluxe models were assembled with the greatest possible care.  In 1900, George Norman Pierce built his first two motorcars with financial help from Charles Clifton.  A whole range of motorcars were manufactured on the basis of the other model that had a petrol engine.  The small car was powered by a single-cylinder engine that was suspiciously similar to that of De Dion-Bouton.  The following models were also fitted with this type of engine.  In 1903, Pierce presented a car with a two-cylinder engine that delivered 15 bhp.  The model was called Pierce-Arrow.  Business went well.  George Pierce started his career manufacturing bicycles and for a long time this actively remained an important source of income.  In 1909, he split up his company.  The Pierce Arrow Motorcar Company was situated at Hannover Street 18, in Buffalo, New York.  Beautiful cars were built in this factory, which even featured partly aluminium bodywork.  

In the twenties, Pierce-Arrow had increasing difficulties competing with makes such as Cadillac and Packard.  Its sales figures fell dramatically.  When Studebaker offered $2 million for Pierce-Arrow in 1928, the offer was immediately accepted.  Pierce-Arrow continued to build its own cars, but was now financially supported by its new owners.

In 1932, the Type 52 and Type 53 followed, with V12-engines and that had capacities of 7030 and 6525 cc and delivered 150 and 140 bhp.  Pierce-Arrow recovered, but, unfortunately at the expense of Studebaker.  This company had to file for bankruptcy in 1933.  Pierce-Arrow was more or less saved, but it did get a new owner.  The profits of this company fell as well.  The Silver Arrow was developed as a last ditch attempt to save the company.

It was a huge car with a V-12 engine and all the technical novelties available at that time.  But even this model was unable to save the company from its downfall.  In 1934, 1,740 cars were sold, but in 1936 this number fell to 787.  When in 1937, only 167 cars were sold, the company was permanently closed down.

The complete encyclopedia of Vintage Cars - Rob de la Rive Box

Models produced by Pierce-Arrow

Eight Series A

1930-1931

Eight Series B

1930-1931

Eight Series C

1930-1931

Twelve

1930-1938

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