1930 PIERCE-ARROW
Lot 551
1930 Pierce-Arrow Model B Phaeton Chassis no. 2025037
Sold for €69,000 (US$ 86,822) inc. premium

Lot Details
1930 PIERCE-ARROW 1930 PIERCE-ARROW 1930 PIERCE-ARROW 1930 PIERCE-ARROW 1930 PIERCE-ARROW 1930 PIERCE-ARROW 1930 PIERCE-ARROW 1930 PIERCE-ARROW 1930 PIERCE-ARROW
1930 Pierce-Arrow Model B Phaeton
Chassis no. 2025037
Localisé à Buffalo (état de New York), Pierce fabriquait des cages à oiseaux, des glacières et des bicyclettes avant de lancer sa première automobile à essence en 1901.(La marque Pierce-Arrow fut exploitée pour la première fois en 1904.) En 1908, la firme prit le nom de Pierce Arrow Motor Car Company et ne tarda pas à se consacrer aux automobiles de luxe en innovant souvent dans le domaine de la technique dont le freinage assisté et les poussoirs hydrauliques et en construisant quelques-unes des plus prestigieuses automobiles qui fréquentèrent les routes américaines.

On aura une idée de la vitesse à laquelle Pierce-Arrow se développa quand on saura que dès 1909, la Maison Blanche commanda deux voitures pour les services officiels. Dès lors, Pierce-Arrow sera synonyme de sommet de luxe automobile aux côtés de Cadillac, Packard et Rolls-Royce. Cultivant un style conventionnel et handicapée par une gamme de six-cylindres face à un segment de marché de plus en plus envahi par les multicylindres, Pierce-Arrow vit ses ventes décliner pendant les années 1920. En 1928, une alliance l'unit à Studebaker qui saisit cette occasion de prendre pied sur le marché du grand luxe.

Une nouvelle gamme de huit-cylindres – à l'étude avant l'arrivée de Studebaker – fut introduite et les ventes doublèrent en 1929. Une V12 fut ajoutée en novembre 1931, mais Pierce-Arrow comme Studebaker vécurent des années difficiles au lendemain du krach de Wall Street. Lorsque Studebaker fut admise au règlement judiciaire en 1933, Pierce-Arrow se retrouva seule une fois de plus. Malgré l'accueil enthousiaste réservé à la futuriste « Silver Arrow » - cinq exemplaires à 10,000 dollars pièce furent vendus – la firme se retrouva en situation difficile faute d'une gamme de modèles plus abordable. Les ventes s'effilochèrent au cours des années 1930 et la prestigieuse maison ferma ses portes en 1938.

Datant de janvier 1930, cette Model B Phaeton huit cylindres dans un exceptionnel état d'origine a fait partie antérieurement d'une collection appartenant à un membre de longue date de la Pierce-Arrow Society. Après son décès, la voiture passa aux mains de son fils qui l'exposa au Pierce-Arrow National Meet en 1989. Elle fut ensuite vendue à Mark Smith (voir le New Hampshire Certificate of Title dans le dossier).

La voiture a été sympathiquement rénovée avec l'aide précieuse des spécialistes de Pierceparts, notamment Ed Minnie et John Cislak, comme en témoigne les factures présentes au dossier qui détaillent les travaux effectués sur la mécanique. Nous savons que la carrosserie et l'intérieur d'origine ont été préservés. Les outils de bord et les manuels d'utilisation originaux sont présents et la voiture est accompagnée de ses papiers néerlandais. Les taxes dues au titre de la Communauté Européenne ont été payées. Selon le club Pierce-Arrow Register, il ne resterait qu'une quinzaine de ces modèles dans le monde.

1930 Pierce-Arrow Model B Phaeton
Chassis no. 2025037

Based in Buffalo, New York State, Pierce built birdcages, ice boxes and bicycles before introducing its first petrol-driven automobile in 1901. (The Pierce-Arrow name was first used in 1904). In 1908 the firm became the Pierce Arrow Motor Car Company and soon switched its attention exclusively to the production of luxury cars, pioneering many technological developments, including servo-assisted braking and hydraulic tappets, while building some of the most prestigious motor cars ever to grace America's highways.

Some idea of the rapidity of Pierce-Arrow's rise may be gauged from the fact that as early as 1909 The White House ordered two for state occasions. From then onwards Pierce-Arrow would be synonymous with the ultimate in motoring luxury, ranking alongside Cadillac, Packard and Rolls-Royce. Clinging to traditional styling and handicapped by a range of sixes in an increasingly multi-cylinder marketplace, Pierce-Arrow saw its sales decline throughout the 1920s. In 1928 an alliance was forged with Studebaker, which viewed Pierce-Arrow's acquisition as a means of gaining entry to the luxury car market.

A new range of straight eights - already under development before Studebaker's arrival - was introduced and sales doubled in 1929. A V12 was added in November 1931 but both Pierce-Arrow and Studebaker were finding life tough in the post-Wall Street Crash years. When the latter filed for bankruptcy in 1933, Pierce-Arrow found itself independent once again. Despite the critical acclaim lavished on its futuristic 'Silver Arrow' show car – five of which were sold costing $10,000 each – the firm was severely handicapped by the lack of a lower-price range. Sales dwindled throughout the 1930s and the once-great Pierce-Arrow folded in 1938.

Dating from January 1930, this exceptionally original eight-cylinder Model B Phaeton is understood to have previously formed part of the collection belonging to a long-time Pierce-Arrow Society member. When he died, the car passed to his son, who exhibited it at the Pierce-Arrow National Meet in 1989. It was then sold to Mark Smith (see New Hampshire Certificate of Title on file).

The car has been sympathetically refurbished with the invaluable help of marque specialists Pierceparts, in particular Ed Minnie and John Cislak, there being a number of invoices on file recording the extensive mechanical works carried out. We are advised that the body and interior have been preserved in original condition. The original tools and instruction books are included in the sale and the car also comes with Netherlands registration papers. EU taxes have been paid. According to the club Pierce-Arrow Register, there are approximately 15 of this model left worldwide.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note the NL documents are copies only. Neither the tools nor instruction books can be located.
Auction information

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Buyer's Premium Rates
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20% from €50,001 to €1,000,000 the Hammer Price
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Contacts
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    Auction Administration - Motor Cars
    Bonhams
    Work
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  2. Philip Kantor
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    Bonhams
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