1911 PIERCE-ARROW MODEL 48 TOURER
Chassis no. 9079
453ci T-Head Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
48bhp at 1,500rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
Rear Mechanical Drum Brakes
*A very fine example of the legendary 48HP Pierce-Arrow
*Exquisite restoration by renowned specialists
*Genuine example with good pedigree
*A superb, high-horsepower Brass Era touring car
THE PIERCE-ARROW MOTOR CAR CO
Pierce-Arrow had cemented its reputation for performance and reliability when the Pierce Great Arrow won all five of the famed Glidden Tours in 1905-1909 while achieving perfect scores in all but one of them.
Both to retain its high standards and to facilitate its continuing innovation and refinement, Pierce-Arrow closely controlled all aspects of construction including coachwork for which most other luxury marques relied upon outside coachbuilders. Instead, Pierce-Arrow worked with its Buffalo, New York neighbor Aluminum Company of America to perfect casting techniques, which produced cast aluminum body panels as thin as 1/8". The resulting Pierce-Arrow bodies were exceptionally strong, rattle-free and lightweight. Body design also was handled within Pierce-Arrow's Art Department. Created long before GM recruited Harley Earl to create GM's Art & Color Department, Pierce-Arrow had Herbert Dawley designing bodies for Pierce-Arrow automobiles and working with Pierce's demanding clientele to manage accessories, colors and materials.
Pierce-Arrow actively sought the business of prominent figures, including the White House where every President from William Howard Taft through Franklin Delano Roosevelt rode in the Buffalo company's automobiles. Pierce-Arrows were favored by movie stars like Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson and Tom Mix. The publicity and recognition of product placement like this was supported by an imaginative advertising campaign.
Being based on the successful business of its founder, George N. Pierce, and having developed an extensive network of dealers for its very successful line of bicycles, Pierce-Arrow enjoyed excellent distribution. Its sales organization reached into every corner of the United States.
Pierce-Arrow's success enabled the company in 1906 to construct a massive integrated factory in Buffalo that covered 1.5 million square feet on the site of the 1901 Pan-American Exposition. Unit production from Pierce-Arrow was never high (it took until 1912 before Pierce-Arrow built its 12,000th car) but in quality and materials there was none better and Pierce-Arrows were enthusiastically snapped up by the elite at prices that made a Packard or Peerless seem inexpensive by comparison.
Over the years prior to World War I Pierce-Arrow had a number of models, often offering them on a variety of wheelbase chassis and creating an impressive number of separate models. It was the first company to market a six-cylinder luxury automobile and employed impressive methods and procedures to ensure that each Pierce-Arrow built was quiet, powerful and trouble-free from the moment its new owner took delivery. While other manufacturers might rely on their customers to find and point out weaknesses in new models, Pierce-Arrow found them itself, corrected them and then charged a healthy premium for the confidence conferred by its deserved reputation for reliability, performance, silence and quality.
Pierce introduced its first six-cylinder automobile in 1907. The Series Q Great Arrow employed a T-head six with 648 cubic inches and a 60 horsepower ALAM rating. In 1909 the Series QQ, a 453-cubic inch T-head six with a 48.6 horsepower ALAM rating became the top of Pierce's model range while a smaller six, the Series SS, rated at 37 ALAM horsepower with a 347 cubic inch displacement joined the company's offering. Also in 1909 the company reorganized, splitting the bicycle and motorcycle business off from the automobile business which took the name Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company. George N. Pierce resigned from active involvement and management was turned over to Col. Charles Clifton who had been its Treasurer for years.
The Pierce-Arrow Model 48 was priced at an astounding $5,000 F.O.B. Buffalo, New York, and came with Pierce-Arrow's quality, rigid, luxuriously trimmed and appointed aluminum cast panel bodies. Putting that price in perspective, perhaps, is the fact that a half-century later, in 1961, that same $5,000 would buy a brand-new Cadillac Series 62 4-door hardtop sedan.
THE MOTORCAR OFFERED
The 1911 Pierce-Arrow Model 48 offered here must be among the best restored examples in existence. The current owner - a life-long Brass era car enthusiast has owned and enjoyed the car for several decades, and treated the car to the highest quality of restoration and service work. Pierce-Arrow chassis no. 9079 is well-known in Pierce-Arrow circles, and was previously owned by the late Dr. Leo Parnagian, past president of the National Pierce-Arrow Society and former chief judge. This example is said to have been among Dr. Parnagian's favorites, due to its authenticity and originality.
The Pierce-Arrow has undergone a complete restoration in the past, where the car's engine rebuilt was entrusted with Soren Sorensen. The result is absolutely breathtaking, with exquisite paint and brass finishes, a beautifully trimmed interior, and the finest period lights and gauges. The Pierce-Arrow has been shown at the renowned Detroit, MI based Concours d'Elegance of America at St. John's on several occasions, and there won the Gas Light 1900-1914 class in 2011 and 'Best Paint' in 2016.
This is an outstanding high-horsepower Brass Era car of the finest quality, ready for further concours judging, or touring on the many prominent Brass Era tour throughout the US. A finer example will be hard to find.
- Please note, the title for this vehicle is in transit.