Pierce-Arrow Society Annual Meet 

Pierce-Arrow Society
47th Annual Meet
Asheville, North Carolina
Submitted by David E. Tyminski

The 47th Annual Meeting of the Pierce-Arrow Society was held this year in Asheville, North Carolina. PAS families came from 30 states, Spain and Canada. About 45 Pierce-Arrows ranging from 1903 to 1936, and a number of bicycles, participated in the three days of touring followed by the show on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate. We had the privilege of talking with President Woodrow Wilson and observing his 1919 Vestibule Suburban, presented by the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace Foundation members from Staunton, VA.

About 275 PAS members and friends introduced themselves or refreshed friendships during the welcoming reception on Tuesday night. Copious entrees at several stations around the banquet room provided for a sumptuous feast to kick off the meet.

During the next three days we enjoyed the meet committee's detailed driving tours to points of interest around Asheville.

The first tour started Wednesday morning. Many cars toured to a coffee stop at Chimney Rock before continuing on for lunch in Hendersonville. Carl Sandburg's home was an attraction along the way. The poolside BBQ was moved inside due to rain, where we were entertained by two separate dance troops: cloggers and square dancers. Some PAS members joined the dancers to learn something new on the dance floor.

The next day the Pierce-Arrows drove west on the Blue Ridge Parkway to the Wheels Through Time Museum. After a picnic lunch on the museum grounds, we toured the museum to observe many classic cars and a large collection of antique motorcycles. We watched a Pierce 4-cylinder motorcycle being ridden around the grounds. The evening provided an exchange of parts, pieces and stories in the flea market.

Friday's tour included some more of the rain dampened Blue Ridge Parkway enroute to the Arboretum, Folk Art Center and lunch at the Pisgoh Inn. Despite the showers, PAS members enjoyed the indoor exhibit of bonsai trees at the Arboretum and artwork by North Carolina artisans at the Folk Art Center. The evening's premiere event was a tour of the Biltmore mansion with photos taken in front of the chateau. The views within this grand residence, the maintained and manicured grounds, and Pisgah forest in the distance are remarkable. Vanderbilt's vision of his residence and the magnificence of the structure thrill visitors.

The weather cooperated for the Saturday concours held on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate. The skies cleard and the sun came out to shine on the Pierce-Arrows. An elegant, catered lunch in true Biltmore and Pierce-Arrow style was served for lunch. Buses shuttled PAS members between the show field and the restaurant, also on the estate grounds. Some PAS members took the opportunity to continue their tour of the estate grounds from the night before. The time flew by observing the mansion and immediate grounds, but there was much more to observe in the arboretum and its immediate grounds. There were a number of topiaries, characters or scenes assembled in flowers or bushes, which were beautifully presented.

Judging was conducted by several efficient teams, with a focus on vehicle originality and the criteria of completing one of the tours. The judging teams worked well into the afternoon to determine the winners in each class. The award winners are listed at the bottom of this page.

A growing trend at Pierce-Arrow Society Annual Meets is the wearing of period clothing on tours and meet events. The scene of elegantly dressed ladies arriving at the Biltmore mansion in their Pierce-Arrows will not soon be forgotten! A ladies tea was a new addition to the Annual Meet this year. Next year, there will be a workshop on finding and creating period fashions.

On Saturday afternoon, Fay Butler presented an excellent technical session of the history of aluminum parts. Pierce-Arrow extensively used aluminum in the early cars, including casting the entire body until 1921. Aluminum body panels, crankcases, transmission housings, and cast moldings continued to be made from aluminum through the 1928 models. Fay reminded us how precious and amazing aluminum was at the turn of the last century, when Pierce-Arrow was on the forefront of technology.

Saturday evening brought the awards banquet, where there were more elegant classic era outfits modeled by our members and friends. The meal was delicious and the company very social. The table decorations were glass vases that were etched with the front fender profile of a teen's Pierce-Arrow. We all had time to reflect on the events of the week. One member commented that the Pierce-Arrow Annual Meet is always held on the "shortest week of the year", or so it seems.

PAS President Arnold Romberg reported that the Pierce-Arrow Society is in good health, financially stable, and has a growing membership base. A round of applause was given to meet chairman Marc Hamburger and his committee for providing us all with an enjoyable week of activities.

After the awards presentation, Bill and Wilma Morris invited us all to join him next year in Springfield, Illinois, where we will be Searching for Lincoln. Bill reminded us of the many historic sites related to Abraham Lincoln in the Springfield area and also discussed some of the special events planned, including a tour on historic Route 66. We hope you can join us for the 2005 Pierce-Arrow Society Annual Meet.


47th Annual Meet Award Winners 

Click on pictures for a larger view
Bernard J. Weis Trophy
Most Authentic Restoration
Bernard J. Weis Trophy
1930 Model B Phaeton
Terry & Rita Ernest
Michigan
R. Vale Faro Trophy
Most Original Pierce-Arrow
R. Vale Faro Trophy
1930 Model B Roadster
Peter Engel
Connecticut
Henry E. & Pauline S. Becker Trophy
Longest Distance Pierce-Arrow Driven to Meet
Henry E. & Pauline S. Becker Trophy
1931 Model 42 Sedan
Bill & Wilma Hunter Morris
Glen Ellyn, Illinois
Otto Klausmeyer Distinguished Service Award
Distinguished Service to the Pierce-Arrow Society
Otto Klausmeyer Distinguished Service Award
Charlie Gills
Bicycle Class
Most Original Bicycle
1912
Man's Chain Drive
Don, Mary & Mike Silbert
Maryland
1st
1929
Man's Chain Drive
Glen & Carolyn Morris
Virginia
1st
1925
Man's Racer
Gene & Ruth Reeves
Georgia
1st
1904
Man's Shaft Drive
Robert & Gail Bryant
South Carolina
Class 1 1901 - 1905
1st
1903 6-6.5 H-K
Stanhope
Don, Mary & Mike Silbert
Maryland
Class 2 1906 - 1928
1st
1925 Series 80
Runabout
Ron & Dawn Sautter
Florida
1st
1927 Series 80
Club Brougham
Tom, Hermine & Michael Abbott
Georgia
1st
1920 Series 51
7-Pass. Touring
Ralph & Trish McKittrick
Ontario
Class 3 1929 - 1930
1st
1930 Model B
Club Sedan
Manford & Frances Stewart
Indiana
1st
1929 Model 143
7-Pass. Touring
Tom & Tamea Sutphen
Ohio
1st
1930 Model B
Roadster
Peter & Diane Engel
Connecticut
Class 4 1931 - 1933
1st
1933 Model 1236
Club Sedan
Thomas & Deborah Brumley
Ohio
1st
1932 Model 54
Club Brougham
William Word
Georgia
1st
1931 Model 42
Sport Phaeton
Phillip Marshall
New York
Class 5 1934 - 1938
1st
1936 Model 1602
Coupe
Ralph Schmidt
Ohio
1st
1936 Model 1602
Club Sedan
Ed Minnie
Massachusetts
1st
1934 Model 845
Sedan
Dave Benson
North Carolina