50th Annual Pierce Arrow Meet
By David E. Tyminski
Up and down mountains of Massachusetts spewing coolant with the increasing temperatures. With the summer grade of gasoline
that included some alcohol some cars experienced gas starvation that necessitated various remedies both immediate and short term. Vintage attire could be observed daily with a concentration during the Victorian tea, the car show and the final banquet.
Tuesday started our Annual Meet with an opportunity for the board of and regional directors to meet and focus on the
business of the PAS. For other participants, it afforded time to visit the local sights including the campus of Williams
College, art museums, or a trip to Bennington, Vermont to visit its monument or Hemmings Motor News headquarters.
On Wednesday, we left the hotel at 8:00 am and traveled to Saratoga Springs, New York and the Saratoga racetrack. As we approached the track we waited
to allow racehorses and their riders to cross from the exercise track to a paddock for a cool down. The cars were parked in
the shade and our group walked to the bleachers that overlooked the famous track and its beautiful green infield. The
former head of the grounds, now retired, provided our group with a historical perspective of Saratoga that included its
infancy, growth, famous racing contests and preservation of the infrastructure. After our morning outside in the sun, we
were all ready for the air-conditioned splendor for the lunch buffet at Longfellows Restaurant. Refreshed, we motored to
the Saratoga Auto Museum to observe a collection of 2 wheel classics (motorcycles), a few race cars, a Brewster town car,
a 1931 Pierce-Arrow Model 41 dual cowl phaeton, and a 1931 Franklin with an association with Charles Lindberg.
Thursday found the Pierce-Arrows touring to the Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The village is located on
1200 acres of farm, woodland, and meadow land surrounded by the Berkshire Hills. It was an active community from 1783 through
1960. When we arrived, the Pierce-Arrows were parked amoung the Shaker buildings while we enjoyed lunch under a huge tent and
toured the village. That evening, we enjoyed a traditional New England clam bake and lobster dinner at the hotel.
I was part of a renegade group that drove to Smithtown, New York to visit the Michael Krieger car collection which included a
Crane Simplex, a Cunningham boattail speedster, a Cunningham touring and six Pierce Arrows. We also observed the meticulous
restoration of a 30ís vintage diner that is a showcase of days that have passed by.
On Friday, the Pierce-Arrows headed toward Stockbridge, Massachusetts and visited a museum dedicated to the man who painted everyday
glimpses of America as the revealing covers of the Saturday Evening Post, Norman Rockwell. Then we were off to Lenox,
Massachusetts where The Mount, or Edith Whartonís Estate and Gardens is located. A walking tour let us observe how a castle and
its grounds might look in Europe. There were large rooms and hand crafted tapestries hanging from the walls that offered
space and comfort for this Pulitzer prize winning novelist and author during the years after completion in 1902.
The buffet lunch that followed a visit to the Mount was pleasant and delicious. The Cranwell Inn and Resort provided another
view of the richness in building structures during the classic era.
For those of us looking for Pierce-Arrow related items, a flea market entertained many as swarms of people fondled
parts and literature or the many items of vintage attire and snaked their way through the available aisles. Both
buyers and sellers talked, bargained or bartered while items were exchanged.
The Graylake High School grounds were the setting for the 50th annual PAS exhibition on Saturday. The cars were displayed in
chronological order with over 60 cars to view and leisurely discuss particulars with their owners in the sunshine
and comfortable temperatures. The vehicles ranged from a 1903 model 15-J 2-cylinder tonneau through the
four 1936's represented by a 1601 sedan, 1602 club sedan, 1601 convertible sedan and
1602 convertible coupe. The vehicles to be judged were distributed into five classes. Each class was
critiqued by three judges. The cars and their owners make the Pierce-Arrow Society and the cars displayed were a reflection.
We were fortunate to view John Hovey's gleaming 1903 tonneau. Some 40 years ago, the frame was
was hanging from the rafters of Zimmermanís auto collection. Thanks to the patience and attention to detail of its owner, we
were able to share the richness of one of the earliest cars that the Pierce company had to offer. There was usually a
crowd of people looking at the Tom Derro's 1933 Silver-Arrows, the first of five produced. The aerodynamic shape,
hidden side mounts, lack of running boards, and rear compartment instrumentation surrounded with wood emphasize just
how unique this vehicle was and still is today. The restoration detail applied to a 1931 Model 41 LeBaron Club
Sedan was superb. This was a car that I could not wait to see.
A heartfelt thank-you to the committee that organized the activities of our 50th annual PAS meet and who made sure that
each one of us enjoyed our gathering to its fullest. Thanks to Elaine & Bob Bujak, Henry & Joan May, Nancy and Bob Dluhy,
John & Laura Walsh, George & Judy House, Ed Minnie, Fay Butler, Larry and June Gould and Michael Krieger.