Pierce-Arrow Society Feature Article
A NEW SIZE - A NEW PRICE...
One quality which no other motor car can ever possess is built into the Pierce-Arrow Series 80. It is Pierce-Arrow craftmanship...
In the mid-1920's Pierce-Arrow expanded it's product line to appeal to a larger market. In late 1924, the Series 80 was introduced. The Series 80 was Pierce-Arrow's entry into the upper-mid priced field, competing with the six cylinder Packard. The cars maintained the traditional quality ideals of Pierce-Arrow, but in a smaller, less complex design. The initial response was quite good. Selling in the $3000 - $4000 range, the Series 80 put the Pierce-Arrow prestige within reach of a new market. At the time the Series 80 was introduced, the Pierce-Arrow Finance Corporation was organized, allowing customers to buy a Pierce-Arrow on installment payments. (Purchased from income rather than capital, as their advertisements phrased it).
All Series 80 models were mounted on the same130 inch wheelbase chassis. The cars were powered by a six-cylinder L-head engine with a 3 1/2 inch bore and 5 inch stroke. The steel block was cast in one unit, mounted on an aluminum crankcase. Fuel was supplied by a Stewart vacuum tank to a Pierce carburetor. A Pierce-Delco ignition system was used. The engine developed 70 horsepower at 2800 rpm. Four-wheel brakes and Houdaille hydraulic shock absorbers were standard equipment. Pierce-Arrow advertised fuel economy of 14-17 miles per gallon from the 18 gallon tank.
The original seven body styles were later augmented to twelve body styles. Series 80 advertising boasted the choice of six color options being available. Open body styles included the runabout, 4-passenger touring, and 7-passenger touring. Closed body styles included the 3-passenger coupe, 5-passenger coach, 5-passenger sedan, 7-passenger sedan, and the enclosed-drive limosine. A rumble-seat convertible coupe and a 5-passenger landau-sedan were also offered. In addition to the bodies made my Pierce-Arrow, custom bodies by Brunn, LeBaron, Judkins and Wilson were available.
With prices ranging from $2495 to $4045, the Series 80 was almost half the price of the more expensive Series 33. With almost 16,000 produced, the Series 80 far outsold the bigger Series 33. The Series 80 and the Series 33 were completely different cars, with very few interchangeable parts. While the Series 80 was a high quality car, it lacked the complexity and some of the plushness of the larger cars.
Production continued through 1927. It was replaced in 1928 with the Series 81, which used the same basic chassis as the Series 80, but had completely restyled bodies.