Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Co. History
The Final Years
1937 1701 Metropolitan Town Brougham
For 1934, Pierce-Arrow brought out a new line of automobiles. The 1934 models had more rounded bodies with less chrome. The triple tail light that had been used since the mid-1920's was replaced by tail lights formed into the rear fenders, similar to the trademark Pierce-Arrow headlights. Ten body styles were available on the eight-cylinder model 840A. The models 1240A and 1248A used a twelve-cylinder engine. Nine factory body styles plus custom Brunn bodies were available on the twelve-cylinder chassis.
In late 1934, the model 836A was added to the line. The 836A was a lower priced Pierce-Arrow aimed at capturing a larger market than the bigger, more expensive cars. The 836A was offered in a two-door Club Brougham for $2195 and a four-door Sedan for $2395. The addition of this new line didn't help sales enough, however. Pierce-Arrow only made 1740 cars in 1934.
Pierce-Arrow was losing money in 1934. A one million dollar loan from New York bankers required a reorganization of the company. The Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company was reorganized as the Pierce-Arrow Motor Corporation. The dealerships, which had been owned by the Pierce-Arrow Sales Corporation, were sold; all Pierce-Arrows were to be sold by independent dealers. The terms of the loan also regulated the number of cars Pierce-Arrow could produce. Not surprising, the 1935 models were very similar to the 1934 cars.
Pierce-Arrow brought out their last all-new model in 1936. The bodies were redesigned, with still more rounded styling. The 1936-38 cars have a distinctive arrangement of four "headlights". An overdrive transmission and vacuum-boosted brakes were standard equipment. The 1936 Pierce-Arrows were among the finest cars the company had produced. The 1937 and 1938 cars were minor modifications of the 1936 design.
In late 1936, Pierce-Arrow introduced the Travelodge trailer. Offered in three models, the Travelodge trailers had an aluminum skin over a steel frame. Hydraulic brakes were standard. Inside, the trailers offered the convenience and luxury one would expect from Pierce-Arrow. The birch and gum wooden interior had a dining area, ice box, gas cook stove, wood heating stove, water tank and a sleeping arrangement. About 450 of the Travelodge trailers were produced.
In 1938, the Pierce-Arrow Motor Corporation was declared insolvent and liquidation was ordered by the court. The 1695 Elmwood Avenue Corporation was established to dispose of the company's assets. Parts and service would continue to be available through 1942. The remaining parts and tooling at the factory were scrapped for the war effort in 1942.
At this point, the Pierce-Arrow story enters a different phase. In 1957, the Pierce-Arrow Society was founded to promote the preservation of Pierce-Arrow products. The Pierce-Arrow Society now has over 1000 members around the globe who continue to enjoy the products of the George N Pierce Company, The Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company, and the Pierce-Arrow Motor Corporation. To learn more about these wonderful automobiles, we encourage you to JOIN the Pierce-Arrow Society.