Calling all early car experts!

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    I received this email of inquiry today and am hoping some of you early car guys can help this kind gentleman in his search to identify this car that was in his family.  If you can help, please post your response below so I might be back in touch with him.  Thanks in advance experts!

    He writes:
    I am hoping through your good offices that I can gain some information regarding the attached photograph from an old family album that has recently come to light. I think this is a Great Arrow but I am not expert enough to identify any further detail. It would be good to know the year if possible and anything else of interest. I am not sure about the badge on the radiator, I have not seen any pictures showing such a thing. There is also the bumper which must be an aftermarket addition? Is the license plate a contemporary US plate, and if so is it possible to identify the state?
    At the wheel of the car is Louis Ferdinand Massa and his passenger is his wife Olive Elizabeth Massa nee Griswold, a great aunt of mine. They were married in 1896 in the UK and subsequently lived possibly in upstate New York, but no one in the family can be certain.
    I hope that you will be able to forward this photo to the appropriate specialist and that it is of sufficient interest. Here in the UK the Pierce-Arrow is a rare thing and in sixty years of enthusiasm for old cars I cannot recall ever having seen one in the metal.

    Get started in 3….2….1


    I am pretty sure it is a Stevens Duryea going on the general shape of the radiator emblem (this emblem is a little bit later I believe). I would venture a guess that the car is around 1908-10 vintage. Rauch & Lang used a very similar emblem but much later on than the car in the picture.


    Here’s an 09 that really fits the picture…



    This car is a Stevens-Duryea 1911 Model AA. They cost $3,500 when a 36HP Pierce cost $4,000. The Stevens had  404 cubic inches and 128 inch wheelbase while the smallest Pierce (36HP) had 386 cubic inches and a 125 inch wheelbase. I believe the Stevens had a 3 speed progressive transmission (my memory has failed me before) and the Pierce had a 4 speed one. Fifteen hundred Stevens were built in 1911. They were offered in a four cylinder Model X, the Model AA 6 cylinder, and the 6 cylinder Model Y, a 142 inch wheelbase, 478 cubic inch $4,000. They were known for their fine handling and great engineering. I’ve had the pleasure of riding in Harvey Harper’s 1910 Model Y, 2 1910 Model X’s, a 1915 Model D and a 1907 Model U. There are 4 1911 Stevens-Duryea’s listed in the HCCA Roster. One is a Pebble Beach 1st place winner in my local HCCA Club. If my love for the make has moved you, one 1910 Model X 4 cylinder is on sale at Hymans Limited for $179,500.


    My posting was only using my recognition of the emblem to help assist the identity of the car above, as you have far better done. As I would love to own such a magnificent Automobile it is well above my means to do so, however I remain very  content with just the radiator emblem in my collection.


    Thanks Mark and Tony! Y’all are great! I will pass this along to solve the family’s “Mystery”!! 😉



    Hello Liz,

    I cannot thank everyone enough for getting this information on the car. It just goes to show that you learn something every day. I have now begun my journey down the Stevens-Dureya rabbit hole!
    I have also got hold of a copy of Marc Ralstons’ Pierce-Arrow marque history, just for good measure, so hopefully I will not get caught out again!

    Once again, many thanks

    Kind regards

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