Reasoning for in fender headlights

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    While at Rodney Flournoy’s ranch this week, during the Modoc 1 & 2 cylinder tour, Dan Erceg discovered the reason Pierce decided to put the headlights in the fenders. So obvious……The photo says it all.


    That a wild west mother-in-law seat…

    Somewhere west of Laramie…


    Apparently no one but Dan and myself think this is funny !!


    I guess that’s a 2-horsepower Pierce…


    It is the perfect mother-in-law seat location. :)


    Well, the original buyer said he wanted a leather seat, and there it is!


    That Pierce is in for a Modoc make-over. Rider is optional. Now let’s rope us

    a Ford!



    Just so you don’t feel too badly, the photo is amusing and the comments are better.

    Rodney is rather matter-of-fact about his Pierce-Arrow cars and their condition.

    There are no Trailer-Queens in his collection, that is unless they are Cattle Trailers.

    He is a True Cowboy and sponsors an outstanding tour.



    I love seeing the humor in the posts.

    Sometimes, I believe ,it gets a bit too serious in here. Its great to learn,live and most importantly, LAUGH. All our rolling pieces of art should make every one smile in one way or another. :)


    The bracket headlamps on early cars tended to bounce around a good deal on the rough roads of the time. By mounting the headlamps in the fenders, Pierce-Arrow overcame a good deal of this problem.


    Made for a smoother ride for the mechanic riding on the saddle also !!


    In 1910 there was a race that took place between Sacramento and Los Angeles.

    Night time driving with gas headlamps happened on part of the course and all

    of it took place on public roads. The winner averaged over 50 MPH. I wonder

    how they did without P. A patented headlamps in the fenders, with optional

    mechanic riding saddle?


    Sounds like quite a thrill……especially riding on the saddle fender !!!


    Can one imagine the quality of the roads in 1910 from Sacramento to Los Angeles?

    And then to average 50-mph in the race!

    That is a BIG WOW!



    I believe that the fender-mounted headlight “option” did not arrive on Pierce-Arrow motorcars until 1914.

    So, if there was a rider in a saddle, he was astride a fender (hopefully on the left side) adjacent to a gas powered headlight (right-hand steering wheel).


    They may have needed such a rider to navigate the roads at night.

    Perhaps, he held a flashlight!



    The fender mounted headlamps on which Pierce-Arrow had a patent were standard equipment beginning in 1914. The bracket headlamps were an option.


    Gas lights

    Very few owners of cars with them have ever driven them in anger at night. With the correct ground optical FRONT lenses & correctly set up & focused burners the “volume”” of light has to be experienced to be believed! My 1929 Pierce 6 volt glow worms are left for dead by the gas headlamps on my Napier. BUT a heck of a lot more fiddle than turning a switch. Tractor trailer drivers react to the gas lights by giving me FULL BLAST of all their lights & horns!!! A bit like electric welding without a helmet plus sound effects!!!”



    Excellent comment and info.

    The headlight glow produced by my 6-volt, 1925, Series 80 is abysmal!

    A safe traveling speed on an unlit street at night is 20 -25-mph!




    Excellent comment and info.

    The headlight glow produced by my 6-volt, 1925, Series 80 is abysmal!

    A safe traveling speed on a poorly lit street at night is 20-mph!



    Jak, interesting that I have never read that about the gas lamps; so glad you posted. I always assumed they were pitiful and the later electrics were an improvement, light output-wise.

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