he name Pierce-Arrow
once one of the most recognized and respected names in the
automobile industry. For 38 years, the Pierce-Arrow Motor Car
Company in Buffalo, New York, produced some of the finest
automobiles made. At the time, Pierce-Arrows could be found
anywhere the rich and powerful worked and played. For over 20
years, Pierce-Arrow supplied cars to the White House for the use
of the President. They also sold cars to the royal families of
Japan, Persia, Saudi Arabia, Greece, and Belgium. Scores of
congressmen, ambassadors, governors, businessmen, and
entertainers chose Pierce-Arrows for their transportation. A
list of some Pierce-Arrow owners
||The Early Years
-- Before becoming one of the foremost prestige
automobiles, the George N. Pierce Company made a variety of
household items, including ice boxes and birdcages. The early
ventures into motorcars included the deDion powered Motorette.
||The Glidden Tour
Years -- By the end of the first decade of the
twentieth century, the Pierce automobile was well on its way to
becoming the large, expensive automobile Pierce-Arrow was famous
for. The success of the Pierce Great Arrow in the Glidden Tours
made the Pierce automobile famous for quality and reliability.
||The War Years
-- While World War I was raging in Europe, the Pierce-Arrow
line matured into a lineup of three models that would define the
Pierce-Arrow line for a decade. The top of the line was the
enormous model 66 with an 825 cubic inch engine. Pierce-Arrow was
also involved in the war effort, sending hundreds of trucks from
its commercial line to England and France.
Twenties -- As the country entered a new age, so
did Pierce-Arrow. Starting with the Series 32 and progressing to
the Series 36, the Dual-Valve Six, with its embroidered
upholstery and gold trimmed interiors, defined elegance for the
top-of-the-line Pierce-Arrow through the twenties. Meanwhile, the
Series 80 & 81 were targeted toward a larger market.
Years -- As the Great Depression started,
Pierce-Arrow entered a new era in its own history. The new
straight-eight models of 1929 set record sales for Pierce-Arrow.
A few years later, Ab Jenkins would shatter existing speed
records by driving a twelve-cylinder Pierce-Arrow on the salt
flats of Utah.
||The Final Years
-- The depression years took a hard toll on the luxury car
manufacturers of the country, Pierce-Arrow included. As it became
increasingly difficult for Pierce-Arrow to survive as an
independent maker of luxury automobiles, the Pierce-Arrow Motor
Car Company was reorganized as the Pierce-Arrow Corporation and
made a final effort at staying alive with an all new line for
1936. As the final Pierce-Arrow cars were being built,
Pierce-Arrow also tried to enter the travel trailer market with
the Pierce Travelodge.
Motorcycles & Trucks -- In addition to the
passenger car line, the Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company had other
product lines. The commercial line built heavy-duty trucks for
commercial and military uses for twenty years. The bicycle
business, headed by Percy Pierce, produced some of the finest
bicycles and motorcycles of the time.