This content is available to members only. Please login or join us!

Bernard J. Weis Research Archive

Bernie's Passion For Pierces

Bernie Weis has enjoyed a lifetime love affair with Pierce-Arrow. He served as Editor and Publisher of Pierce-Arrow Society publications for nearly 50 years. Long before the arrival of the Internet, Bernie meticulously compiled a master list of all the Pierce-Arrow vehicles he could locate. Bernie’s Register is presented below.

Pierce Vehicle & Serial Number Register

The late Otto Klausmeyer stated that Pierce-Arrow kept records on all vehicles built.  From 1901 through 1938, approximately 85,000 passenger cars were made, plus an unknown number of trucks, bicycles, motorcycles, buses and travel trailers.  Most of these records, which included data on color, optional equipment, build dates, owners and other information, were destroyed in 1938 after the company was liquidated following bankruptcy proceedings.  Thus an accurate account of total production and other historical data of interest on each individual vehicle no longer exists.

This register is an attempt to record as many vehicles as possible that were actually built, based on a small number of factory records and recension tables, parts books, service data and other company documents, state registration and licensing lists, information from owners, and other sources considered to be reliable.

Please note that state registration lists often contain typographical errors and/or other inconsistencies, and complete accuracy cannot be guaranteed.  Also, please note that some state licensing authorities may list body types and HP inaccurately (e.g., “Runabout” listed as “Roadster”, “38” as “48”, etc.)

The prime verification is the serial (chassis) number, followed in

importance by the engine number and lastly, the body number.  If the serial number is unknown, each model listing continues with the engine number. Lacking the first two, the body numbers are then listed.  Note that any entry listed by engine number and/or body number only may also refer to a car already listed by serial number only.  In these cases, not enough information could be obtained to relate the number(s) to the proper car(s).  Care has been taken to be as accurate as possible, but there is always the chance of typographical and/or other errors either in the original resource documents or in the transfer of data to the computer.  The lists include vehicles which have at least one reported or recorded number.  Vehicles reported still existing (or having been built) which do not have at least one of the numbers (serial, engine or body) recorded, or a verified owner recorded, are not usually listed in the main registers, but may be listed in “Unverified Cars“.

Some Pierces listed as existing (“X”) may be parts cars, engines only, or otherwise incomplete or not operable.

The register is divided by Year and/or Model.   Each document’s contents are described in the lower left file name in the footer.

Please report any errors discovered to PASB@pierce-arrow.org

Owner History Registry

These files on known owner history are organized by model

Bernie Weis Research Archive

Body Style Production

Records of Pierce-Arrow’s production were destroyed when the company went out of business in 1938.  Based on sources believed to be reliable, a Owner History Registry has been compiled of all verified cars manufactured, existing or not.  As of May 1, 2009, there were 16,601 cars and Travelodge trailers recorded of the approximately 89,530 total units built.  Of this number, about 2507 are extant, though some may be incomplete and/or not operable.

This “Production File” attempts to list the various recorded units by body styles, based on data currently available in the Owner History Registry.  Complete accuracy cannot be guaranteed because too little information has been discovered.  Also, a few cars exist which were built or modified from non-original or differing models.

“Misc. and unspecified” figures may also include parts cars, inoperable vehicles and engines and/or chassis only units.

“Highest Ser. #” is the highest verified number in any particular serial group.  “Recorded” is the number of verified cars listed in the Register.

Production Information

These files are production numbers by year, model & body style

Serial Ids in Numerical Order ~ Click title to download file

Serial ID Locations

Serial numbers, engine numbers and body codes

IDENTIFICATION OF PIERCE-ARROW VEHICLES

The listing of members’ vehicles in the PAS Roster is, in general, arranged in chronological order according to model year.  The “year” is based on available factory records and should be considered secondary to the model or series designation, determined by the serial number.  (Cars in many series were sometimes built both before and beyond the calendar year listed).  Bicycles, motorcycles, trucks and Travelodge trailers are in separate groupings.

The value of the PAS vehicle register is dependent on complete and accurate information submitted by owners.  If there is any missing information (serial, engine or body numbers) concerning your vehicle(s), please update your car’s information in your online Membership Profile at www.Pierce-Arrow.org or send the info email to PASB@pierce-arrow.org to so that our records can be corrected.

SERIAL NUMBER LOCATIONS —
Early models: stamped on rear spring hanger(s) or on rear of frame.

Circa 1906-1928:  Stamped on brass plate attached to outside of body near left front seat, on left front seat, or on toe-board under the instrument panel. May also be stamped on top of cross member under front floorboards near front of transmission, or on top of frame rail on right side, seen by opening hood.

After 1928:  Stamped on large metal plate attached to side of frame near rear of front spring (usually on right side of car, but sometimes on left).

ENGINE NUMBER LOCATIONS —
Before 1921:  Stamped on serial number plate, and/or on timing gear cover at right front of engine, and/or on front transmission cross member. It is almost always the same as the car’s serial number. Engine assembly number, on engines of later Series cars, is composed of a letter (A, B, or C) followed by the Series number, followed by the assembly number.

1921-1928:  Stamped on serial number plate, and/or on left rear engine support, or on timing gear case, and sometimes on other engine parts. Engine numbers for these years will not necessarily be the same as the serial number.

Eight-cylinder engines:  Stamped into flat area on upper left center of the block, just below the cylinder head-to-block joint.

Twelve-cylinder engines:  Stamped into flat area, right rear side of crankcase near the flywheel housing.

Casting dates – can be found on the lower left rear of the block on 8-cylinder engines. These consist of a letter and two sets of numbers, for example: “K-8-10”, indicating this particular block was cast August 10, 1930. (“A” was 1920, “B” was 1921, etc.) In many cases, a small “clock dial” can be seen nearby, with a pointer indicating the time of day that the block was cast.

BODY CODE NUMBERS — (These identify coachwork type and other data)
Series 4 and 5 cars had this number stamped on most wood parts (glove box door backer, box flooring, etc.) and on special castings (spare tire trays, etc.) Beginning with Series 31 and 51, body code data was stamped on an aluminum tag fastened to lower right body sill near driver’s right foot (on RHD cars). After 1928, the long, thin body tags were in various places: usually, on floorboard under the carpet near the right front door sill, or on the right side of the firewall (seen by opening the hood). Other locations were on the floorboards inside right rear door of sedans, or floorboards of golf compartments in coupes, etc. The body number might also be stamped into wood or metal pieces, such as trunk lid framework or cowl vent frames. These later tags tell engineering model number, body style, and sequence number of that type body.

Pierce Body Code "Key"

The letter in the code indicates the body type:

B – Club Brougham
C – Coupe
CF – Coupe, leather top
P or A – Convertible Coupe
R – Roadster
D – 7 pass. Touring
S – Sedan
V – Victoria
N – Club Sedan 
Y – Silver Arrow (production)
RBT – Runabout
T – 4 pass. Touring
L – Enclosed-Drive Limo. (or Landau)
E – Club Berline (1932 models)
E – Enclosed Drive Limo. (Model 133)
K – 7 pass. Sedan (Model 133)
K – Convertible  Sedan (later models)
KK – Enclosed Drive Limo. (Series 36)
F – Formal Sedan (or Limo) leather top
NF – Club Sedan, leather top
NB – Club Berline, partition
NL – Club Berline, partition & leather top
M – Coach, or Club Brougham (Series 80)
M – 7 pass. Sedan (later models)
W – 7 pass. All-Weather Sedan, or Town Car
WW – 7 pass. A/W Sedan, or Town Car “Salon”
TS – 4 pass. Touring, with tonneau windshield