Pierce-Arrow Twelve Convertible Coupe
Beginning in 1865, Buffalo, New York-based Heintz, Pierce and Munschauer entered the manufacturing business, beginning with birdcages and later progressing to iceboxes and bathtubs. George N. Pierce bought out his partners in 1872, renamed the company and added bicycles to the mix in 1896, followed by steam and gasoline-powered cars in 1900 and De Dion-powered Motorettes in 1901. The four-cylinder Great Arrow, introduced in 1904, won the inaugural Glidden Tour in 1905, as well as the next four editions of the event. In celebration, the company was renamed Pierce-Arrow, setting the stage for the marque’s rapid ascent to the summit of the fine car market.
Actually, two versions of the V12 were available at first: a 398 cubic inch unit for the 137-inch wheelbase cars and a 429 cubic inch engine for the larger models. The smaller V12 performed no better than the eight however, and it was quickly dropped. For 1933, a 462 cubic-inch V12 with 175 bhp and a quieter, low-maintenance hydraulic valvetrain was unveiled, the largest the marque would ever see. That year, noted racing driver Ab Jenkins returned to Bonneville, driving a modified V12 Coupe Roadster for 25 ½ hours straight, averaging 117 mph throughout the 3,000-mile run and setting 79 world speed records in the process. Despite its brilliance, the Pierce-Arrow Twelve actually represented one of the best values of the era, selling for the price of lesser eight-cylinder cars while offering all the performance, styling and technical appeal of the multi-cylinder models offered by competing marques.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in March of 2010 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida.
175 bhp, 462 cu. in. L-head V12 engine, three-speed manual transmission, suspension via front and rear semi-elliptic leaf springs, solid front axle, live rear axle and four-wheel, vacuum-assisted mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 137"
Source: RM Auctions