Pierce-Arrow Twelve Sedan

Despite multi-cylinder offerings from healthier competitors, Pierce-Arrow stood by its six. Even if their powerful engine displaced an impressive 824.7-cubic inches—like the 1918 Model 66A—a certain lack of refinement caused buyers to turn to other marques, and the firm did not realize its error until the 1920s.

In 1928, Albert Erskine, of Studebaker, was shopping for a prestige line and acquired Pierce-Arrow, which benefitted from Studebaker’s stronger distribution network. The 1929 Pierce-Arrow straight eight went from the drawing board to production in six months and sales doubled to 9,840, the company’s best year ever.

In November 1931, Pierce-Arrow introduced a 429-cubic-inch Twelve, its mainstay for the remaining seven years. Top-of-the line models rode on an enormous 147-inch wheelbase, and five “quick-delivery” customs were available from LeBaron Coachworks. A number of each style of body would be built and finished in primer, or “in the white,” leaving customers to choose body, paint, trim, and accessories; a finished car would quickly materialize at the dealership. Even though the 1934 models were handsomely redesigned, the Depression was catching up with the company.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in July of 2012 at The Inn at St. John's, Plymouth, Michigan.

175 hp, 462 cu. in. L-head V-12 engine, two-barrel Stromberg carburetor, three-speed manual transmission, front and rear semi-elliptic leaf springs, rear live axle, and four-wheel vacuum assisted mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 147"

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Michael Ford

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