Pierce-Arrow Model 81

From the beginning, excellent engineering and legendary quality made Pierce-Arrow a leader in the luxury car market, alongside Packard and Peerless. Nevertheless, during the 1920s, Pierce-Arrow faced great pressure from other manufacturers, which were beginning to adopt more modern production techniques, thereby reducing their production costs. Conversely, while Pierce-Arrow sales were quite good, its low production volume and more traditional, labor-intensive production techniques limited the company’s ability to compete in the rapidly evolving automotive market.

In response, Pierce-Arrow launched the Model 80 in 1924 as a somewhat smaller and less complex companion model to its Dual Valve Six model line. Continuously improved, the Model 80 boasted an advanced, four-wheel vacuum-powered brake system by 1927. Changes for 1928 were minimal, with the Model 80 renamed Model 81, and further distinguished by smaller headlamps for only one year. In addition, a new emblem, reputedly the Pierce family crest, was displayed on Pierce-Arrow radiators for 1928, until Mrs. Percy Pierce correctly pointed out that it was not the actual crest of the George N. Pierce family. A technically advanced and very attractive automobile, Pierce-Arrow built nearly 5,000 Series 81 models in 1928, and they remain highly prized by collectors and enthusiasts alike.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in March of 2009 at the The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida.

75hp, 288.5 cu. in. inline six-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front and rear axle suspension with parallel semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel vacuum-powered brakes. Wheelbase: 130".

Source: RM Auctions

Pierce-Arrow Model 81