Pierce-Arrow Model 43 Sport Phaeton

In the wake of the stock market crash of October 1929, Pierce-Arrow managed to increase its share of the American fine car market with its second-highest production totals of 7,670 units during 1930. As was the case with a great many businesses of the era, however, it remains questionable whether or not company management fully understood the gravity of the worsening economic situation.

For 1931, the Pierce-Arrow product catalog included three models, with a return to numerical designations for them. Curiously, the company assigned its model designations inversely, with Model 41 being the largest, on a mammoth 147-inch wheelbase, while the Model 42 was an intermediate model on a 142-inch wheelbase. The Model 43 was now the entry-level model, if that phrase could ever apply to Pierce-Arrow, available with either a 134-inch or a 137-inch wheelbase and powered by the 365.6-cubic inch eight.

Perhaps no other feature characterized the Pierce-Arrow experience better than the company’s renowned quality control measures, which led the American fine car industry long before the concept ever graced a business-management textbook. Among them, Pierce-Arrow engines were dynamometer-tested while stethoscopes were used to detect unwanted sounds. Stainless-steel brackets and fasteners were utilized extensively, and no fewer than 55 body-finishing steps were specified.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in October of 2010 at the Hershey Lodge, Hershey, Pennsylvania.

125 hp, 365.6 cu. in. inline eight-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission with overdrive and freewheeling, solid front and rear axles with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes.

Source: RM Auctions

Gallery: Pierce-Arrow Model 43 Sport Phaeton