Lot 279 - 1929 Pierce Arrow Model B
|Odometer reading||1,400 miles|
|Estimate||£48,000 - £55,000|
George N. Pierce, who founded the company bearing his name, was committed to manufacturing high quality products from the very outset. After starting with household items such as birdcages and iceboxes, by the 1870's he had expanded into producing bicycles. As the 20th century dawned, Pierce, like so many other manufacturers, found the lure of the horseless carriage irresistible. The first Pierce motor car was produced in 1901. The diminutive single-cylinder, Pierce 'Motorette,' was the automotive acorn from which the mighty Pierce-Arrow would grow. By 1907, Pierce was producing a large six-cylinder car called the Great Arrow. During 1908, the company was renamed the Pierce-Arrow Motorcar Company and its products became Pierce-Arrow automobiles. U.S. President William Howard Taft ordered two of the Buffalo-built machines in 1909 and they became the first cars to join the official White House fleet. Both company and cars continued to grow. By 1912, the largest Pierce was the $8,000 Model 66 which was powered by an 824-cubic inch, six cylinder engine and its 147-inch wheelbase chassis rolled on tyres standing four feet high! In 1913, Pierce-Arrow introduced its patented wing-mounted headlamps. The design feature became a powerful brand signature for every subsequent Pierce-Arrow model produced during the remainder of the firm's existence. With its prestige and identity firmly established, Pierce-Arrow continued to prosper into the early 1920's. But, the company would soon begin to slip, it clung to its large six-cylinder engines, some of which still used the by now antiquated T-head design, even as competitors almost universally adopted eight-cylinder engine units. At the same time, Pierce-Arrow styling remained stiffly formal and overly conservative while other prestige nameplates pursued the art deco flamboyance that was increasingly coming into style as the Roaring '20s sped on. Pierce-Arrow was already developing an eight-cylinder engine by the time its directors voted to accept a merger offer from the Studebaker Corporation in 1928. At first, it seemed to be a marriage made in heaven. The 1929 eight-cylinder Pierce-Arrows that soon issued forth were affordable, stylish and fast-and they sold like proverbial hotcakes. With 1929 sales soaring, an ambitious custom-body program was planned for the 1930 Pierce-Arrow chassis.
This 1929 Model B Doctor's Coupé was purchased in the 1960's by the legendary manager of Led Zeppelin, Peter Grant, while on tour in the USA, and shipped to the United Kingdom with the returning Led Zeppelin tour equipment. The car is on offer today on behalf of the subsequent owner, a close friend of Peter Grant, who has looked after and treasured the car for the last forty years, including the time during Mr Grant's ownership. This very well maintained Pierce-Arrow has been serviced and MoT'd every year by NP Veteran Engineering; recent work carried out includes a new 'honey comb' radiator core, a modified cooling fan and overhauled brakes; work carried out to make sure the car was completely reliable as the current owner would transport it down to his house in the South of France every Summer. Whilst there it was used several times a week, stopping traffic when it passed and last year, even causing a Gendarme to stand to attention at the roadside and salute! This Model B is supplied with a V5C registration document, an MoT test certificate which expires in March 2013, old MoT's and tax discs and UK service history. The car is about to appear in a new book on 'Rockstars and their Cars' and the owner has more than a few interesting stories to impart to the new custodian. This is an opportunity to purchase an eminently usable and attractive motor car from one of America's finest manufacturers, complete with important rock music history.
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Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Buyers are advised to inspect the car in person or use a professional to carry out this service.