1934 Pierce-Arrow Model 840A news, pictures, and information
|Silver Arrow Sedan|
Chassis Num: 2580I80
Pierce-Arrow: A Brief HistoryPierce-Arrow's origins came from the George N. Pierce Manufacturing Co. of Buffalo, N.Y.
By the 1920s Pierce-Arrow would be regarded as one of - if not the - most prestigious marque built in America, finding favor wîth America's social and business elite and occupying pride of place in the White House garage. However, this success also bred a corporate conservatism that began to lose Pierce its longtime customer base. Stubbornly sticking to a six-cylinder-only policy, Pierce finally played catch-up in 1929 wîth the inclusion of a Studebaker-inspired straight eight in their model selection. In 1930, the styling was thoroughly updated.
Despite the new style and engines, the Depression (and mismanagement by former partner Studebaker) took a grim toll on Pierce-Arrow. The once-proud company struggled along wîth dwindling sales until they hit rock bottom in 1937 wîth only 67 cars built. On May 13, 1938, Pierce-Arrow was sold at auction for its remaining assets.
The 1934 Pierce-Arrows
When Pierce-Arrow finally freed itself in 1933 from its unfortunate alliance wîth Studebaker the company had inherited one project which would catapult the venerable firm back into the public eye literally overnight.
That project was Phil Wright's stunningly streamlined Silver Arrow, which was the sensation of the 1933 New York Auto Show. With its slab-side front fender treatment, tapered fastback rear styling, radically low profile, deeply veed grille and windshield and clever retention of the well-known fender mount headlamps, the Silver Arrow certainly demonstrated that Pierce was as capable in the styling arena as it was in engineering. But by the end of 1933, only five of the Silver Arrows had been sold and total sales came to 2,152 cars, nearly 1,000 less than was needed to break even.
Capitalizing on the Silver Arrow, for 1934 Pierce cleverly combined stock front fenders, hood and cowl wîth a new streamlined body closely resembling the original Silver Arrow from the cowl back. These cars were marketed as 'Silver Arrows' in hopes that the glamorous, futuristic look of the New York Auto Show car would result in increased sales for the 840A's and across the board right through the big formal V-12s.
With only 1,740 Pierce-Arrows built in all series in 1934, this lovely car is an undoubted rarity combining benchmark body design wîth the marque's well-deserved reputation for fine engineering. It is little wonder that cars like this Silver Arrow earned Pierce-Arrow the honor of being called 'first among America's finest.'Source - Gooding & Company
|Silver Arrow Sedan|
Chassis Num: 2580001
Engine Num: 305006
|Sold for $187,000 at 2009 RM Auctions.|
By the close of the 1920's the Pierce-Arrow was struggling. Stiff competition was all around. Cylinder wars meant that companies were in need of continuing improvement mechanically. The onset of the Great Depression meant that the list of clienteles was dwindling and competition became even greater.
In 1928, a stock swap left Albert R. Erskine in control of the Pierce-Arrow Company. Mr. Erskine was the president of Studebaker. He quickly introduced an eight-cylinder engine along with multiple new bodies and a host of features. This, coupled with lower prices, gave Pierce its best year ever with 9,700 examples produced.
Legendary driver Ab Jenkins highlighted the Pierce-Arrow's capabilities by setting 79 records at the Bonneville salt flats.
The Silver Arrow, designed by Phil Wright, was debuted at the 1933 New York and Chicago Auto Shows. The vehicles had but one flaw, and that was its sticker price, costing a hefty $10,000. In total there were only five examples ever constructed. The following year a similar car was added to the model line-up.
The 1934 Pierce-Arrow Model 840A Eight Silver Arrow Coupe finished in two-tone green was offered for sale at the 2006 RM Auction in Monterey, CA. It was estimated to sell between $200,000-$250,000. It is equipped with a 385 cubic-inch L-head eight-cylinder engine that produces 140 horsepower. The engine is matted to a three-speed manual gearbox and there are four-wheel drum brakes. There are twin side-mounted wheels with metal covers and red spoke rims with chrome wheel discs.
Since new, this vehicle has been treated to a professional body-off restoration which was competed in 1994. It carries serial number 258001 which is the very first example built. It has been well taken off since new and has traveled less than 100 miles since restoration.
The list of awards are very extensive. It is a CCCA Premier, CCA 100 Point Award, First in Class at the Pierce-Arrow National Meet in 1994 and 2001, The vehicle was awarded a First in class at the Meadow Brook Concours d'Elegance. It was voted Best of Show at the Glenmore Concours d'Elegance and First in Class at the Concours of the Eastern US.
At auction the bidding got as high as $170,000 but was unable to satisfy reserve and the vehicle was left unsolved.
In 2009, this car was offered for sale at the Vintage Motor Cars of Hershey presented by RM Auctions where it was estimated to sell for $200,000 - $250,000. The lot was sold for the sum of $187,000, including buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2009
|Silver Arrow Sedan|
Designed in-house by talented Pierce-Arrow designer Phil Wright, the advanced styling, with its swept grill and integrated fenders, made it a styling tour de force. To match the strength of the styling, the Silver Arrow was outfitted with Pierce's powerful 175 horsepower twelve-cylinder engine, in addition to every luxury convenience of the day.
This car was intended to make a statement at a time when luxury makers were fighting for the few customers available during the depths of the Great Depression. Targeted at the very top of the market, the limited production silver Arrow was priced at $10,000, nearly twice that of a regular Pierce-Arrow and within range of a Duesenberg.
However, from a retail perspective, this gamble did not pay off and only five were sold. Although not a best seller, it was probably the best Pierce-Arrow of all time, and ranks with the greatest chassis of the 1930's.
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|1934 Pierce-Arrow models|
|Pierce Arrow 1240A Twelve|
|Pierce Arrow Model 1248 Custom Twelve|
|Pierce Arrow Model 1250A|
|Pierce Arrow Model 836A|
|Similarly Priced Vehicles from 1934|
|Packard 1108 Twelve ($4,200-$14,000)|
|Packard Twelve ($4,590-$6,800)|
|Lincoln Model KB Series 271 ($4,205-$6,805)|
|Packard 1107 Twelve ($3,800-$4,800)|
|Cadillac Series 30 ($3,295-$5,495)|
Average Auction Sale: $159,494
|Other models by Pierce-Arrow|
|Related Articles and Event Coverage|
|Vintage Motor Cars of Hershey by RM Auctions|
|Meadow Brook Concours d'Elegance|
|Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction|
|2006 Gooding & Company Auction: Palm Beach|
|38||Model 36||Model 43||Model 48||Model 66||Model 80/81||Series 33||Twelve|
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