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1932 Pierce-Arrow Model 53 news, pictures, specifications, and information

Touring Sedan
Chassis Num: 2050009
 
Sold for $137,500 at 2010 RM Auctions.
Sold for $95,450 at 2013 Bonhams.
This Pierce-Arrow is a 1932 Model 30 Touring Sedan and powered by a twelve cylinder engine. It has dual side mounted tires, both are enclosed, and a rear trunk for carrying cargo. This car is in excellent condition with a very attractive two-tone paint scheme. There are white wall tires which adds to the allure of the vehicle. It is seen here at the 2007 Eastern Concours of the United States. It returned two years later for the 20th Anniversary of the event.

A Pierce-Arrow 1932 12-cylinder Model 53 chassis, identical to this car, won the 24-Hour World Land Speed Record at the Bonneville Salt Flats with an average speed of 127 mph for 27 hours (stock). The driver was Ab Jenkins, 'The Mormon Meteor,' who was later Mayor of Salt Lake City. Jenkins drove the entire 27 hours without a co-driver. He used a 1934 supercharged Duesenberg race car in 1934 to add only 5 mph to his Pierce-Arrow record.

This car was restored entirely 20 years ago by Eddie Cobb of Ohio on behalf of Tom Welch of Cambridge. Only 286 12-cylinder chassis were built in 1932. This car was awarded the Vandeveer Trophy, the preeminent trophy given each year by the Pierce-Arrow society.

By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2010
Pierce-Arrows were stately vehicles that commanded admiration and respect and had a price tag to match. The individuals who bought the most elite Pierce-Arrows were individuals that were high on the social ladder and cost was not an issue. The Pierce-Arrow catered to every demand and request, even keeping special colors on hand for important families and only using those colors for those vehicles and non-others. Most of the vehicle was custom, including the carpets, luggage, trunks, and seats. The Pierce-Arrows were more than just a custom and exclusive automobile, they were also known for their quality, reliability, performance, and sophistication.

The slow demise of the Pierce-Arrow Company began when other marques moved away from custom built automobiles to production lines. The mass produced vehicles raised the bar on quality and dependability. Though they could not guarantee exclusivity, they could guarantee a better product at a better price. When Cadillac introduced their 16-cylinder engine in 1929, Pierce-Arrow knew they had to improve their 12-cylinder engine to stay competitive. The Twelve was introduced in 1932 and came equipped with a 452 cubic-inch engine capable of producing 150 horsepower, just slightly below the output of the V16. By 1933, Pierce-Arrow had raised the output of their engine to 175 and the public approved, buying many examples and setting new sales records for Pierce.

1932 was a great year for the Pierce-Arrow Twelve. Ab Jenkins drove a 33,000 mile prototype to the salt flats of Bonneville. he set several records and then drove 2000 miles back to Buffalo. He returned the following year and set nearly 80 new records.

Unfortunately, the Great Depression was taking its toll on the company. Negotiations to merge with Auburn and Reo failed and Pierce-Arrow entered into bankruptcy. Buffalo business rescued the failing company, raised money and cut the work-staff by half. Sales improved for a short while but not enough to sustain the company. In 1937 the company closed its doors forever.

By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2006
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Series 33
Twelve

1933 Model 1242 Twelve Image Right1933 Model 1236 Twelve Image Right1933 Model 1247 Image Right
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