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1932 Pierce-Arrow Model 54 news, pictures, specifications, and information
Club Brougham
 
Pierce started producing automobiles in Buffalo in 1901, and quickly became one of America's most prestigious makes in the early 20th century. It made a name for itself when its Great Arrows dominated the Glidden Tours, an early road rally series. Pierce-Arrow and other luxury stalwarts, Packard and Peerless, became collectively known as the 'Three P's of Motordom.'

However, by the mid 1920's Pierce was not keeping up with other makers, and its most powerful engine was a 6-cylinder design. By 1928, the company was bought by Studebaker, and with the resulting infusion of capital was able to develop a new line of cars and powertrains. In 1929 a new 8-cylinder engine was introduced and customers responded by rewarding Pierce-Arrow with its highest sales year to date. 'Pierce' was back in a big way, and the models of the 1930's are some of the best of the classic era. However, the economic chaos of the time caught up with Pierce-Arrow, and it was sold again in 1933. Production began to wind down and ceased for good in 1938.

The Pierce-Arrow featured is a Model 54 Club Brougham with a 125 horsepower, 8-cylinder engine. This model sports classic Pierce-Arrow styling with its fender mounted lights and 'V' shaped grill. The close-coupled Club Brougham style typifies the illustrious nature of this marque.

Pierce-Arrow sales of all models numbered only 2,152 units, nearly 1,000 less than the company's break even point.
The Pierce Arrow is one of the great early American automotive producers. Their first offering was the Great Arrow, followed by such greats as the 36, 48, and 66. Their cars were renowned for their quality, durability and style. Their massive engines easily carried the stately bodies in luxury and comfort. The 1920's were rough for the Pierce Arrow Company. The company had been content with their style and their engines. As a result, did not keep up with the changing market trends and new inventions. Before long, they were offering outdated engines and finding it hard to compete.

By 1928 the Pierce-Arrow Company had changed ownerships to Mr. Albert R. Erskine, the President of Studebaker. Under his direction, new engines, features and bodies were introduced. By 1929, the company had regained momentum and had sold nearly 10,000 vehicles that year. The Great Depression was a difficult time for many businesses, even Pierce-Arrow.

In 1931 Pierce-Arrow added a V-12 engine to their offerings.

In 1933 Phil Wright was tasked with creating a new design. The resulting vehicle was shown at the 1933 New York Auto Show and Chicago where it received high praise from spectators and press. Development began on the Silver Arrow and offered for sale at $10,000, a rather high sticker price at the time. This would prove to be too high for consumers and only five were ever created. The new design was important in that it propagated to the rest of the Pierce-Arrow models. The styling was popular and the company's prospects began to rise once again. Their prosperity was short-lived and by 1938 the company was out of business.

By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2014
Club Berline
 
This Model 54 Brougham has the original top, original interior, and 90% of the chrome is original. The exterior has been repainted. The previous owner held the car for 54 years before selling it to the present owner a couple of years ago.

An in-line, 8-cylinder, 366 cubic inch engine developing 125 horsepower powers the car. The 1932 model year was the first to offer V-12 engines.

The car rests on a 137-inch wheelbase, weighs 4,747 pounds and sold for $2,850. A total of 2,481 vehicles were produced in 1932.
Dual Windshield Phaeton
Coachwork: Brunn
 
An Intimate and Luxurious Sport Sedan
Pierce started producing automobiles in Buffalo in 1901, and quickly became one of America's most prestigious makes in the early 20th century. It made a name for itself when its Great Arrows dominated the Glidden Tours, an early road rally series. Pierce-Arrow and other luxury stalwarts, Packard and Peerless, became collectively known as the 'Three P's of Motordom.'

However, by the mid 1920's Pierce was not keeping up with other makers, and its most powerful engine was a 6-cylinder design. By 1928, the company was bought by Studebaker, and with the resulting infusion of capital was able to develop a new line of cars and powertrains. In 1929 a new 8-cylinder engine was introduced and customers responded by rewarding Pierce-Arrow with its highest sales year to date. 'Pierce' was back in a big way, and the models of the 1930's are some of the best of the classic era. However, the economic chaos of the time caught up with Pierce-Arrow, and it was sold again in 1933. Production began to wind down and ceased for good in 1938.

The Pierce-Arrow featured is a Model 54 Club Brougham with a 125 horsepower, 8-cylinder engine. This model sports classic Pierce-Arrow styling with its fender mounted lights and 'V' shaped grill. The close-coupled Club Brougham style typifies the illustrious nature of this marque.
Convertible Sedan
Coachwork: LeBaron
Chassis Num: 231676
 
Sold for $77,000 at 2009 Gooding & Company.
Sold for $126,500 at 2009 RM Auctions.
Sold for $143,000 at 2013 Gooding & Company.
1932 was a big year for the Pierce-Arrow Company as new body styles were adopted across the range. The list of changes included rakish windscreens and fender-mounted headlamps.

This Convertible Sedan Model 54 is painted in soft yellow with butterscotch trim. There is a black interior, a 316 cubic-inch L-head eight-cylinder engine, and a four-speed selective sliding manual gearbox. There is the proper Delco-Remy distributor, Edison spark plugs and the Bendix Startix automatic starter, which had been added to the Pierce-Arrow line in 1932. There are dual side-mount spares and a rear-mounted trunk. The car rides on 18-inch Budd steel artillery wheels with the Pierce 8 hubcaps. The hood emblem is the archer mascot with the W.N. Schnell name imprinted on the base.

Inside, there is a lever for the freewheeling ride control and one for the ride-control shock absorbers. The rear compartment is spacious and comfortable with armrests and ashtrays.

In 2009, this Model 54 was brought to the Gooding & Company auction held in Scottsdale, Arizona where it was offered without reserve and estimated to sell for $70,000 - $90,000. The lot was sold for the sum of $77,000 including buyer's premium.

Later in the year, it was offered for sale at the Vintage Motor Cars of Hershey presented by RM Auctions where it was estimated to sell for $125,000 - $150,000. The lot was sold for the sum of $126,500, including buyer's premium.

By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2010
Convertible Sedan
Coachwork: LeBaron
Chassis Num: 105843
 
Sold for $88,000 at 2010 RM Auctions.
This Pierce-Arrow Model 54 Convertible Sedan wears coachwork by LeBaron. This vehicle was once owned by Mr. Ralph B. Gordon form at least as early as 1972, when the state of Wisconsin issued a title to the car in his name. In 1986, the car entered the Richard and Linda Kughn collection. In 2003, the car passed on to its next owner.

This car has an older ground-up restoration, which still shows well in modern times. It is finished in pewter, complemented by a deep brown beltline, fenders and wheels, as well as orange pin-striping. It shows some cracking and chipping, particularly in the higher-stress areas.

Period features include dual spares with metal covers and jewel-like chrome-plated rear view mirrors, wooden artillery wheels, whitewall tires and a rear-mounted luggage trunk. There are period features such as a correct cluster-type taillight and a pair of chrome-plated external horns. The car has less than 87,000 miles. The engine is a 366 cubic-inch, side-valve eight-cylinder engine delivering 125 horsepower. There is a four-speed manual transmission and four-wheel servo-assisted mechanical drum brakes.

This Convertible Sedan is a former Classic Car Club of America National First Prize-winner.

In 2010, this Model 54 Pierce-Arrow was offered for sale at the Vintage Motor Cars of Meadow Brook presented by RM Auctions. It was estimated to sell for $75,000 - $100,000. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $88,000, including buyer's premium.

By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2010
Dual Windshield Phaeton
Coachwork: Brunn
 
In 1865, Pierce Arrow was founded in Buffalo, New York as a diversified manufacturer. The first car was built in 1901 and in 1903, Pierce introduced a bigger car called the Arrow. This led to then Great Arrow with cast aluminum body panels on a 93 inch wheelbase and helped build Pierce's great reputation by winning the first five prestigious Glidden Tours.

Beginning in 1909, Pierce-Arrow became known as the car of Presidents when President Taft used one for official occasions. This practice continued until the last Pierces were ordered in 1935. In 1914, Pierce-Arrow introduced integral fender headlamps as an option which became the most recognized design cue for Pierce-Arrows for the rest of the company's history.

In late 1931, marketing genius Roy Faulker joined Pierce-Arrow. He left Auburn to head the marketing of both the Pierce-Arrow and the Studebaker brands. He left after about a year to head E.L. Cord's namesake car company. Mr. Faulkner introduced a program he named 'Pierce-Arrow Pioneering.' One feature of this program was the addition of outside coachbuilders. LeBaron focused on owner/driver cars while Brunn focused on formal chauffeur driven models.

The Model 54 body was built by Pierce-Arrow, but designed by coachbuilder Brunn. It rides on a 137 inch wheelbase chassis and is powered by a 366 cubic-inch straight 8-cylinder engine producing 125 horsepower. The car weighed 4,747 lbs and sold for $2,850. Pierce built 2,482 cars in 1932. This body has roll-up windows in the front and side curtains for the rear compartment. A second windshield shields the rear passengers from the wind.

This car was owned by noted San Antonio artist, S.P. Stevens for many years before selling it to aerospace engineering pioneer and inventor, Dee Howard. One of his inventions was the jet engine thrust reverser.

Pierce-Arrow produced a total of 2,481 cars in 1932, but only nineteen of this body style. This is number 19 of the 19 built.
Convertible Sedan
Coachwork: LeBaron
 
The Convertible Sedan offered the comfort of a sedan with the option of putting the top down. The center door posts have a removable section, and once the top is lowered, it becomes a full convertible. This all-weather design was a practical option for a vehicle in daily use. This example features the V-12 engine displacing 429 cubic-inches and offering 150 horsepower.
Club Brougham
Chassis Num: 1050728
 
Sold for $57,200 at 2006 RM Auctions.
Sold for $57,200 at 2012 RM Auctions.
The eight-cylinder Model 54 Club Brougham sold for just over $3,000 when new. This example was restored to a very high standard during the mid-1980s by a Mr. Petri, of Buffalo, New York. The next owner acquired the Pierce in 1992 and retained it until the summer of 2006, when it was purchased by the current.

In 2012, the car was offered for sale at the St. Johns sale presented by RM Auctions. It was estimated to sell for $60,000 - $80,000. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $57,200 inclusive of buyer's premium.

By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2012
Club Brougham
 
The Pierce-Arrow Company had been launched in 1901 and by the late 1920s was experiencing financial difficulties in a changing marketplace. The company merged with Studebaker in 1928 and the results showed up in improved mechanics and styling. The merger had its benefits but by 1931, sales were in decline, as was the entire American luxury automobile market.

Nevertheless, Pierce-Arrow continued to offer high quality motorcars. For 1932, the company introduced a V-12 motor in addition to its in-line eight. The Model 54 was built on a 137-inch wheelbase chassis and was powered by a 125 horsepower eight.

This Pierce-Arrow is unique in that it remains in unrestored condition. It has been maintained over the years, but never restored. It has 90-percent of its original paint and its original mascot and emblems.

This car is recognized as a Full Classic by the Classic Car Club of America.
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38
Great Arrow
Model 36
Model 43
Model 48
Model 66
Model 80/81
Series 33
Twelve

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