The Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Co. was the most successful early exponent of the six-cylinder engine, a pioneer in power brakes, and was associated with some remarkable early experiments in light alloy construction, streamlined bodywork, and power steering. Of course, on the aesthetic side, there was the patented Pierce-Arrow fender and headlight treatment designed by Herbert Douley, a design feature that endured for the remainder of Pierce-Arrow's existence.
In 1916, this Pierce-Arrow was purchased by A. Atwater Kent in Portland, Maine. Kent was an American inventor and prominent radio manufacturer based in Philadelphia, who later patented the modern form of the automobile ignition coil. The car remained in Bar harbor, Maine, until 1982, when it was given to his namesake A. Atwater Kent III. Mark purchased the car from him in 1985. It was repainted in its original blue color in 1958, and the top and seats were replaced in 2012. It is the only example of this model known to exist.
This is a very original Pierce-Arrow 38-C3 vehicle that includes the tools and spare parts delivered with the car when new. Little is known about it other than it was sold new on June 6, 1914, by the Ellis Motoring Car Company of Newark, NJ.
1914 marked the first year for the trademark fender-mounted headlights and electric starter.
In its heyday, the Pierce-Arrow was the American equivalent of the Rolls-Royce and Pierce-Arrow offered a two-week training course for chauffeurs. In later years, Pierce-Arrow found its way into the White House garage. President Woodrow Wilson's garage housed four Pierce-Arrows including one used as his touring car.
The current owner acquired this vehicle in 2010 and has regularly entered it in HCCP and AACA tours.
The six-cylinder version of the Pierce-Arrow Model 38 was introduced in 1913 and would remain in production for a number of years accounting for many of the vehicles produced by Pierce-Arrow. The entire range of Pierce-Arrows were built with craftsmanship and a high level of quality. Their use and experimentation with aluminum throughout the years led to successful implementation resulting in lightweight bodies that were rigid and lacked vibration, buckling, or warping with excessive use or in extreme temperatures. The construction with the aluminum was a time consuming and expensive process and accounted for part of the hefty price tag of the vehicle.
In 1919, the Seven-Passenger Touring Model had a base price of $6,500 which was well above the industry average and one of the more expensive vehicles offered for sale. The Seven Passenger Suburban cost $5,000. For that price the buyer received a car that rested on a wheelbase that measured 142-inches and was powered by a six-cylinder engine that had dual-valve and dual ignition and displaced 414 cubic-inches. The result was 38 horsepower which was sent through the four-speed manual transmission to the rear wheels, which were also responsible for the mechanical braking. The Seven Passenger Touring Model had a wheelbase of 134 inches. By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2010