1932 Pierce-Arrow Model 53 Convertible Coupe Roadster / 2050118 Chassis Information

1932 Pierce-Arrow Model 53
Convertible Coupe Roadster
Chassis #: 2050118
Engine # 330166
Sold for $407,000 at 2014 RM Auctions - Hershey.
In the intervening years between World War I and World War II there would be a handful of luxury automobile makers in the United States. There would be the Duesenbergs, and then Cadillac. However, it would be hard not to have the three 'P's come to mind first. One of those three would be headquartered in Buffalo, New York—Pierce-Arrow.

Pierce-Arrows' fame would actually begin in the years before the Great War. In the early part of the 20th century, George Norman Pierce would earn a number of endurance race victories at the wheel of the Great Arrow. Known for performance and reliability, Pierce's four-cylinder automobile would win the Glidden Trophy in 1905 and would lead to a new factory complex being built for production the following year.

Just three years later, Pierce would be dead and the company renamed The Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company. Prior, Pierce's automobiles had earned a solid reputation for performance and reliability. However, luxury would also be a part of the company's canon and this would lead to presidential limousines and other estate vehicles being built by the company.

In the late-1920s, Studebaker would come to control Pierce-Arrow. Beginning in 1928, the Studebaker and Pierce-Arrow union would prove to be a rather short partnership with Pierce-Arrow benefiting perhaps the most as a result of Studebaker's dealer network.

During that time, Pierce-Arrow would introduce a new engine. Gone would be the six-cylinder that had made the company famous. Instead, the company would introduce an L-head straight-eight and 12-cylinder engine.

Given the somewhat ostentatious history of Pierce-Arrow automobiles, it was not inconceivable the company would advertise their automobiles in much the same way. They had a new design they wanted to debut to the public. What better way was there to prove performance could look good than by hiring the famed Ab Jenkins to power one of these new models down the salt flats at Bonneville.

The publicity stunt would consist of several tests. Driving a specially-prepared 1932 Model 53 Roadster, Jenkins would drive for 24 hours averaging nearly 113mph. Captured in a documentary film, the Model 53 Roadster can be seen streaking over the salt at some truly impressive speeds for a luxury automobile.

Chassis 2050118 would be produced in 1932 and would be identical to the one Jenkins would use in his efforts. Being identical to Jenkins' example means this particular chassis is one of only six short-wheelbase Model 53 Convertible Roadsters ever to be produced by Pierce-Arrow. But what makes 0118 of particular note is the fact that only three of those six are known to still exist.

The car's known history extends back to the 1960s when Wally Rank owned the car and had it as part of his collection. He would, however, sell it to another collector Al Freddendahl. Freddendahl would hold onto the Pierce-Arrow until 1979 when an east coast collector came along and purchased the car. Tom Welch of Ohio would purchase the car in 1991, but would turn back around and sell it to the previous owner in 1997.

A most attractive example of the Classic Era Pierce-Arrows, this 1932 Pierce-Arrow Model 53 Convertible Roadster is no mere Pierce-Arrow. Among the rarest of the rare, this car is an exquisite piece of automotive design. Touched with elements of chrome and finished in silver with black and red pinstriping, the car sports a splendid contrast that draws eyes to itself. It is a true Pierce-Arrow.

A highlight of the 2014 Hershey auction hosted by RM Auctions, the Pierce-Arrow roadster would be a highly-anticipated part of the auction lineup. Pre-auction estimates valued the car between $275,000 and $375,000. However, when the car made its appearance the excitement would turn into spirited bidding with a sale price of $407,000 being realized.

By Jeremy McMullen


2014 RM Auctions - Hershey

Pre-Auction Estimates :
$275,000-$375,000 
Sale Price :
$407,000

2014 1
2013 1
2010 1

YearAvg. SaleHigh Sale# of Sales
2014$407,000$407,0001
2013$95,450$95,4501
2010$137,500$137,5001

Recent Sales

(Data based on Model Year 1932 sales)
1932 Pierce-Arrow Model 53 Convertible Roadster
Chassis#: 2050118
Sold for $407,000
  2014 RM Auctions - Hershey
1932 Pierce-Arrow Model 53 image  
1932 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Model 53 5-Passenger Touring
Chassis#: 2050009
Sold for $95,450
  2013 Bonhams - The Scottsdale Auction
1932 Pierce-Arrow Model 53 image  1932 Pierce-Arrow Model 53 image  
1932 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Touring Sedan
Chassis#: 2050009
Sold for $137,500
  2010 RM Auctions - Automobiles of Amelia Island
1932 Pierce-Arrow Model 53 image  1932 Pierce-Arrow Model 53 image  

Vehicles That Failed To Sell

1932 Pierce-Arrow Model 53's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High

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Vehicle Profiles

Chassis information for the Pierce-Arrow Model 1242 Twelve1933 Convertible Coupe
Coachbuilder: LeBaron
Chassis information for the Pierce-Arrow Model 12471933 LWB Convertible Sedan
Coachbuilder: LeBaron
Chassis information for the Pierce-Arrow Model 1236 Twelve1933 Club Sedan
Chassis Num: 2075088
Engine Num: 335259
Chassis information for the Pierce-Arrow Model 1242 Twelve1933 Convertible Roadster
Chassis Num: 3100006
Engine Num: 355193
Chassis information for the Pierce-Arrow Model 1242 Twelve1933 Convertible Roadster
Chassis Num: 3100014
Engine Num: 355018
Chassis information for the Pierce-Arrow Model 12471933 LWB Convertible Sedan
Coachbuilder: LeBaron
Chassis Num: 3550040
Engine Num: 355074
Chassis information for the Pierce-Arrow Model 12471933 LWB Convertible Sedan
Coachbuilder: LeBaron
Chassis Num: 3550092
Engine Num: 355184
Chassis information for the Pierce-Arrow Model 1242 Twelve1933 Convertible Sedan
Coachbuilder: LeBaron
Chassis Num: 355091
Chassis information for the Pierce-Arrow Model 1242 Twelve1933 Convertible Sedan
Coachbuilder: LeBaron
Chassis Num: 355130
Chassis information for the Pierce-Arrow 1240A  Twelve1934 Convertible Coupe
Chassis Num: 3110110
Engine Num: 400219
Chassis information for the Pierce-Arrow Model 1248 Custom Twelve1934 Sedan
Coachbuilder: LeBaron
Chassis Num: 400144
Chassis information for the Pierce-Arrow Salon Twelve1936 Limousine
Coachbuilder: Letourner et Marchand

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