Total Production: 2,590 1931 - 1931 The Great Depression was a very difficult economical time for the auto industry and nearly every other aspect of commerce. During this time, automakers did whatever they could to stay in business and revitalize sales. Prices were dropped, options were added free of charge, larger engines were fitted, and even lower priced vehicles introduced. Probably the hardest hit segment of the auto industry during this era was the luxury car manufacturers, as their small pool of buyers dwindled quickly as fortunes were lost.
In 1931, Pierce-Arrow had three models on four different wheelbases. They downsized their engine options to two, and eliminated the 115 horsepower unit. The prior year, they had reverted back to numerical designations for their models. This was retained for 1931. The Model 41 was the largest and rested on a wheelbase that measured 147 inches. Next in line was the Model 42, which fell between the 41 and 43. It was an intermediate model built o the 142-inch wheelbase. The entry-level Pierce-Arrow was the Model 43 which came in two sizes, either a 134 or 137-inch platform and was powered by the 365.6 cubic-inch engine.
Pierce-Arrows financial misfortune went well beyond the Great Depression; in 1928 they had merged with Studebaker to regain their financial footing and to spawn funds needed for new development work. Though this union was necessary at the time, it quickly turned ugly. By 1933 they were again in receivership and this time was rescued by a Buffalo businessman. This salvation was short lived, as the independent luxury car segment had become too competitive and by 1938, Pierce-Arrow had officially gone out of business and its assets were sold at auction. By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2008