Sold for $79,200 at 2012 Gooding & Company
This particular Pierce-Arrow appeared in the 1950 motion picture 'Cheaper by the Dozen,' starring Greer Garson and Clifton Webb which was a major box office success. It is a seven passenger tourer equipped with a six-cylinder 'T-Head' engine cast-in-pair. Its dual-valve 415 cubic-inch powerplant generates 38 horsepower. It was restored over a five-year period from 1995 to 2000.
This Pierce-Arrow is a late variant of the Model 38 Series 31 dual-valve and wears one of Pierce-Arrow's standard cast-aluminum bodies.
The Pierce-Arrow Series 31 was produced in 1919 and 1920. Power was from a 6-cylinder, 24-valve engine with dual cams producing 38 horsepower. During its two years of production, only a few examples were produced and fewer than a dozen survive in modern times.
The early history of this 1919 Pierce-Arrow Series 31 7-Passenger Touring car is not known. It was treated to a restoration in 1953 and acquired by the current owner in 1972.
Sold for $141,200 at 2011 Bonhams
Sold for $86,800 at 2018 RM Sothebys
Pierce-Arrow continued to produce legendary automobiles during the second decade of the 20th century, built to high standards of luxury and quality. With three chassis models - the 38, 48 and 66 - and numerous body options, Pierce-Arrow was able to satisfy a plethora of customer requests and demands. With the introduction of the dual-valve, Pierce-Arrow discontinued the Model 66 as the dual-valve 38 and 48 models were capable of the same performance as earlier 48 and 66 models, respectively.
This dual-valve Model 38 was produced in 1919 and is fitted with one of Pierce's standard cast aluminum bodies. it is a four-passenger roadster that was both lightweight and powerful. Only six of these four-passenger Roadsters are known to exists, and just three on the Model 38 chassis.
It is believed that this example spent most of its life in California. The first owner of the car is believed to have been Joe Buttress of Pasadena. Two decades later, the Pierce was at Uptown Motors in Bellflower, California - a used car lot belonging to H. 'Eddie' stein. On October 5th of 1952, the car was purchased for $800 by Mr. Raymond E. Nelson from Mr. Stein. The car was brought to North Hollywood where Mr. Nelson began a multi-year restoration on the Model 38 Roadster. The car would remain in Mr. Nelson's care for 26 years until his passing, at which time it was sold on behalf of the estate. In July 1978, the Model 38 was purchased by Rodney Flourney. Mr. Flourney cared for the car for 26 years until its sale in January 2004 to Lynette Short. After seven years of enjoyment, the car was auctioned with the rest of the Short collection, at which time the present owner acquired the car.
This car is powered by a 415 cubic-inch six-cylinder engine with an updraft carburetor and rated at 75 bhp. There is a four-speed manual gearbox and rear drum brakes.
In 2011, at the Pebble Beach, CA auction presented by Gooding & Company, the car was estimated to sell for $160,000 - $200,000. It would leave the auction unsold after its reserve was not met.By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2011