1936 Pierce-Arrow Salon Twelve

History

Pierce-Arrows were stately vehicles that commanded admiration and respect and had a price tag to match. The individuals who bought the most elite Pierce-Arrows were individuals that were high on the social ladder and cost was not an issue. The Pierce-Arrow catered to every demand and request, even keeping special colors on hand for important families and only using those colors for those vehicles and non-others. Most of the vehicle was custom, including the carpets, luggage, trunks, and seats. The Pierce-Arrows were more than just a custom and exclusive automobile, they were also known for their quality, reliability, performance, and sophistication.

The slow demise of the Pierce-Arrow Company began when other marques moved away from custom-built automobiles to production lines. The mass-produced vehicles raised the bar on quality and dependability. Though they could not guarantee exclusivity, they could guarantee a better product at a better price. When Cadillac introduced their 16-cylinder engine in 1929, Pierce-Arrow knew they had to improve their 12-cylinder engine to stay competitive. The Twelve was introduced in 1932 and came equipped with a 452 cubic-inch engine capable of producing 150 horsepower, just slightly below the output of the V16. By 1933, Pierce-Arrow had raised the output of their engine to 175 and the public approved, buying many examples and setting new sales records for Pierce.

1932 was a great year for the Pierce-Arrow Twelve. Ab Jenkins drove a 33,000-mile prototype to the salt flats of Bonneville. he set several records and then drove 2000 miles back to Buffalo. He returned the following year and set nearly 80 new records.

Unfortunately, the Great Depression was taking its toll on the company. Negotiations to merge with Auburn and Reo failed and Pierce-Arrow entered into bankruptcy. Buffalo business rescued the failing company, raised money, and cut the work-staff by half. Sales improved for a short while but not enough to sustain the company. In 1937 the company closed its doors forever.


By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2006

1936 Vehicle Profiles

1936 Pierce-Arrow Salon Twelve vehicle information

Limousine

Pierce Arrow was founded in 1965 in Buffalo, New York and manufactured everything from ice boxes and birdcages to bathtubs and bicycles. The first car was built in 1901 and in 1903, Pierce introduced the Arrow, a bigger car. This led to the Great Arr....[continue reading]

1936 Pierce-Arrow Salon Twelve vehicle information

Club Sedan

The innovate Pierce-Arrow styling for 1936 was aerodynamic and modern looking yet would be the firm's last new design ever built. Production continued through 1937 but dwindled quickly by 1938. While this new Pierce was on-par with its competition - ....[continue reading]

1936 Pierce-Arrow Salon Twelve vehicle information

Metropolitan Town Brougham
Coachwork: Brunn

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 me....[continue reading]

1936 Pierce-Arrow Salon Twelve vehicle information

Limousine
Coachwork: Letourner et Marchand

This 1936 Model 1602 contains a custom body by European coachbuilder Letourner & Marchand. It is powered by a 462 cubic-inch, seven main bearing, Pierce-Arrow twelve cylinder motor that develops 150 horsepower. Its mechanical features include a Warne....[continue reading]

1936 Pierce-Arrow Salon Twelve vehicle information

Country Club Roadster

The all-new 1936 Pierce-Arrows were billed as the 'world's fastest car' due to the welded and riveted frame. They featured many improvements over previous models and set new standards for how a car should look and drive. The V12 engine was available ....[continue reading]

Limousine
 
Club Sedan
 
Metropolitan Town Brougham by Brunn
 
Limousine by Letourner et Marchand
 
Country Club Roadster
 

Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

$188-$3,695
1936 Pierce-Arrow Salon Twelve
$5,795-$6,800
1936 Pierce-Arrow Salon Twelve Price Range: $3,695 - $5,795

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Pierce-Arrow
1941Chevrolet (1,008,976)Ford (691,455)Plymouth (522,080)
1940Ford (541,896)Chevrolet (541,896)Plymouth (430,208)
1939Chevrolet (577,278)Ford (487,031)Plymouth (423,850)
1938Chevrolet (465,158)Ford (410,263)Plymouth (285,704)26
1937Ford (942,005)Chevrolet (815,375)Plymouth (566,128)167
1936Ford (930,778)Chevrolet (918,278)Plymouth (520,025)787
1935Ford (820,253)Chevrolet (548,215)Plymouth (350,884)875
1934Ford (563,921)Chevrolet (551,191)Plymouth (321,171)
1933Chevrolet (486,261)Ford (334,969)Plymouth (298,557)2,152
1932Chevrolet (313,404)Ford (210,824)Plymouth (186,106)2,692
1931Chevrolet (619,554)Ford (615,455)Buick (138,965)4,522

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