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 Pierce-Arrow Model 38-C photo

1916 Pierce-Arrow Model 38-C

Every President from William Howard Taft through Franklin Delano Roosevelt rode in the Buffalo-based Pierce-Arrow automobiles. In 1913 Dawley patented the trademark design where the headlights faired into the tops of the front fenders. This unique feature was instantly distinctive, gave better illumination, and would be used on nearly every Pierce-Arrow that followed. Pierce-Arrow also offered conventional headlights as they catered to the wishes of their conservative clientele.

In 1916, Pierce-Arrow introduced the Fourth series which brought subtle improvements over their predecessors. Many consider the Fourth series as the ultimate refinement of the Pierce-Arrow product, as many of the managers and designers who had been with the company since its days as the George N. Pierce Company began to leave. This was due to the dramatic changes taking place at Pierce-Arrow. The company was floated on the stock market that year, bringing in $10.7 million in proceeds. However, New York financiers led by John Jay Jr., a partner in Seligman & Company, took control of Pierce-Arrow, which prompted many of the loyal employees to jump ship. The company would remain until 1938, including enduring a merger with the Studebaker Corporation in 1928.

The Model 38 was the company's most affordable offering in 1916. Power was from an inline six-cylinder engine with a 4-inch bore and 5.5-inch stroke, with a displacement size of 415 cubic inches. The Model 38 rested on a 134-inch wheelbase chassis which was 7.5-inches longer than a Packard Twin Six. A Ford Model T measured 100.5-inches.

The price of the Model 38 began at $4,300 and was cataloged in fourteen different body styles. Pierce-Arrows were almost always delivered with Pierce-Arrow coachwork, with the bodies being built using proprietary technology from the Aluminum Company of America. The bodies were cast in very thin 1/8' thick flanged aluminum panels which were lightweight, stiff, and dent resistant.

Pierce-Arrow used state of the art technology and manufacturing processes, along with extensive testing, refinement, and adopting new materials and techniques. This was done to ensure the best automobiles possible, regardless of cost. This led to commercial success, great loyalty from its dealers and clients and the admiration of its competitors.


by Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2019

Related Reading : Pierce-Arrow 38 History

The six-cylinder 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....
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1916 Vehicle Profiles

1916 Pierce-Arrow Model 38-C vehicle information

Touring

Chassis Num: 36793
Engine Num: 2402

The Model 38 is powered by a 414 cubic-inch T-head straight-six engine offering 38.4 horsepower (in reality, it was closer to 60 horsepower). The engine had a five-and-a-half inch stroke that offered a nearly endless amount of torque.....[continue reading]

1916 Pierce-Arrow Model 38-C vehicle information

4-Passenger Touring

Chassis Num: 37269

This Model 38 Four-Passenger Touring is sometimes referred to as a 'Walk-Through Speedster' because of its divided front bucket seats. The body was formed of cast aluminum, with numerous coasts of paint. The car spent nearly 4 decades in the care of ....[continue reading]

Touring
Chassis #: 36793 
4-Passenger Touring
Chassis #: 37269 

Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

$365-$4,300
1916 Model 38-C
$5,350-$7,213
1916 Pierce-Arrow Model 38-C Price Range: $4,300 - $5,350

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Pierce-Arrow
1921Ford (1,275,618)Chevrolet (130,855)Buick (82,930)2,239
1920Ford (806,040)Chevrolet (146,243)Dodge (141,000)3,135
1919Ford (820,445)Chevrolet (129,118)Buick (119,310)2,136
1918Ford (435,898)Buick (126,222)Willys Knight (88,753)2,014
1917Ford (622,351)Willys Knight (130,988)Buick (115,267)1,891
1916Ford (734,811)Willys Knight (140,111)Buick (124,834)1,647
1915Ford (501,492)Willys Knight (91,904)Dodge (45,000)1,563
1914Ford (308,162)Overland (48,461)Studebaker (35,374)1,118
1913Ford (168,220)Overland (37,422)Studebaker (31,994)1,218
1912Ford (78,440)Overland (28,572)Buick (19,812)1,453
1911Ford (69,762)Overland (18,745)Maxwell (16,000)2,131

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