Chassis #: 6339
Engine #: 6339
This 66 horsepower Pierce-Arrow 7 Passenger Touring car has a six-cylinder 'T' head design engine with a displacement of 714 cubic-inches. The 140-inch wheelbase was the longest for Pierce-Arrow in 1920 and the car is nearly eight feet tall. There were three model sizes for 1910, the 36 horsepower, 48 horsepower and 66 horsepower. Approximately 100 of the 66 horsepower cars were produced in 1910. This is one of four 1910, 66 horsepower cars known to exist, of which two are fully restored. The car was discovered in the Midwest in the early 1970s. The current owner purchased the car in the early 2000s and began a full restoration in the mid-2000s. The restoration was performed by Pierce-Arrow restoration specialist Howard Lane in Hardwick, Massachusetts.
This Pierce-Arrow Model 66 got its name from the rated horsepower output of the engine which was calculated from the bore and cylinder number. The cylinder blocks were cast-in-pairs. This model was born in 1910 when Pierce enlarged their flagship model to include a 825 cubic-inch version of their 6-cylinder engine and one of the largest fitted to a motorcar in the Nickel-era. The car rides on a 140-inch wheelbase and is fitted with a 4-speed transmission. It was also one of the most expensive vehicles at around $7,200 U.S. It was billed during this period as 'The best car that money can buy!'
This example is the earliest 66 horsepower model known to exist and is one of approximately only 100 produced each year until 1917.
The Pierce-Arrow Model 66 was one of the pinnacles of American design and craftsmanship of the early Twentieth century. Just like all Pierce-Arrows since 1910, they were powered by a six-cylinder engine. Originally they had a bore of 5.25-inches and a stroke of 5.5-inches giving it 714 cubic-inches of displacement. By 1913 it had grown to have a bore of 5-inches and a stroke of 7-inches. The engine displaced 825 cubic-inches and was double the size of many of its competitors. At 1600 RPM's, the engine was capable of producing 60 horsepower. This means the Type 66 was not only an elegant automobile, but it was also a very fast machine. It is believed that the Type 66 had the largest displacement engine ever to power a production automobile. It had 44 more cubic-inches than the Bugatti Type 41 Royale. With an engine of this magnitude, it consumed lots of fuel. The miles-per-gallon was around 8.5, meaning the 36-gallon fuel tank was good for nearly 300 miles. This often posed problems for the drivers, as gas stations were not always readily available.
Pierce-Arrow placed this mammoth engine in a chassis that measured 147.5-inches. It was a suitable platform for many coachbuilders to work their trade. Pierce-Arrow was among the first to use cast aluminum panels in their bodywork, reducing the overall weight of the vehicle while maintaining a high degree of structural rigidity and strength.
In 1914 an electric starter was added. A pressurized fuel delivery system using an engine-operated air pump to pressurize the tank appeared in 1915.
In 1916 Pierce-Arrow introduced their final iteration of the Model 66, the Series 4. This would remain in production until 1918.
From 1910 through 1918, there were 1250 examples of the Model 66 produced. It is believed that around fourteen have survived in modern times and only seven are the Model 66 A-4 series.By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2007