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Curti

Gold Plated Pierce Arrow

27 posts in this topic

I found this picture while going through a 1977 Auction America flyer. I would imagine that this car still exists. Does anyone know where it is?

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I would think that would feel at home in The Imperial Palice collection in Vegas.

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I saw this car many years ago. It is not gold plated but rather covered with 4" square sheets of gold leaf, rather poorly done as I remember. I believe it used to do the show circuit with the Allegheny Ludlum stainless steel cars. I think I saw it at Carlisle in the early 1980's.

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"4" square sheets of gold leaf" I imagine that would be difficult to wax.

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Actually I believe it was varnished over the gold leaf. Standard method of "gold plating" picture frames and various antiques. 23 carat gold will not tarnish, anything under 23 carat will and needs to be coated with something. Gold leaf is incredibly thin. On that entire car there likely is less than an ounce of gold.

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There may have been another around 1930 +or-, but with only the normally plated hardware done in gold on a white straight 8 Pierce for the then Shah of Persia as it was. I think this was reported by Hendry.

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I was sitting in the front row of the Kruse Auction in Arizona when that car sold... 1974 if I remember correctly. The fenders were nickel plated. I never heard about or saw that car again.

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I believe the technique of applying gold-leaf then sealing with varnish is commonly (?) known as "gilding".

So, would that make this Pierce a "Gilded Lily", or a "Gilty Pleasure" ?

If Louis the XIV had owned a Pierce, I guess it would look like this...

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Gold leaf, though very thin (about 1/250000": 1,000 sheets = thickness of a dime)) is actually quite durable. Our state capital rotunda (PA) is gilded and has no finish over that. For a car that gets rubbed and buffed,however, you might need a clear coat.

Phil

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No finish is needed if 23 carat gold is used. Anything less than 23 carat will tarnish if not coated. Years ago we restored several antique carousel pieces and used a considerable amount of gold leaf. Tricky stuff to work with. It likes to float away in the slightest air movement. Burnishing must be done with an agate burnisher or the tooth of a meat eating animal. Truly an ancient technique little changed over the millenia.

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I remember seeing this vehicle at an Antique car museum in Savannah,Ga that used to be on River st. back in 1979. I was 13 years old and crazy about old cars so I thought this was really neat. The museum is no longer there, can't remember the name.

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That was the Evans Antique Car Museum at 313 W River Street. Owned by a guy named Harry Evans who (if I remember correctly) made his money in chemical coatings used by the nuclear power and weapons industries. He had a facility where restorations were done on site. At some point, he moved the museum and cars but I don't remember where to. I had a friend whose father did most of his restorations.

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As a kid I remember It sat in the lobby of the bank my mom banked at in Denver for some time. I remember it begging me to stare at it! :)

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I love Pierce Arrows, but must leaf this thread alone, it leaves me gold.

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I love Pierce Arrows, but must leaf this thread alone, it leaves me gold.

AU telling me you don't carat all about this car?

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AU telling me you don't carat all about this car?

Nicely done.............

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Thanks, periodically I come up with a nugget.

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Posted (edited)

It is nice to see photos of this car from time to time. It originally belonged to a guy from my hometown of Hutchinson, Kansas named Emerson Carey, who owned one of the enormous salt mines in that city. Never met Emerson, but worked in his mine once!

Technically, the car should be in the excellent Reno County Historical Society Museum in Hutchinson someday {in case anyone's looking for a donation to a 501-3c organization}. It was at an RM auction in October, 2010. RMs auction notes said that the plating was done by an antique car collector in Great Bend, KS during the 1945-1973 restoration.

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)

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From RM Site:

Automobiles of London

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

From the Hooper Corporate Collection

Amazing gold-plated aluminium body

<TABLE width=150><TBODY><TR><TD class="bold nopad">Estimate:</TD></TR><TR><TD class=nopad>£70,000-£100,000</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of £89.600

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<TABLE class="details fullwidth"><TBODY><TR><TD class="bold nopad">I see that it is coming up at auction again. If I did the arithmatic on the pounds-to-dollars correctly, at todays exchange rate, it sold for $137,804 USD in Oct. '10.

It will be interesting to see what the auction in 10 days in AZ will bring.

Estimate:

</TD></TR><TR><TD class=nopad>$185,000-$225,000 US</TD></TR><TR><TD class=bold>AUCTION DATE:</TD></TR><TR><TD>To be auctioned on

Friday, January 20, 2012

</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

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It was in the Hyman Classic Cars tent at 2011 Hershey - next to the Duesenberg and the St. Louis.

There was a big crowd around it all week!

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Posted (edited)

I was Custodian of this vehicle in 1992, and it was situated in Lamport Hall just north of Northampton in England . Whilst in my custody it underwent minor restoration. I must correct the conception that it is gold plated, it is covered in gold leaf. It appeared in the British motoring TV programme "Top Gear" whilst in my posession, it also featured in the February 1993 edition of "Automobile" with myself in attendance. I must stipulate that I did not own this car, but I believe the owner took it from somewhere in Texas in lieu of a debt. It was provisionally valued at £250,000.00p for the debt purpose but I believe was sold at auction in the UK for less than 10% of that. The car was first purchased by a Mr Emerson Carey in Kansas for $8,500 in 1921, but it was a certain Doc Pritchard who (taking some 40 years) restored this vehicle to the 1992 state and in my custody. Every nut bold washer chassis rail was plated in Nickel, Silver or Gold and Gold leaf. I loved the old lady and if you can get a copy of Vol 10 No 12 of Automobile from February 1993, there is a full article on her in ther. John Anderson, Northampton, England.

In fact I have now scanned the article and if anyone wants a copy, please request one at my email address john.anderson@post.com Please note that I am on holiday from 22/07/2012 to 6/08/2012 so nothing will be sent until I return.

Edited by janders
Additional information (see edit history)

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Hi-

I think Hyman in the St. louis mo. area still still has the car for sale check his web site to see.

Al Storrs

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