CatBird

A brass car - this Pierce Arrow?

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This car seems to have been built in 1915 and titled as a 1916. Still researching. Also it seems these cars, and others were more about a series than a year. So, is this a brass car?

Is it also a horseless carriage qualified?

"In essence, all automobiles are Horseless Carriages, but HCCA has defined the Horseless Carriage as any pioneer gas, steam and electric motor vehicle built or manufactured prior to January 1, 1916."

 

1916 Pierce-Arrow Model 48-B-4 Five-Passenger Touring by F.R. Wood and Son

IMG_4829 (1) (Medium) (1).JPG

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to me a true brass car is 1912 and earlier, but we all have our opinions. I wouldnt at all consider a PA from 1916 a brass car, just because of some adornment.

 

but a beautiful car nonetheless!

 

In 1913 many cars were adorned with nickel, so as to not have to continually polish.

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31 minutes ago, mercer09 said:

to me a true brass car is 1912 and earlier, but we all have our opinions. I wouldnt at all consider a PA from 1916 a brass car, just because of some adornment.

 

but a beautiful car nonetheless!

 

In 1913 many cars were adorned with nickel, so as to not have to continually polish.

 

Thank you for your kind reply. My curiosity is by the rules and definition. Is this a brass car? Horseless Carriage? in the latter, ALL cars are horseless carriages <grin>

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As stated, the HCCA recognizes 1915 and prior cars as eligible for that club's activities.

 

You'd have to provide proof the car was built in 1915 to go on their tours.

 

1916 and forward are considered nickel era cars, and for a long time the period 1916 to 1924 was accepted by neither HCCA nor CCCA.  Some great cars were built during that period, but the owner of one had a hard time fitting in.....

 

Your Pierce DOES qualify under the new rules for the Classic Car Club of America (CCCA), so you could participate in any of that club's events.

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For many years the Classic Car Club of America saw its earliest cut off date for as 1925, this was changed to 1915 on a vote by the membership on the suggestion of the Classification committee and the CCCA National Board of Directors in 2015. It was done to recognize the cars of this era that for some time many felt were ignored when the original cut off date was set when the club was founded in 1952. It was not done to "get more members" . Since 2015 cars of the 1915-24 era have appeared at CCCA events and on their tours.

The body on the Pierce Arrow shown here notes it was built by F.R. Wood.    The plant of Frederick R. Wood was located in Brooklyn, NY . Very few cars with any make of chassis survive with this body builder's coachwork. There is a Phantom II Rolls-Royce limousine and a model J Duesenberg town car I know of, but information on that firm did not appear often in print when they were in business.

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A good friend of mine had a 1922 RR Silver Ghost with a Frederick Wood body. It was extremely well made... if I look at home I may even be able to find the chassis number.

 

jp

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8 hours ago, Walt G said:

For many years the Classic Car Club of America saw its earliest cut off date for as 1925, this was changed to 1915 on a vote by the membership on the suggestion of the Classification committee and the CCCA National Board of Directors in 2015. It was done to recognize the cars of this era that for some time many felt were ignored when the original cut off date was set when the club was founded in 1952. It was not done to "get more members" . Since 2015 cars of the 1915-24 era have appeared at CCCA events and on their tours.

 

I do not fully agree with CCCA formula for designating what a classic car actually is. One point is Cadillac's first Full Classic by year I believe was around 1925 or 27 before the change last year.

 

But to me the biggest innovation in the automobile industry was the 1912 Cadillac with the electric starter. But they have a cut-off date of 1916 excluding this innovation. With that invention they doubled the number of drivers within time by including the ladies. Strange the cut-off year does not go into the brass and nickel eras. So many innovations in style and engineering to be ignored were taking place during that period.

 

Clubs in general are having problems with membership and are now accepting modified cars with old members putting up some resistance. I have a friend that went through a great lengthy process to have a car recognised a few years ago by CCCA. Now they suddenly accept many years and models. I believe it is growing pains and I applaud them for their efforts in keeping the hobby alive for the future. No matter the reasons for all the additions to their club they created and to me there cannot be a cut-off date for style and innovation.

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I think the original designation of a Full Classic, the exceptional cars made from 1925 to 1947, was proper and well done.  It's a shame that the club has diluted that requirement to such a degree.

 

Personally, I don't agree with all the cars and years that have been added, and think it was mainly driven by both fear of membership numbers dwindling [with the old year limitations] and current members owning earlier cars that they wanted to be Full Classics.

 

I've been a member of CCCA since the 1970's, and I don't remember a "membership vote" to approve the car and year changes.

 

Every year, now, I debate whether to join the CCCA for another year, and every year so far I've decided not to break the long membership I've had.  I will tell you, and stand by it, that the first time a 1950's car is approved as a Full Classic, my membership will end.

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Joe,

 

To clarify a bit, at least from my understanding... Until 2015, the 1925 date was for all cars to be considered "full classics," so even if cars were of the same series, i.e. Packard Twin Six, R-R Ghost, it didn't matter. if your car was a 1924 or earlier, it wasn't a classic. This was 1952 thinking remember, when most big heavy classic cars were used to tow "antique cars" to old car meets.

 

For many years some of us who have belonged to CCCA for some time (I joined 45 years ago) felt that should be changed to the 1915 date. The reasonings behind the 1915 date were several. By that year cars started to look like cars, not horseless carriages, cowls blended into the hood, no more flat dashboards, electric lights were standard across the board, most cars had doors on the front seat area, plus there were indeed innovations mechanically; as you point out that made owning a car more popular.

 

The point can be made to go back even further to the landmark introduction of the self-starter on Cadillac, but one has to have a cut-off date someplace. 1915 was chosen based on a lot of opinions, information, etc. My support of that date comes from lots of conversations and  correspondence I had with Tom Hibbard (of Hibbard & Darrin, LeBaron, etc.) back in the early 1970s when he was alive and living in retirement in Camden, Maine.

 

He wrote to me mentioning although he fully supported CCCA he didn't understand the 1925 cut-off date of CCCA and that he and Ray DIetrich and others who were young designers in that era thought that the WWI era luxury cars were where the defined term "classic" would best be determined. He set the date of 1915 in his opinion as when luxury cars started to get custom coachwork, etc. The first custom body department "in house" was started by Locomobile when they brought J. Frank deCausse in from Kellner in France to head their new department, which was fully established by 1915. He pointed this out to me as a reason also, and fostered my interest to find more out about deCausse which I have since done and published stories about.

 

Just thought I would throw out a few more factors that were considered. All of this of course is my own opinion and view of the situation.

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David, the motion/idea to accept the 1915-24 era was sent out and published in CCCA publications along with discussions in 2014, vote was done by mail in early 2015 and approval was noted at the 2015 annual meeting in Savannah, Ga.

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Seems like the bottom line as far as the HCCA, it MUST be earlier than January 1, 1916. Seems that mine was made in mid 1916, so it is not qualified for HCCA National events, but local chapters are more flexible. Yes, it qualifies for CCCA.

Most people say it is a brass car even though it is a year too new, but I'll call it that. It is my car and has a ton of brass on it! So there! <grin>

 

I do not understand the criteria, but, of course, will follow the rules. As Mason said to Dixon, we must draw a line somewhere!"

If I want to let people know that I have a Wood body (F,R,) and it is made of aluminum. Heh, heh!

I have  1947 Lincoln Continental that qualifies CCCA Full Classic, but my 1920 Cadillac v8 is not A Full Classic. My Lincoln Model K 1837 Willoughby is FC... well, whatever.

Well, looks like to be in the HCCA, I need to pull my 1914 Model T (right year and made of brass) with the 1916 PA? <grin>

 

2-02.JPG

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With the F. R. Wood car, I would put a 1915 plate on it and tour with it as it is identical to a 1915 Series.

 

This is a case of the letter of the rules not following logic. I understand they need a hard cut-off. The reason for the date is simple, there were a lot more Fords built in 1916 than the earlier years, so it kept the club from being flooded by them. I would argue the HCCA should be just a bit flexable with their dating, but my opinion doesn’t matter.

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Sure looks like brass trim to me. From what you say it was built just inside the cutoff for official brass era status. In my book you have a brass car from late in the era. Maybe not what purists think of as a brass car but it is one nevertheless.

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It's a custom body and the owner specified brass trim. Not the only nickel-era Pierce I've seen with brass trim -- the P-A Museum even has a 1931 limo with brass trim.

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  • I have been a member and participant on many HCCA National tours. 
  • I have never seen or heard of anyone challenged about when their car was made to qualify for a tour.. 
  • Maybe the HCCA just isn't as picky as other car clubs.
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As a member of the HCCA, I want to be clear I am NOT speaking for them. They are a very nice group of people, none better. With a big car such as the Pierce, very few members could identify a car from 15, 16, 17, or 18. Most of the big cars we’re virtually identicle from 15 to 18. Pierce, Loco, Crane Simplex, etc. The same goes for a bunch of mid priced cars like Stude, Buick, Chandler, etc. Many of the cars can only be identified by serial number to assign its year. Thus, the identical cars by chassis and platform from the end year and the over flow years  are often on the tours and meets. The Model T’s are much easier for people to lock down as to date of production, thus, it would be harder to pass off a 1918 as an earlier car. Overall the HCCA people are inclusive and positive, and if you had a car that was over the line as to being acceptable, I’m sure they would just politely ask for you to refrain from touring  it with them again. The hobby is supposed to be fun, and let’s also remember it’s rude to bring a 1919 car on a pre 1916 tour. Good judgment and a little bit of common sense and courtesy go a long way. Recently a new member of a single marque club brought his different brand car to a national meet and tour I was on. He was on his way home from another tour and joined up with the “new club”. I will admit it caught my attention that the very off brand car was touring with us, but when I realized why the car was there, I was fine with it. He used common sense and parked his car away from the main club group, and no one complained as far as I am aware. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Another thought occurred to me. Pierce Arrow's next new model was the dual valve six of 1918. That means the car in question would have been of the older designs that dated to  1910 meaning that from a design standpoint it was solidly in the brass era.

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Regardless of manufacture date, or even Model year designation, some states titled a vehicle based upon the date it actually was sold to the consumer, and an expensive car such as yours may well have spent considerable time on display in the dealer's showroom, not selling until well after winter.

 

Some years back I was in the process of a major purchase of a 1916 Cadillac Touring, supposedly built mid- to late December of 1915. During dinner at Funck's Restaurant in Palmyra, PA during Hershey Week many years ago, I discussed the car with a group of of HCCA senior officers at an adjacent table. I knew these gentlemen because we stayed at the same motel during Fall Meet (Hershey) for many, many years. I wanted to get their opinion with regard to authentication. One of the gentlemen asked "What are the differences between the 1915 Type 51 and 1916 Type 53?". I responded that the 1916 had a slightly taller hood, and that the enlarged intake manifold and modified carburetor raised horsepower from 70 HP to 77 HP. One large and jovial gentleman, through his handlebar mustache, asked "Do you think HCCA tour drivers and officers walk around with a tape measure to exclude vehicles?" He went on to say something to the effect of "There is no such thing as a 1916 vehicle,  they were ALL built before January 1st, 1916. They all had a good laugh over the comment. Regrettably the seller of the Cadillac was not good to his word despite his verbal assurance. I was able to buy a larger-series 1914 Buick B-37 Touring, and later a 1915 Hudson SIX-40 7-Passenger Phaeton.

 

We really enjoy Brass-Era touring and regularly participate. In even-numbered years, AACA's Reliability Tour is run in conjunction with HCCA, and there may also be alternate routes for the faster and slower cars.

1915 Hudson 7 Savannah Front with Badges.jpg

1915 Hudson Right Side.jpg

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When I bought my 1918 Buick truck it was titled as a 1917.  Looking at the serial number it was apparent that it was built early in the model year/ fall of 1917.  I am sure that it was titled as Marty explains above.  Because Buick did not build any 1917 trucks, I took documentation to the secretary of state and had the model year on the title changed.  Not a big issue, just needed to show the documentation to make the correction.  Could have left the year but wanted to be correct.

 

I did not have any issues like the HCCA rule.  If so it would have qualified both ways as the title was a year earlier and it was built in the previous year.

 

My 1915 Buick truck also is an early truck.  I have found date codes on the engine of August, 1914 so I would guess it was built in maybe Sept or October 1914.  It always has been titled for 1915 which is the model year.

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Many of my freinds have automobiles the same as their brith year. For myself, 1943, there were NOT many automobiles being made.

Are there any 1943 cars? Help me?

 

Cadillac had TWO flathead v8s; twin Hydra-Matic transmissions, weighed about 30,000 pounds and it was a real tank. A REAL tank. M5a Stuart Tank. 

Bet many concourse judges would just stand aside if I came clanking up!

m5a light stuart tank (Large).jpg

l4zlb71x6cx1u2 (Large).jpg

Edited by CCCA Member 38950 (see edit history)
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There is an HCCA Atlanta Regional group plus another in Savannah. I'm sure they will welcome your car on their tours. Our HCCA chapter allows cars up to 1931. The HCCA National tours are for pre-1916 cars, but there are still plenty of tours you can attend with your Pierce. 

 

Phil

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The Florida Region HCCA includes cars through 1926 and I know that they would welcome you and your cars - especially that gorgeous Pierce! The region runs several tours a year and just had one in Sarasota.

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