Sign in to follow this  
Silverghost

Philadelphia Restoration Company Info Needed ?

Recommended Posts

They are both very fine automobiles. Thanks for posting the photo Dave. Ed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Ed...and just to be clear, I'm not jealous of, nor criticizing the, owner of the other car for his meticulous approach to restoration...in fact he and I are friends....the journal of his restoration is fascinating to read, the hours put in research and making everything correct, incredible. A wonderful restoration on a great car (although I'm somewhat prejudiced.....)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Years ago we built a set of top irons for a '29 (?)Pierce that was found alongside a fjord in Norway in a disassembled condition. The owner scoured the ground within a 2 mile radius to find parts that had been scattered by the wind. Incredibly he eventually completed the restoration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I've seen pictures of that '29 Pierce restoration, on the Pierce Arrow Society website I believe. Incredible to see what he started with and what he ended with, a beautiful car.

What I like is that, 50 years from now, someone will look at that car and say "boy, someone really took care of that car, must have sat in a garage all its life...."

Of course, the same fate will befall the rebodied Classics.....50 years from now, they're all real.....

Brad, I'm still curious what model and year Pierce this gentleman is considering restoring?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Pierce~Arrow that he owns is a Series 36 with that big old long stroke dual valve, twin ignition six !

What changes were made from the Series 33 to Series 36 ? Was this the same basic big long stroke six engine used on both series cars ?

You Pierce~Arrow guys know more than WE do !

I also do not know very much about their body style names at this time ~~~but this car is a very big open 7 passenger touring drop-top car !

It has great lines for a car of this era~~~

It is a very big impressve and attractive auto !

It was also a VERY costly auto when bought new !

Why are these autos not more popular and in higher demand as compared to the early 1930s Pierce~Arrows ?

There was a very similar car that was being sold by Platinum Classics at their Hershey fleamarket booth about at least 8-10 years ago.

That car had been partially pulled-apart at one time in an aborted restoration attempt~~~ The paint was totally stripped from that car.

Do you guys remember it ?

Is there a photographic factory catalog listing or factory advert . of very large open body styles for this era ?

Did Pierce~Arrow build all the coachwork in-house ; or did they also use outside coachbuilders ?

How about custom coachwork ?

Edited by Silverghost (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob Robinson was just suggested as another possible restorer. I know Bob and have seen his great workmanship. Bob restored a fantastic early Pierce~Arrow for himself some years back that was utterly spectacular !

He later made the rounds of the various Concours Venues with his simply stunning green Pierce~Arrow .

Is he still in the restoration business ?

His shop is about 50 min. away from our area.

His brother Dick Robinson has a restoration shop only 5 min from me here in Huntingdon Valey PA ! Dick mostly restores Corvettes & musclecars. He had done a number of restoration jobs for my former backyard neighbor the late William "Bill" Ludwig a GTO , Corvette, & a 70s Cadillac Converible !

We also remember their late Father's car collection !

If Bob Robinson is still in the restoration busines he is another fine restorer to add to the now infamous "Short List" ~~~

It's really a shame that he is not located a bit closer to my old buddy the Doctor !

The now infamous "Short List" is growing a a snail's pace !

What other high quality restoration shops are close to our area & are experienced in autos like this Pierce~Arrow ?

Edited by Silverghost (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Robinson is still in the restoration business. His son is currently doing most of the work in the business. His work is as fine as his father's. We were at their shop with a tour group about 2 years ago. They were working on a big brass ear Packard at the time.

You should have seen the early REO Bob restored for himself recently. It looked like something you should park in the living room, not the garage. Magnificent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hibernia Restorations is another very good shop for your friend to consider. I think it is only about 20 miles north of Trenton,NJ, close but not close enough to stop on the way home from work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My opinion, I think your friend should have the car looked over by some of the Pierce folks and determine if it is better off left alone and repaired as a Driver. It sounds like it would be a canidate for the Historic Preservation Class. Restoration is not always the answer to preservation of a well built and beautiful automobile.

After more than 40 years of pulling wrenches, I can tell you that the stuff on TV is a lot of balony. Sure you can do it if you have every little piece that you need, when you need it, ready to go, as with the so called "Restoration of a Hot Rod TV story." Don't eat, sleep, drink or take any breaks and you can build a "Hot Rod" with a warehouse full of parts at you disposal in a week. But something of the caliber of a Pierce will not happen that fast.

Also, as others have said, not everything will be done "In house." Some things will need to be sent out.

Cars are only original once. I think I would try to convince him that it may not need a restoration if it is very nice now. A good cleaning will often bring out a very presentable automobile. Get someone knowledgable to get it up and running, or to at least determine mechanical issues if there are any, before jumping into a complete tear down and restoration on a car that may be more "historically valuable" preserved as is.

I hope you have him looking at this disscussion and reading it, If not, he should read it because there is a lot of good stuff posted here that he should consider before taking a giant leap. My 2 cent's. Dandy Dave!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brad,,,I think there are 5 times as many Ghosts as dual valve Pierces,,,Would you prefer a local shop,,,or one that knew a camel hair clutch lining from a brick,,and was around the corner,,

I wish these dual valve cars had the old 4 speed trans',,and were geard a bit taller,,

If given the choice,,choose a 1915 48 or66,,

Once a'while there will be a sales cat or owners book on e/b

Like any company offering chassis,,the body were in house or custom,,,I had a 1928 Judkins landeaulet coupe[ the quarter folded,,]Nice car,,all the way through,,Cheers Ben,,oh yes,,tell your friend to get a better qualified butler,[smile][re post#20],CB

Edited by cben09 (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the 1990's I serviced a number of restored and original cars. It was a good business not to restore cars; instead I fixed the things the restoration shops overlooked. I used to tell my customers to add up their restoration bills and figure they were about 90% to a car that would steer, start, and stop. The accuracy of that math was incredible!

Anyway, I am reminded of a customer who had an original 1950 Hudson Commodore 8. He would let the car sit for long periods which made it hard to start after sitting. He had come to the conclusion that the engine needed to be rebuilt. It was worn but fine. We were walking across the yard from my shop one day going over the engine rebuild and he stopped right in his tracks. He said "Look, I'm not going to let you talk any sense into me!"

The car still sits for long periods of time, hard to start after long periods, and the engine has not been rebuilt. I would not rebuild his engine unnecessarily.

Just as the terms of this topic restoration would not be acceptable to a good restorer.

You have your hands full trying to keep your friend from screwing himself. Probably the best thing would be to sell it as a reality show about a cantankerous doctor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A Series 36 would definitely be a worth restoration candidate, but I also believe that someone should look the car over and see what it takes to conserve it, if it's in good enough condition. Then it could be used and enjoyed without worry of a random scratch.

the Series 36 was a hundred horsepower,, 414 cu. in. T-head, 24-valve, six-cylinder engine, quite a beast........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quite a"Beast" indeed !

I have already offered to have the car brought over to my home garage/shop so I can put her on my low-rise 30" Rotary lift .

I would go through the engine~~~

Drop the oil pan~~~

Clean out any old oil sludge, Oil Pick_up Clean the oil passages~~~

Pull the main & rod bearing caps one-by-one and plasti-gauge them while I have the bottom-end open etc.

Check-out valve gear~~~

Check-out twin ignition systems~~~replace condensors ~~~ Clean & gap points , clean distributor contacts.

Clean Fuel system, gas tank, carb Clean & rebuild~~~

Check-out fuel system pressure pumps etc.

Check-out brakes~~~

Clean-up brake drums~~~

Check & repair brake system as needed etc~~~

Mount new tires & tubes~~~

Check Charging system & polarize generator, new battery etc~~~

Chainge Gearbox & rear lube Lube Chassis , etc !

Do a compression & leak-down check after It's Up & Running.

Check coolng system, hoses, pump packing, check for any leaks etc.

In short~~~Put her in running shape~~~

Might take a month or two~~~or Three to do this~~~

But~~~ Hopefully~~~Without finding any real problems the car should be roadworthy in the early Spring ~~~~

I would do all of this for FREE~~~

He would only have to pay for needed parts, battery , tires & tubes, oil & gear lube etc !

We (My late Father & I) have done this a couple of dozen times over the years on other Antiques & Classics that had been sleeping for years !

Now all I have to do is twist his arm into having me do all of this !

I need a project anyway to try and get over the grief of loosing my Father !

I have been deeply depressed since he passed-away~~~

It might help take my mind off of things~~~ And My buddy the Dr. would be able to help me do this in my home garage if he wishes to do so ! He lives just 5 min. away !

I think this would be a good deal for BOTH of us at this point !

He would at least know Finally what he has here~~~

It might also help him decide which way to go on a possible future restoration~~~

If I owned this Series 36~~~

It would be a Driver-Survivor!

I am not a Pierce~Arrow expert by ANY means~~~

But as a good Mechanic & Mechanical Engineer I know I should be able to safely do all of this~~~

Without doing ANY harm to this great touring car.

I also have all you Pierce~Arrow guys to fall-back on if I get into any stickey trouble issues~~~

What do all my Fellow Forum Member Friends think about this Idea ?

I appreciate your Opinions & Ideas !

Edited by Silverghost (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that's a great idea, and a wonderful offer, Brad..and please get your friend to take you up on it....worst case from his standpoint is he delays the restoration a few months...best case is it turns out to be a nice original driving car...and the plus is he can visit you daily without it turning into a bill!

I did the same thing on a car, a fellow had a rare car, wouldn't sell, I offered to got through it and get it running for costs only, it's a good experience.

I spent a lot of time up in Pennsylvania a few years ago working at Penn Maid and Rosenberger's dairy processing plants, wish I'd knew you were up there would have visited!

Now I'm traveling to California too much....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Silver Ghost, Your last entry sounded great. You might talk with some local High School teachers and find a young mechanic to hire as an after school or weekend helper. They know the kids with energy and who the good ones are.

Doing this gives you a mentoring job as well and can be quite rewarding. It also sets a commitment for scheduling and keeps the progress flowing.

Bernie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Brad,,,,no its the Ghost that has the indestructable camel hair lining,,,the later Pierces,,31-33-36 series had a multiplate like Simplex , Loco [and model a] Be careful that the spark is retarded when using the starter,,as a kickback can break the big reduction gear in the starter,,there is a overrunning clutch,and the rollers catch in a bad way if it fires back,This is not a common problem,,,its an angle cut gear so its a fuss to duplicate,,but in use , has a most melodious sound,,

Someone should make a tape of the really great sounding starters,, I keep getting stuck on these memories,, Cheers Ben

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quite a"Beast" indeed !

I think this would be a good deal for BOTH of us at this point !

He would at least know Finally what he has here~~~

It might also help him decide which way to go on a possible future restoration~~~

If I owned this Series 36~~~

It would be a Driver-Survivor!

What do all my Fellow Forum Member Friends think about this Idea ?

I think this sounds like great idea and hope that it happens. You would be doing him a huge favor and benefit yourself for having an outlet for a little positive energy. Good luck, Todd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this