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Pierce Arrow identification


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Last saturday at a car show I saw a Pierce Arrow from the late 20s. It had no badge on the radiator shell and no mascot on the rad cap (it had a motometer). I don't recall ever seeing a twenties car that had no ID. I don't remember if the Pierce name appeared on the hub caps.

Was this modesty typical of Pierce Arrow?

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Yes, indeed "this modesty" was typical of Pierce-Arrow. Almost always, save for 1928 which had a crest on the radiator shell, the Pierce name appeared ONLY on the hubcaps, and that was PIERCE in block capitals with an arrow through it, left to right. When you see "Pierce" script on a radiator core from teens and twenties, be assured that the factory never offered that as an option, although it might have been a dealer-offered accessory. The headlamps mounted in the fenders (with bracketed headlamps optional) were considered to be a sufficient identification cue. Pierce did offer mascots as official accessories, most notably about five versions of the archer (no two versions the same year).

This is a wonderful contrast to today's Personal Transportation Modules which have name and sub-series (e.g., Ford Fusion) emblazoned all over them, along with several gobbledygook letters (i.e., XLT, XLE, XLS, EVT, EXT, EXP, SVT) which one might think to be acronyms except that rarely is any expansion of these possible acronyms ever advertised. I'm still waiting for someone to add stick on letters reading LSMFT ("Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco" or "Lord Save Me From Truman") to their modern iron--but nobody but us geezers remembers that stuff anyway!

As a dear departed friend used to remark, "Pierce-Arrow was the car of the conservative wealthy, of Old Money, who thought Cadillacs were gaudy and vulgar..." A bit of an overstatement (he was referring primarily to the 1930-31 V-16s), but you get the drift. [No offense to you Cadillac guys--I'm one too!]

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