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Who were 20s-30s Pierce-Arrow designers?


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Trying to figure out who were the exterior designers of some Pierce-Arrows and there doesn't seem to be much information out there. Specifically:

1927 Model 80 Runabout (possibly Leon Rubay or James Way?)

1931 Model 42 Dual Cowl Sport Phaeton (have a notation of John S. Burdick?)

1932 Model 54 Convertible Sedan

 

Can anybody point me in the right direction on these?

 

Also looking for a period sales brochure or advertising image on the '32, but with bracket headlamps. Saw one in an old P-A club newsletter but reproduction was poor. Thanks.

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The 1931 Series 41 & 42 were done by Ralph Roberts. I am not sure on the 1931 series 43. Your 32 may or may not be a Ralph Roberts design, post a photo or two and I can tell you. The series 80 were done in house, and later someone "cleaned up the designs" to get them to sell in 1928. The name escapes me right now. Neat bunch of cars, I have a 1931 Series 42 Dual Cowl also. Ed

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Your '32 appears to be the car the was for sale for quite a while, in pieces, on the Mississippi Gulf coast, then bought and restored in the late 80's or early 90's by the late B.B. Crump of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  He had a very nice collection of about 50 Full Classics, and a few employees who maintained and restored his cars.  He was a dear friend of mine and sure miss him.

 

Being a Pierce guy, I always teased him about the optional stand-alone headlights...personally, I would have put standard Pierce fenders on the car, but he wanted to keep it original...good for him....

 

I guess it's possible this wasn't his car, but not many '32 convertible sedans so configured...nice car...and a nice grouping of Pierce's you have!  My '31 Model 43 phaeton has been the (car) love of my life, slightly smaller then your Model 42...

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Thanks for the reply. This may not be the same car. I am writing about these cars for the owner. Files show it was purchased in 1993 at Barrett Jackson. Seller is indicated as the Blackhawk Collection. Also, there's an appraisal from 1998 which describes it as an older restoration with a lot of wear and tear. Some correspondence and some scans from The Arrow suggest this car was rescued from a Long Island junkyard by Jane English (one references a story in issue 61-1, which I don't have.) It appears the club should have some records on it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes, this is the English car, and Mr Crump of Batton Rouge also owned it. Leonard Urlik also owned it. Interestingly after all these years, I have never seen this car in person.

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  • 2 years later...

Leonard Urlik traded the 1932 Pierce-Arrow with bracket headlights and several other nice cars including a 1935 Auburn Cabriolet to Tom Barrett for a 1933 Lebaron 1247 convertible sedan pictured here.

 

 

IMG_0273.thumb.jpg.d49021ed7430f76753d65efb09e332ad.jpg

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On 5/13/2017 at 8:13 PM, edinmass said:

Yes, this is the English car, and Mr Crump of Batton Rouge also owned it. Leonard Urlik also owned it. Interestingly after all these years, I have never seen this car in person.

I had a chance to buy the car, as I'm sure many people did, but the condition kept a lot of people at bay.  It was one of those cases where the seller had started taking it apart, if I remember correctly, and he wasn't being shy about asking a high price.

 

Mr. Crump had his own restoration shop, so he was in a perfect position to purchase the car.  He'd wanted to buy my '31 Pierce in the mid 1980's, when Drew Navarre of New Orleans owned it, and I know for a fact he offered more for the car than what I paid for it, Drew wanted me to have it.  Mr. Crump then bought another Pierce phaeton, believe it was a 1930, a car out of California and lovely in a dark brownish color.  He liked that Pierce so much, he bought the '32 and restored it.  B.B. and I were close friends, and I always teased him about the bracket headlights.  The car was restored nicely, but to standards of the day, which probably doesn't compare favorably to current high dollar restorations.

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The car is now in a prominent collection in mid America. It has been extensively serviced, cleaned, and sorted. It now has a new top and carpets. It lives with 100 other great cars.

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Interesting question and one that I had never seen answered. I'm not trying to stir up a hornets nest, but since the question was asked, I think that there is more about the styling that has never been answered for me. I have always viewed much of the styling of all the Studebaker President/PA roadsters, coupes and convertible coupes as transitional, emanating from the first short wheel base 1928 Studebaker President roadster. The cut of the doors and the deep clefs aft of the doors, rather then the straight waterfall style, that most cars were using, always seemed to set them apart from the other marques. Anybody have any ideas who the stylist was?

 

While I've got my rear hanging out, some other questions that have gone unanswered. For over forty years the question of who styled the 1932-33 Studebaker/Pierce Arrow bodies, especially the close coupled Studebaker St. Regis Brougham/Pierce Arrow Club Brougham. Over the years I have been fortunate to own, or be able to compare a PA 1933 836 sedan, a 1933 president, and a 1932 President. While the body stampings have different belt lines, the styling is obviously from the same pen. The fenders from the 33 PA and 33 Speedway are identical. This is not politically motivated just observations from my first hand knowledge, having been involved in those car's restorations. Many years ago I asked Otto Klausmeyer this same question. I was looking for his take on the stylist, but what I got was a little window into the operation of the company. He said in effect, that when you have the head of the company-Studebaker/PA, a.k.a Albert Russel Erskine, falling in love with the styling, it was easy to see why it became what was used throughout all the company's offerings. Intriguing but neither he, nor anyone else has satisfied my curiosity, any ideas?

 

Bill

 

 

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