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pierce for sale-patina...........


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There are plenty of good cars out there at very fair and favoriable prices......its just a boat load of work to find them. And I'm talking interesting, large pre war cars...........I see them all day long.

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Actually, I'm in complete agreement with both Matt and Ed on this. I was thinking more in general terms than referring to this specific car. I also prefer a well used, but well taken care of car that hasn't been messed with by someone trying to win prizes.  I've seen quite a few in the last four or five years too...enough to convince me that they are out there and it only requires patience to find them. That said, it's easier once you are inside the loop, talking to other car enthusiasts who share the same outlook. To my mind, the car that started this thread is somewhere between "restorable" and "parts car"... as it is complete, I'd rather see it restored but I realize that is quite unlikely and baring that, what do you do with it?

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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4 hours ago, edinmass said:

There are plenty of good cars out there at very fair and favoriable prices......its just a boat load of work to find them. And I'm talking interesting, large pre war cars...........I see them all day long.

You know there are because ones keep turning up all over being flipped by someone, so they got it somewhere usually for half of what they are asking.  Half the time the pictures are of it still on the transporter, so you know it isn't some sacred family heirloom they have just decided to part with.  One of these days,  I'll be first instead of 2nd to 4th in line and finally get something at a reasonable price for an old car that's most likely going to need some serious servicing/ rebuilding the entire drivetrain after you put $1500 in tires on it.  

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In the 70s I distinctly remember reading an article discussing one particular make and model, 40 -48 Lincoln Continentals.  The gist was, while the car was produced in low numbers to begin with, it was hard to conceptualize as rare 35 ish years later as it seemed a lot of them were on the market at any given time.  Conclusion was they seem to change hands often. I just wonder if its the same effect w prewar cars in general now leading to availability of good cars as folks here suggest. 

 

This is not a value discussion, just an observation on the fact that stuff does seem to turn up.

 

Subject car seems a bit past survivor stage to me, hope it gets restored but I do think alternatives are out there for the same money as Matt notes.

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT (see edit history)
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Some day I shall opine on cars drying up, and there are no more “good” finds. I can tell you this, in the last twelve months I have found seven Pierce Arrow cars unknown to the club, and have never been in the roster. We are on our sixth Pierce parts car find this year, and we have bought four of them so far, and probably five by the end of the year.....and two were V-12 cars.........one was much too nice to part out,....,but there were no takers, so parts it became, and we sold 80 percent of it in less than four months.

 

As far as no more good finds.........in the last year, the best barn find saw the light of day in over forty years........the story will be printed sometime in the near future. They are still out there..........just keep looking.

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On 12/3/2019 at 1:21 PM, edinmass said:

 

 

Let's put it this way........29 & 30 are very close in price and drivability with the 30 definitely  a better driver. 1931 is a 25 - 35 percent price premium  at minimum. 1932 the eight engines get smaller with introduction of the V-12, but they have a better transmission. Styling from 31 to 32 is completely different. With three different size eights, four different chassis lengths, two different steering boxes, three different carburetors.......there is just too much to cover in a short post. Also, the 31 & 32 cars are much rarer than the 29's and 30's. So here is my choice for all Pierce eights from 1929 to 1932. Twelves NOT included.

 

1- 1931 Series 42

2-1931  Series 41

 

3&4 - 1931 Series 43 or 1932 Series 54

5&6 - 1930 Series A and 1930 Series B

7&8 - 1929 Series 133 and Series 143

9 - 1930 Series C

 

NOTE - All are great cars, and drive better than 90 percent of what was available in their day, the opinion is based on upgrades that make the car better drivers, easier to service, production and survival numbers, parts availability, ect. What have I owned as a perminant keeper in my garage, my "not for sale" cars............1931 Series 42 for 33 years, and a 1932 Series 54 for 12 years. I have owned countless others, but they were all accidental  or flip cars that stayed for a short time..........except the all origional 1929 Series 133 that we had for four or five years....which we drove the wheels off, it took us that long to sell it, otherwise it would have been gone sooner. 

 

 

I would love to get a detailed breakdown about the eights and twelves throughout the years starting from 1929. You Pierce lovers have slowly convinced me this may be the way to go when I purchase a classic. Where can I find detailed year over year improvements and comments on drivability? 
 

I know it will take some time to write out and comment on in detail, but I know there are some of us who would love it!

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I don't know why but 29 - 32 Pierce Arrows do not bring the big dollars that cars like Packard and Rolls Royce.

But the Pierce Arrow is an amazingly well engineered and built car.

My original '29 drives wonderfully and I have no issues driving it in modern traffic.

It may not be the quickest off the line but the overall road manners are superb.

Brakes are every bit as good as my '64 Malibu with 4 wheel drum brakes with no pulling when adjusted correctly.

I encourage anyone looking to get into the 'big classics' to look into Pierce Arrow and drive one if you can.

The road manners, fit and finish and quality of materials is 2nd to none.

 

When I compare it to my Rickenbacker, which was a mid-priced car at the time, it is painfully obvious that the Pierce was a high end car.

The quality and overall presentation is not even close.

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I know our Pierce was unknown to the PAS until I joined in 2006 despite being in the family for 50 some odd years.

There are cars that are loved and driven occasionally that are still not in the public eye.

But as time goes on those cars are fewer and fewer if only because parts are getting more and more scarce.

You have to come out of the shadows these days to find parts that in very limited supply.

 

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19 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

I think John's point was that a finished car is a better buy no matter what the price.

Thanks Matt - That was exactly my point and whatever the problems this restored PA has they are much easier to deal with than a totally unrestored car, plus at $49,500 (for a CCCA winning car) http://www.vaultcars.com/1930-pierce-arrow-model-a-7-passenger-sedan-144m  you cannot get the unrestored car near the condition as the restored one.   Example: My last chrome bill alone was pushing 25K, top and interior near the same, body work/paint/assembly 3 times that - and I am pretty resourceful, thrifty with the checkbook, and spend hours upon hours doing things myself to minimize costs too.  

 

And, this restored Sedan, also a AACA and CCCA winning car was also a good deal and better use of money at $49.500 - https://rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/hf19/hershey/lots/r0130-1931-pierce-arrow-model-43-five-passenger-sedan/781361

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1 minute ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

You should talk to the Lincoln guys!

We sold this Lincoln in the 40's   A super nice restoration that exceeded 100K (on top of the purchase price for the car) and while it was not quite finished and needed some upgrading to engine compartment and undercarriage, the core work of paint, chrome, and interior, and ... were AACA and CCCA 99 to 100 point range and I estimated that probably 3-4 weekends and 5K you would be winning some serious awards.  Plus, it had always from day one been an exceptionally well cared for car.  We had it for sale for over a year.    http://www.significantcars.com/cars/1940lincoln4/

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5 minutes ago, edinmass said:

 

 

Or the Franklin guys..........

Having restored perhaps one of the top 10 highest priced Franklins I understand well - the bulk of the cars are generally factory closed coachwork and the engineering is not for everyone, that said they are impressive cars and they have a fabulous club (geared heavily toward families and driving). Also, they very rarely change hands outside of the Franklin club - a well known  car to the Club is generally spoken for 10 times over. 

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11 hours ago, zepher said:

I don't know why but 29 - 32 Pierce Arrows do not bring the big dollars that cars like Packard and Rolls Royce.

Well, RR market is pretty weak at moment too - very challenging in engineering/complexity cars matched to lots of torque, but limited top end - I can go into much more detail as well as to "why."

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2 hours ago, John_Mereness said:

Having restored perhaps one of the top 10 highest priced Franklins I understand well - the bulk of the cars are generally factory closed coachwork and the engineering is not for everyone, that said they are impressive cars and they have a fabulous club (geared heavily toward families and driving). Also, they very rarely change hands outside of the Franklin club - a well known  car to the Club is generally spoken for 10 times over. 

One of my uncles is Franklin fanatic and has owned probably around a dozen over the years.

He is always talking about what great drivers they are.

 

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6 minutes ago, zepher said:

With all due respect to the Lincoln guys, I don't think Lincolns are in the same league as the Pierce Arrows are.

Depends on the year - a "Classic Era" Continental is just a scaled up Ford with a nicer interior and ... (ie the engineer designing the Ford could have just as easily been the same engineer designing the Lincoln). That being said, a PA is a particularly well built car (all be it they are not fault free - just as every car ever made is not fault free). 

 

Ex. A 1932 KB Twelve is a fine car !

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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20 hours ago, zepher said:

With all due respect to the Lincoln guys, I don't think Lincolns are in the same league as the Pierce Arrows are.

I dunno...as Jack Passey points out there were a couple 3 or so years there where Lincoln was drinking deep from the Ford well and dedicating some tremendous resources to their build quality.  Aside from  Cadillac with their multi cylinder cars was there any other Domestic manufacturer investing those types of dollars in their product at the outset of the Depression?

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Well, if you look at having deep pockets when developing a prestige brand car, it's not always an advantage. Look at Cadillac and them running the Johnson carburators , and Lincoln running the fork and blade engine so late without updates.........it cuts both ways.

 

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21 hours ago, John_Mereness said:

Depends on the year - a "Classic Era" Continental is just a scaled up Ford with a nicer interior and ... (ie the engineer designing the Ford could have just as easily been the same engineer designing the Lincoln). That being said, a PA is a particularly well built car (all be it they are not fault free - just as every car ever made is not fault free). 

 

Ex. A 1932 KB Twelve is a fine car !

 

 

 

John I agree....a 1932 KB is a fantastic car...........

 

I disagree with finding a fault on a Pierce Arrow..............Hey.....someone has to wave the flag!

 

 

What's great about this site is there are so many people with such diverse passions........

 

 

 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Putting a price on a Vehicle with "patina" isn't always easy. My 1925 White truck has more "Patina" than most. But that rusty old thing runs like a clock. It attracts a lot of attention at every show I take it to. We probably paid too much for it at the time. It was actually a Christmas Gift from my better other half. I arranged acquiring and paying for it with funds that she provided, but I can't possibly put a price on all the fun I have had with it. Where that is taken in consideration It was a cheap investment. I can't tell you how many dust collecting trophies I've brought home I guess for just what it is. Why they grant a trophy to that creampuff instead of the shiny cars to the left and right of it I really don't quite get but that is just the way it is. Not to worry, It's in inside storage for the winter. Dandy Dave!

 

    

IMG_1733.JPG

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I agree with Dandy Dave, the fun factor always outweighs the costs... heck, I know several guys who fly around the country to play golf and several others with boats who routinely spend more than me on those things and they never worry about the return of investment. Just saying, if you like it go for it!

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I thought about it, and wanted to post the fact that it's not how big an investment you have in the old cars, it's how you use it.   I realize that double entendre might apply, but the fact is, the statement is true regardless.....

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16 hours ago, trimacar said:

I thought about it, and wanted to post the fact that it's not how big an investment you have in the old cars, it's how you use it.   I realize that double entendre might apply, but the fact is, the statement is true regardless.....

A lot of people never drive their cars - that is fine.  A lot of people buy what they can afford - that is fine.  A lot of cars never get done - that is fine.  And, ...  That all being said, I usually write for someone with a pre-WWII war car that has intentions of using it (it is for the most part my group of friends that I have know for my whole life).  And, you can run them too - sometimes it eats at the wallet, but very rewarding.  And, I love a well restored car, a well done project, some engineering smarts/resourcefulness (had a great conversation with a friend yesterday who decided to restore his own wire wheels for his Indian 4), and I love something revived. 

 

What I express caution on is such as  "wood structure" as it is not for everyone, mice hotels - bad for the health, unrealistic price expectation, excessive missing parts, unrealistic performance expectations, standing in your own way, and ...  And, you hear me preaching certain things just far exceed value if you dig into them.  Not a 100% fan of wood wheels either - they have their place on certain cars and on other cars they are just not what you really want on others.  Bad color choices get me going too - had a fellow doing a 1929 Packard cal me and spoke of bright red and I refrained from saying anything and possible good move as I saw the car and it was a nice color of bright red and actually looked good - we will see how it comes out long term. And, there are a few other things I preach on too. 

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