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mercer09

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

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I too have been in the hobby since about 1970. It really bothered me then how people would take the best original survivor car they could find (regardless of marque, a Pierce or a Nash, whatever), and completely restore that wonderful as it was car!. I nearly always knew of a solid car with some damage here and there, interior falling apart, not running but complete and in decent condition, that was left sitting because so many others were restoring the best they could get! Today, true survivor cars are way to rare, only because fifty years ago the cars that should have been preserved were being completely restored whether they needed it or not. Way too many of those decent solid complete cars wound up sitting outside for another decade or two too long and never did get restored. 

The fact then was a thousand dollars could buy that nice survivor, while the car that needed restoration could be had for about four hundred. The difference in the cost for a full restoration WAS NOT that much more for the car that needed it. A complete interior was a complete interior. A full mechanical rebuild was basically the same. A few dollars might be saved on body work before painting, but at that time the cost difference was nowhere near the six hundred that was spent for the better survivor.

It is basically the same today. Only people now want twenty thousand for a car that fifty years ago would have been a parts car and probably never restored!

How many more wonderful cars would exist for the hobby today if the lesser cars had been restored and the better cars preserved fifty years ago?

 

I have owned more than a dozen antique cars over my years. And I have restored at least ten of those. Every one of the cars I restored NEEDED restoration. About half of them would have never been restored if I hadn't taken on the project. And I have two more coming up.

 

I do hope somebody takes on the OP Pierce. If they choose to keep it for its glorious patina? I could live with that. I wouldn't do it myself, but if it is their car, I would enjoy seeing it in all its rat infested glory at a show or tour. However, personally, I would hope someone gives the car the full restoration that it needs and deserves. But that is just my opinion.

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6 hours ago, vermontboy said:

" re-Babbitted connecting rods $1750 plus shipping both ways, ..."

 

For comparison purposes here is the receipt for rebabbiting and boring to fit (crank was not turned) the rods for my dad's 1933 Model 836 in 1962.. they came back individually boxed and wrapped like little jewels.

 

 

IMG_0004.jpg


Today I would expect the bill anywhere from 1200 to 1400 dollars. That doesn’t include new rod bolts, or small end bushing replacement. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)

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12 hours ago, edinmass said:


Today I would expect the bill anywhere from 1200 to 1400 dollars. That doesn’t include new rod bolts, or small end bushing replacement. 

 

That was a high estimate based on having the rods balanced if they needed to be. Should be less (I hope) but need to be prepared for the worst scenario...

 

Also, as I suspect you know, there’s no bushing on the small end - it’s a locking bolt style. 

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29 minutes ago, Mark Wetherbee said:

 

That was a high estimate based on having the rods balanced if they needed to be. Should be less (I hope) but need to be prepared for the worst scenario...

 

Also, as I suspect you know, there’s no bushing on the small end - it’s a locking bolt style. 

 

Yes, I know.......but many cars have bushings, so I added the comment. Later Pierce cars don't have the locking bolt for the small end.

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My 2 cents - odd spots for a car to rust and that leads me to believe such was related to mice damage - and interior says same thing to me via mice and moths going hand in hand (I could be wrong, but this PA probably needs the "smell test"). 

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)

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This looks to be a better buy:  http://www.vaultcars.com/1930-pierce-arrow-model-a-7-passenger-sedan-144m  @$ 49,500

 

My critical eye - some of the belt moldings are a touch off in alignment from the doors and the doors appear a touch off in paint color from the rest of the car.  And Maroon wheels would be stunning with the grey. 

 

IMG_5947-1.jpg

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, John_Mereness said:

My 2 cents - odd spots for a car to rust and that leads me to believe such was related to mice damage - and interior says same thing to me via mice and moths going hand in hand (I could be wrong, but this PA probably needs the "smell test"). 

 

Yes, and mouse urine is very corrosive so I'd be worried that there is extensive wood and metal damage to the body that isn't immediately visible. I'll bet the interior stinks and there is no effective way of fixing it without pulling it all out.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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Friends had a 1927 ? Chevrolet Touring that they ultimately sold as he could not get the mice smell out - he tried hard too and was a chemist to boot.   And, we sold an otherwise near perfect original maroon 1941 Buick Super Sedan as on a damp day ....   I took 5 tin garbage cans of mice nests out of a car once - a 1970 Stutz Blackhawk.  And the story goes on and on,  on and on, and on and on.

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John,

how would one ever compare the beautiful car youve shown to what I presented?

dont see a pric on your car, but fully doubt its 19k or best..............

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3 hours ago, John_Mereness said:

This looks to be a better buy:  http://www.vaultcars.com/1930-pierce-arrow-model-a-7-passenger-sedan-144m 

 

My critical eye - some of the belt moldings are a touch off in alignment from the doors and the doors appear a touch off in paint color from the rest of the car.  And Maroon wheels would be stunning with the grey. 

 

IMG_5947-1.jpg

 

I couldn't find a price in this ad.

So, better buy? How would one know?

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Just now, JACK M said:

 

I couldn't find a price in this ad.

So, better buy? How would one know?

 

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

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There are those of us who will never be able to afford a finished car whether it's a good buy or not. Yes, I get the arguments in favor of them but my choice would be a car that needed work or no car...if I had to settle for something in the 50s, 60s or 70s just to get one that was "show ready" I'd quit and do something else.

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2 minutes ago, JV Puleo said:

There are those of us who will never be able to afford a finished car whether it's a good buy or not. Yes, I get the arguments in favor of them but my choice would be a car that needed work or no car...if I had to settle for something in the 50s, 60s or 70s just to get one that was "show ready" I'd quit and do something else.

 

Fortunately, those aren't the only choices. I once wrote a big, long dissertation written about the problems with terminology ("survivor" and "original" and "unrestored") and it would be relevant here, I guess. There are plenty of good cars out there that are enjoyable cars that are also far from perfect. I think it's a misnomer to call this Pierce anything but "unrestored" and even that feels like a stretch. A "survivor" to me means a car that has always been loved and maintained. Original means most of that to me, too. But this Pierce is a car that someone got tired of, parked somewhere that wasn't protected, and then abandoned it. Decades later, someone dragged it out of its hole and decided to sell it as some valuable artifact--like the people in some future dystopia movie that find a relic of our civilization like a broken flashlight and it becomes some kind of treasure. This poor Pierce was neglected at best, abused at worst, and isn't what we should be calling a "survivor" or even "original" at this point. I'll accept "unrestored" but only because of the dictionary definition. The right word is "neglected."

 

That said, I really like cars that aren't perfect. I prefer them. I like cars that haven't been taken apart. I like cars with scruffy paint and dirt on their chassis and oil on their engines because they've been used as intended. But they need to show some love, and this Pierce doesn't show any love. Nobody has loved that car for decades. You could maybe make it run and drive, but you've still got a moth-eaten interior to live with and nobody's going to confuse that with "survivor." Patina is fine, but eventually a car crosses the line and becomes "deteriorated" instead of "original." My '41 Limited is somewhere in the middle of all that--some restored, some original, but a decent car that drives great and has been used its entire life and has never been abandoned or abused. I like cars like that because they're affordable, fun, low-maintenance, and tend to attract more attention at shows than the perfect, shiny cars. Signs of use and enjoyment appeal to me--I think of the guy who put those nicks in the paint and the smiles he must have had doing it. Why shouldn't it be me?

 

You don't need to own perfection, but don't sell yourself short thinking that a neglected, abused car with extensive needs is all you can hope for. Hell, I only paid about 20% more than the Pierce's asking price for this...

29Cad1.thumb.jpg.b8103122c502eef52908470a7aeed7b4.jpg

 

And you could have had this, which was running and driving, for $1000 less than they're asking for that Pierce:

007.thumb.JPG.67b455f6c90cb4746f9dc07352fdf23e.JPG  050.thumb.JPG.59470f97ce6448c3194146595429484b.JPG  065.thumb.JPG.ecade75b18438a38ebd9c51bfc67adcb.JPG

 

Don't think that a heap like this Pierce is your only hope if you aren't wealthy. You should be pissed off that sellers are treating you like a fool because you think that's all you deserve.

 

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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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