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Rare and Obscure............and just a nice used car.


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DELIGHTFUL! just look at the windows in the cape top, the attention to detail and the style which flows to become a part of the whole design of the car.

Thank you so much for sharing this.

Walt

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It’s owned by a friend, and currently for sale............I almost owned an identical car but a series 38, but I choked and waited two hours before pulling the trigger........I lost out.

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I thought maybe this is your secret new new toy? I have been waiting for weeks now for the unveiling! (I do recall you saying something about where the new car was built however, and it wasn't Buffalo?)

Incredible car regardless! So few actual intact original 66 Pierce Arrows. Most of them were put into heavy duty services once they became a few years old because they were so solid and powerful. They made incredible tow trucks. I know of a couple of 66s. I don't tell which ones I know have recreated bodies. I figure most of the top Pierce Arrow collectors know them all anyway.

This Pierce would look great parked next to the White!

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So, what is the story behind this 66?

Is it newly discovered from ancient storage,

or has it been known to Pierce aficionados

for a long time?

 

I understand that this model has cast,

not pressed, aluminum body panels.

Does that apply just to the body, and not

to the fenders and hood?

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That's a great looking car, would look perfect next to the White. 

 

A lot of early Pierces have reproduction bodies, those thick original cast aluminum bodies were just too tempting to the junkman, and a sledgehammer and 5 minutes gave a great pile of valuable aluminum.

 

Great pictures of a great car, thanks for sharing.

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I am NOT an early Pierce expert. That said, there are very, very few intact 66 horsepower cars.........most were converted into trucks........because they had three times the power of a 1920's built truck. I know nothing about the car in the photos......nothing. That said, in the early 70's I saw a bunch of Pick-Wick bus engines in a pile in someones shop. They are the commercial 20's version of a 66. All of them are cars now. How do you build an "all Pierce" 66? It was much easier than most realize. Take a WWI Pierce Arrow three ton truck, and build a car. You need to make new gears for the transmission, but otherwise they are the same. That gives you everything you need to make a car. That's why there are almost no surviving Pierce Arrow military trucks left.......they are all cars now. One more comment.......you can NEVER look at any open Pierce Arrow from 1903 to 1920, and 1929 to 1938 and think it is real. Pre 1920 Pierce open cars are probably about 75 percent floor sweepings.......and the numbers go to 90 percent when you get to 1915 and earlier. It's NOT real until you can see photos of it in the 1940's.....and have the rest of the provanance to go with it. Just too many were tow trucks, hay wagons, and the like.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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The only Pierce 66 that I ever had any experience with was the one Austin Clark had - the car he took on the Anglo American tour to Great Britain in 1957. Despite its sparse coachwork ( 3 bucket seats) it was indeed a "real" car made when new for Miss Pansy Griscomb.  Why do I remember those details when I have to write down what pills to take each day to keep me vertical?  The three spare tires mounted at the rear of the 66 and the lack of coachwork, with the narrow tires made that car a bit 'dicey' to have stable traction if you were at a fair rate of speed ( which that car had plenty of) going around a corner. In more plain language - it broke the rear tires loose due to the weight of the spare tires , and the "white knuckle" experience did indeed take place at the extreme!  Austin of course had a steering wheel to hold on to for some stability.

But all ended well as after the experience a visit to John Duck's restaurant in Southampton, NY to the adult beverage area took place and several glasses of the finest adult "anti freeze" of Scottish decent would put the blood back into your hands at a significant rate to not make you look like you had just seen a ghost on Halloween.

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Walt.........thats why our shop motto is............." Drive it like you stole it!"

 

It makes for great stories. Sadly, many can't be told while current owners of the vehicles are still living. Yes, there are a very few who drive the cars the way they were designed. If you're  not in danger of crashing, you are NOT driving the car. Of course, this refers to street racing type of machines. Do a four wheel slide in a 70 to 110 year old car.....two to three tons drifting...the stuff that adrenaline is made of.........smiles, fear, terror, hysterical laughter, eye watering, wind blowing through your hair, coolant pushing out of the overflow, cut out open, engine screaming, blue smoke out the exhaust...........so I am told..........all fun stuff! Sadly so very few people today alive who know the sensation of insanity in a early car at speed. 😇

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Ed, what you state is true and totally accurate! If we did that now we would not come near the sensation that the original owner/passengers got when the car was new as the roads then were just cxxp!  A larger horsepower car with minimal ability to properly brake , on two wheels, not four, and very little coachwork for some thought of 'security' plus very narrow tires on as you state fairly heavy chassis is something you have to experience to appreciate.

My "66" experiences ( rides in Austin's happened more then once) were less than those in his type 35 Mercer raceabout. He liked driving the Mercer better - I think mostly because the Pierce was parked in the middle of his museum and more difficult to move out to go for a ride ( it was parked near his 1933 P-A Silver Arrow sedan, which I never saw on the road) . The Mercer we would drive up and back North Sea Road which was just west of his auto museum and was the north/south road between Sag Harbor and Southampton. A ride in the T head Mercer was an experience as well ( Frank Wemple had the experience as a passenger in the Mercer as well) . the local law had a speed trap on North Sea Road to clock the tourists who wanted to misbehave and rack up some revenue in tickets issued. Austin and I would "try the Mercer out" on that road and for the most part Austin would behave so far as speed goes, ( usually trying to slow up when he knew we were being "watched" )- but it didn't work to well as the brakes weren't very effective over 50 mph.. We did slow down to talk to the law once or twice - they all knew who he was, and they showed us the radar gun used at the time that they had aimed at the Mercer as we rolled by - it said 92 mph, that was after we started to slow down a bit. The passenger in the Mercer ( me) managed to stay in the bucket seat because Austin instructed me to half turn around and hold on to the top of the winged cap on the gas tank to stay put. He was fond of saying " or you may get seriously killed" . Sorry for the on going long posts of experiences everyone - as the song lyrics from that era said "those were the days my friend, we thought they' d never end".

Walt

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A very good friend and Mercer owner has a favorite saying that a Type 35 Raceabout is a “lethal weapon”. He has been most generous over the years allowing me wheel time with one of his and I can attest to that. Driving a well performing t-head raceabout is the most thrilling thing you will probably ever do with your clothes on! Sadly very few ever get that type of exercise any more. One of our often recanted stories involves a time I stopped by to visit with a friend along that had never ridden in a raceabout so my buddy said I should take him for a ride. There happened to be a large orchard next to his home with a lot of great dirt tracks so away we went (think shades of Barney Oldfield). About half way around the “track” there happened to be a large shallow water puddle just coming out of a nice right hander that if taken just right would throw up a world class cascade of water along the left side engulfing the unfortunate passenger. I managed to set it up perfectly and when we returned back to the owner’s barn my riding companion dismounted, shaken and totally soaked with water still dripping off his hair and glasses. The car’s owner and I still laugh about that one to this day.

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I agree with your statement that "Sadly very few get that type of exercise anymore". Cars are now to valuable or most owners do not have the skill to know how to handle the cars they own. ( that now even extends up into cars built into the 1930s)

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One of the highlights of my touring memories was in a 66hp Pierce. It was the mid 90's and a friend and I were trailering his Model 33 from Seattle to San Diego, for the nation PA meet. There was a prearranged tour leaving Pat Craig's place in Stockton California. Pat's plan was to tour most of his collection down to the meet, and offered selected, trusted, members the chance to drive one of his cars. A good friend, and former President of the PA Association president, Paul Johnson was offered his choice of cars to drive. Paul choose Pat's 66hp touring. Because of the value of the car and since it was right hand drive, Paul asked me if I would ride shotgun to keep track of the traffic, and make the necessary hand signals. The experience in that beautiful behemoth remains a highlight memory, that seems surreal today. 

 

Bill

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6 hours ago, edinmass said:

...that's why our shop motto is " Drive it like you stole it!"

It makes for great stories.... Sadly so very few people today alive who know the sensation of insanity in a early car at speed. 😇

 

The people who drive wildly may have great stories--

like the rich young man who wrecked his supercar

in another thread--but I want to be like the casual

tourist of the 1910's who drove responsibly, admired

the passing scenery, and stopped for a picnic in the

country.  To me, life should be as peaceful as possible--

and as long as possible too!

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8 hours ago, edinmass said:

Take a WWI Pierce Arrow three ton truck, and build a car.

 

When I was young, before high school, there was a very old brickyard that had been manufacturing red bricks for construction for many decades right alongside the field track of the high school. I would sometimes ride my bicycle over to the school, and cut through the field. Sitting there, for decades I am sure was a big old Pierce Arrow dump truck next to a '28 Chevrolet chassis. The PA truck was pretty complete, radiator and all, but in somewhat rough shape. I had dreams of saving it someday, but alas it was not to be. Along about 1966, or about when I was a sophomore on the way to school in the morning, I saw some men and a pickup with a cutting torch removing the engine from the Pierce Arrow truck. Some of the truck remained for a couple more years, but not much, and most of that disappeared. Maybe three years later, as I was getting more and more into antique automobiles, I rode my bicycle to the brickyard office and asked about the truck.  it was then that they told me what it had been and that someone paid a considerable amount of money for the engine and a few other parts of the truck. (They told me $1500, in the 1960s!) They also said the engine was going to be used in a Pierce Arrow car that had used the same engine. It was already too late for the truck, but there was no way I could have paid that kind of money at the time.

They gave me the '28 Chevrolet chassis. My dad and I took his pickup over there, and they used their forklift to load the chassis on the back. It was in really rough shape, but I was beginning to haul parts to swap meets to sell for money to buy and repair my cars, and I made a few dollars finding good homes for most of that chassis.

 

I often wonder what car may have gotten that engine. The two or three Pierce 66s I have seen always make me think about it.

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In the case of the truck, it would be a 48..........they used the same transmissions.............it wasn’t all bolt up, and lots of fabrication was required, but ten times better than building from scratch.

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8 hours ago, Walt G said:

The only Pierce 66 that I ever had any experience with was the one Austin Clark had - the car he took on the Anglo American tour to Great Britain in 1957. Despite its sparse coachwork ( 3 bucket seats) it was indeed a "real" car made when new for Miss Pansy Griscomb

That was a great car, and it showed itself well in the Anglo-American rally in which it participated.  I'm lucky enough to have a banner off the hood of the car, or at least one just like it (for all I know Austie had numerous ones made, the coat is not mine).

 

For the car Ed has shown us, and with the rarity of the 66 and the current value on originality, the $650K doesn't sound outrageous.

Rockefeller Center 1.jpg

March 2018 008.JPG

IMG_8784_edited-1-1.jpg

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A query I don't know the answer to. There has been mention in this thread of the trucks and cars using the same engines.  I thought that Pierces from 1910 onwards were all sixes whereas, as far as i know, the trucks were all fours. My Floyd Clymer book of 1914 vehicles mentions two models of Piece-Arrow truck; a two ton model on either a 150" or 180" wheelbase using a four cylinder 4" x 5 1/2" engine, or a five ton model on either a 168" or 204" chassis using a 4 7/8" x 6" four. I calculated the sizes to be 276 and 448 cid.

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I would be curious to hear the answer to that myself. I never got to see the engine from that truck very well, just looking through the fence as it sat on the ground after being taken out of the truck. I had the impression that it was a four cylinder engine, but couldn't really tell. Later I was told it was going into a car, and that it was a six. I have always somewhat doubted that myself, but that was what I was told.

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Cars were built into trucks back in the teens and early 20’s.............and busses were built into cars. The trucks from WWI were the frame, transmission, sometimes the rear end or front end in the built up 66’s . It was a total mish mash. They also built trucks in the 20’s with sixes and later on eights.  I have seen Pierce Arrow engines in Packard car chassis. Back in the day anything went. Over time the basis of many cars were redone taking two or three half breeds and building one of a more pure pile of parts. Wheels, bodies, rear ends, transmissions............whatever they could get to work out in the chassis was used. By the 80’s you could buy an entire cast body with windshield frame and hardware. Often times batches of five or ten were made from scratch. There are still bodies looking for chassis today. Also, a lot of chassis survived up to the war when the cast bodies were sent to the scrap drives with the intention of building a speedster post war. Many were never built and sat around until replica bodies were manufactured for them. All Pierce cars had sixes in them from about 07 or 08. They built speedsters with truck chassis and four cylinder engines.....I don’t know if any survive......last time I remember seeing an all WWI truck built into a speedster was in the late 70’s in California. It’s probably turned into a parts car for a more proper speedster build. Now most of the speedster’s are gone and turned back into touring cars with thr batch built bodies. Not much different than the Model J stuff built in the 60’s to the 80’s. There are still early bare car chassis that have never been rebodied. A 1912 on the east coast is still in its garage after the body was scrapped in 1941. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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13 hours ago, Restorer32 said:

Whatever became of Ron Fawcett's Pierce 66s?  Many years ago we made a convertible top assembly for one of his cars. That was when I first became aware of the cast aluminum body sections.

Peter has two of Ron's Pierces with one for sale . The daughter has another and John has one in baskets. Unless Peter sold it he had an extra cast body for sale also.  

Edited by Joe in Canada (see edit history)
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