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Where old cars go to die.......A Pierce Arrow comes to the end of the road.


edinmass
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In the last several months, we purchased five Pierce Arrow cars..........here is a particularly tired and weathered one meeting it's end. Over the years we have cut up about 25 of them. We also saved every one possible. We probably have had 50-60 pass through our hands in the last 35 years. It never gets old......and the cars that are now gone keep others on the road.......thats a 1933 Pierce Club Brougham in the background. It's a retirement project. Solid and rust free owned new by the Mayor of Berkley California who drove it every day into the late 50's. 

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Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Here is another. One of three we pulled out of a barn in Pennsylvania. At one time a car that was in the restoration process......then improperly stored for forty years. Wood was all bad, this one too was cut up. A V-12. Motor was done well and we now have it for sale in running condition. I will post more photos as I come across them...........often times the stories are as interesting as the cars. The three cars were discovered by me at a Ferrari car show at Mar-A-Lago when the owner saw my Pierce Arrow hat. He had 60 cars he inherited and didn't want the early stuff. It took three years to finally get to see the cars...........and hours to pull them out of the barn as they were in the back row and 25 cars needed to be moved to get them out........we are getting too old for this now.......and slowing down on what we buy...........

 

 

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Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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2 minutes ago, alsancle said:

Looks restorable to me Ed.

 

edit: I was joking About the first one and you snuck in with the second post.

 

Just start sending checks........we can fix anything with time and money............

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Here are a few more........some day I will wright a book. The adventures of the hunt, recovery, and moving them on down the road..........It's been over 40 years of fun and adventures...........unfortunately a few can't be disclosed till some people pass on........and the holy grail of car collecting coming out of a real barn will be told in public some day, as we took video as well as photos...........

 

This is a 29 Pierce coupe barn find. We saved it and found all the missing pieces. We drove it a few weeks as an every day car, and took it to Hershey where it sold as we were pulling it out of the trailer on the Red field. I actually purchased this car while flying on JetBlue to a show. The modern convience of in flight emails. It's now in a museum in Nashville.

 

 

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Here is another barn find........I saw this car back in 1978 at a Pierce meet as a kid. It was parked in a pole barn from 1980 to 2018 when I caught a glimpse of it in a photo of another car for sale I remembered it instantly and made a quick phone call......it was quickly picked up. We tossed a set of good used tires on it, did a quick go over, and put about 500 miles on it all in less than two weeks. It had a factory radio as well as wire wheels and covers. It changed hands to a new caretaker at Hershey and is now in almost everyday use............. this was the third 1935 Pierce eight club sedan I have owned.........of the five known survivors. Over the years we have owned almost every single series and model of Pierce cars from 1929 to 1938 including all the Travelodges. 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Roger Walling said:

Surely, one could make a hot rod out of one of those!   :hide:

 

 

Roger......they all end up in Indian Orchard.......your close enough to walk over to buy one...........just bring cash!

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This car was a "bonus car", we went to buy a particularly nice and increadibly rare Pierce and we found this in a shed out back on the property. It was a daily driver for the owner for 15 years in the 50's and 60's. He then used it as a tour car in the 70's. It broke a piston so he parked it from 1975 till we grabbed it in 2015. It's the most original and unmolested 29 sedan I have ever seen. We fixed the engine and drove it as our shop pick up truck running errands and took it to no less than four Pierce national meets all over the US. It saw about 6k miles while were were enjoying it...........and now lives in a collection of cars and planes in upstate New York where it is driven weekly. Simply a fantastic car.........

 

 

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Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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36 minutes ago, West Peterson said:

 

Maybe Big Al would take it on.

 

 

60 years ago it was almost common place to resurrect something from a swamp.   Although typically not a 4 door sedan.

 

These days  you are lucky if you can get the oil changed on your car.

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41 minutes ago, edinmass said:

 

Here is another. One of three we pulled out of a barn in Pennsylvania. At one time a car that was in the restoration process......then improperly stored for forty years. Wood was all bad, this one too was cut up. A V-12. Motor was done well and we now have it for sale in running condition. I will post more photos as I come across them...........often times the stories are as interesting as the cars. The three cars were discovered by me at a Ferrari car show at Mar-A-Lago when the owner saw my Pierce Arrow hat. He had 60 cars he inherited and didn't want the early stuff. It took three years to finally get to see the cars...........and hours to pull them out of the barn as they were in the back row and 25 cars needed to be moved to get them out........we are getting too old for this now.......and slowing down on what we buy...........

 

 

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You'll lose judging points at a car show for that droopy door handle!!

 

Craig

 

 

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9 minutes ago, alsancle said:

Eddy,  how come John is always the one in the pictures doing the work?

 

I'm the brains of the outfit.............😉

 

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4 minutes ago, 58L-Y8 said:

They gave their all so other Pierce-Arrows might live! 

 

See the Dallas Winslow of Pierce-Arrow spares for all your needs!

 

I resent that.......he was an attourny if I am not mistaken............ how many insults to I have to take here? 😏  Sorry Orin!

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16 minutes ago, edinmass said:

 

I resent that.......he was an attourny if I am not mistaken............ how many insults to I have to take here? 😏  Sorry Orin!

Hey, we only know who Dallas Winslow was for his parts depots.   Attorneys are rarely remembered well...there is a backhanded compliment there somewhere...

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53 minutes ago, 58L-Y8 said:

Hey, we only know who Dallas Winslow was for his parts depots.   Attorneys are rarely remembered well...there is a backhanded compliment there somewhere...

You shouldn't pick on attorneys. There's a lot of good ones out there. After all it's only 99% of them that give the others a bad name.

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Now I feel old, the coupe shown sitting at N.B.Pease & Co, Palmer, Mass...I started buying prewar parts there 51 years ago.

 

Back then at least a dozen customers standing in line all morning long.  They drove there from all of New England on every Saturday morning for parts. About 5 years ago on a Saturday, I was the only one there, and I said something about the old days of tons of customers.  He put his hands way up and looked side to side, like "where are they now?". 

 

One Saturday in the early 70s, he asked a bunch of us customers to help him move an antique piano from the back of his 1935 Ford pickup, into the front of the building next to the school bus.  He never was a car collector, but was a musician and a musical instrument collector. He has a museum filled with that on Main St.

 

a deceased friend told me that prior to moving to Palmer, he lost his first big parts warehouses in a fire in West Springfield (also right next to RR tracks), and he lost tons of parts going deep onto brass era, including one & two cylinder era. 

 

He must be in his late 80s now? He had the biggest hoard of every auto parts catalog ever printed, dating back to the beginning of catalogs. 

 

It took 45 years, but finally let my son and I to wander through the buildings picking out parts after telling us exactly where to look. He was not up to doing the stairs multiple times in the main big building I guess.

 

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3 hours ago, Roger Walling said:

Surely, one could make a hot rod out of one of those!   :hide:

I tend to agree, All that a rat rodder needs is the look.

So, body only is a start.  Sometimes the more rust the better.

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That V12 sedan probably could have been  " saved ". But I expect you got more for the front end sheet metal than the remainder would have been worth to someone wanting to resto rod it. But to those of us in car starved parts of the continent it sure does seem unfortunate that border line cases like this have to end up as scrap.

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47 minutes ago, 1912Staver said:

That V12 sedan probably could have been  " saved ". But I expect you got more for the front end sheet metal than the remainder would have been worth to someone wanting to resto rod it. But to those of us in car starved parts of the continent it sure does seem unfortunate that border line cases like this have to end up as scrap.

 

The wood alone on a car of that size and vintage is probably $75,000. If the wood was shot, it makes the car far less viable from a restoration standpoint, particularly a big frumpy sedan. If I'm blowing that kind of money, I'm buying an open car.

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6 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

The wood alone on a car of that size and vintage is probably $75,000. If the wood was shot, it makes the car far less viable from a restoration standpoint, particularly a big frumpy sedan. If I'm blowing that kind of money, I'm buying an open car.

I'd hate to ask what it would cost to build a two-storey house out of that kind of wood!  (Ash, presumably?)

 

Craig

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I recognized the photo at N.L. Pease, bought some good stuff from Nelson.  He may not be active anymore.  I tried to call him some months ago after I had been told that he was only there a few days a week, no answer.  Anybody seen him or spoken with him recently?  I got the steering box for my Indy car from under the sheds.  Norman had five NOS axle shafts for the 1928 Studebaker GB Commander rear axle I used, so I bought them all, gave two to the late Robert Valpey for his Indy car.  The axle was used in only one model for only part of one year - and he had five shafts!  Here are photos from 2007.

 

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Sheds at N.L. Pease.

 

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Main building at N.L. Pease.

 

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The building in Palmer, MA that housed the instrument collection.  

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1 hour ago, 1912Staver said:

That V12 sedan probably could have been  " saved ". But I expect you got more for the front end sheet metal than the remainder would have been worth to someone wanting to resto rod it. But to those of us in car starved parts of the continent it sure does seem unfortunate that border line cases like this have to end up as scrap.


 

Sheet metal has almost zero value. We have so much tin we toss anything that isn’t perfect. There is literally zero demand for it.............

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Don't get me wrong, I am not a big fan of resto mods. But it is reasonably common for that group to replace the wood with a fabricated steel structure.  Lots of time , but something many home builders can take on themselves. I know , this is the AACA and even talking about resto rods are a slippery slope. 

 It's a point I have made several times in the past , but depending on geography it seems to be either feast or famine regarding these high end market cars.

 The fact that transport and travel costs are skyrocketing lately is making the situation even more difficult . 

I know you guy's live in a much different world than I do even though Washington State is only 5 miles from my driveway. But around here it seems that almost any running , driving 1930's car is currently a heap of money. And generally very down market cars compared to a PA. 

 The 1930's isn't my era of choice , but my Father was a big fan. I guess I gained a substantial appreciation ; if not a strong desire to own one,  of these cars during the many years we attended events together.

 But really , how many PA 12 's can even be left out there ? 

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The vintage car market in the UK appears to be more active when it comes to a demand for projects like these.  The British coachbuilders like Freestone & Webb kept wood construction in many of their higher-end cars until well after the second world war.  

 

Craig

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Reality can sometimes be a bitter pill. Supply and demand and the high cost of all things related to restoration, means that few newly discovered cars are being worked on today. My concern is what happens to all the saved and stockpiled parts when there is little demand for any of it. You can have a dozen saved parts for the half dozen survivors of a particular model, but if nobody needs any of them what then? Rhetorical question, I know the answer. Will we at some point will we live to regret the demise of the cars like the 1934 840A sedan and the 1933 1236 sedan? Sixty years of parting cars and storing the parts has led to the conclusion that parting most cars is an absolute deadend.  

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7 hours ago, edinmass said:

 

I'm the brains of the outfit.............😉

 

Brains, knowledge of the cars, gift of gab & storytelling. If only you were good looking you would have a grand slam!  Oh well. 
dave s 

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1 hour ago, Buffalowed Bill said:

Reality can sometimes be a bitter pill. Supply and demand and the high cost of all things related to restoration, means that few newly discovered cars are being worked on today. My concern is what happens to all the saved and stockpiled parts when there is little demand for any of it. You can have a dozen saved parts for the half dozen survivors of a particular model, but if nobody needs any of them what then? Rhetorical question, I know the answer. Will we at some point will we live to regret the demise of the cars like the 1934 840A sedan and the 1933 1236 sedan? Sixty years of parting cars and storing the parts has led to the conclusion that parting most cars is an absolute deadend.  


Even today, we sell through our entire inventory every two years.........and our stock is huge. About the only had parts we don’t sell is front axles. Virtually everything else sells. Things that sell fastest would surprise you......six packages went overseas this year already. There are more cars out there than most people realize......there are at least 14 Pierce Arrow cars in Norway and Sweden .......and many in other smaller nations. We have a steering box off to India today. Having a parts supply both new and used keeps cars on the road.......we have made several hundred different new items and most are still available. Strange example, we have done no less than 75 steering boxes from the years of 1929-1930. People are still actively driving cars.......but they just are not taking them to as many shows. 
 

 

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30 minutes ago, alsancle said:

To some a "gift" to others a "curse"...


Hey......you car had a severe accident while I was driving it.......next week.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, Gary_Ash said:

I tried to call him some months ago after I had been told that he was only there a few days a week, no answer.  Anybody seen him or spoken with him recently? 

He has never had an answering machine at the business.  He gave me his email once to send pics of a part, but I lost that now. 

 

An elderly friend of mine contacted Nelsons daughter and she gave him Nelsons cell number as she said "he was not open" but would make arrangements to meet a buyer there if he had the parts.  This was early to mid 2021.  My friend passed away in Oct so I can't help with a cell number. 

 

If I needed something, I would use snail mail.   He did do mail orders for many decades, so I would think he would check the mailbox there at times.  He always asked that you include your phone number when mailing a request.   N.B.Pease & Co. ,  43 Foundry Street Palmer, MA 01069

 

.

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Really interesting look at part of the hobby few get to see. I think the same thing happened to Model A Ford Fordor sedans 40 years ago. Are there people out there scrapping the same era Packards, Cadillacs and Buicks? 

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