1929 Pierce-Arrow Limousine Trivia
Partners Heinz, Pierce and Munschaur manufacture household goods and in
Particular finely crafted gilded bird cages.
George N. Pierce buys out the other two, changes name of firm to George N. Pierce Co.
Commences building quality bicycles.
Builds 1st single cylinder 2 speed (no reverse gear!) Motorette utilising the French
Pierce commence building cars for the “up-scale” wealthy market.
First Pierce-Arrow motor car produced.
a Pierce-Arrow wins the Glidden Trophy endurance run (a Great Arrow driven by
Percy Pierce who later takes over the Bicycle side of G. N. Pierce).
Pierce-Arrow factory and administration offices are built.
G.N. Pierce sells all rights to the company and retires (he dies three years later).
1908 Name changed to The Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Co.
U.S. President orders two Pierce-Arrow limousines and two White-Pope
(another quality manufacturer at the time) automobiles for Presidential use.
These are the First cars ordered for White House use and start a trend still in use
today. Pierce-Arrows were the preferred Presidential cars until 1932 when
Roosevelt became President and started using Lincolns (Ford Motor Co) and
Cadillacs (General Motors Corp).
Pierce-Arrow trademark headlights in fenders (wings) become a styling hallmark
on all cars and trucks instead of placing each side of the radiator which is common
practice at the time (you could still order your Pierce with standard headlights
although few customers did and export cars continued with the standard layout to
conform to local vehicle lighting regulations).
Pierce move into war production of heavy trucks supplying 1000’s to the
British and French armies and of course the A.E.F. (American Expeditionary
Force) when they went “Over there” to France in 1917.
Many of these lorries were re-commissioned after WW1 and sold on Government
Schemes to encourage returning servicemen to set up small businesses. They were
so reliable many, later fitted with pneumatic tyres were still in use by WW2 and
even into the 1950’s!
Studebaker gain a major shareholding in Pierce pooling engineering and
design but still running independently. Studebaker goes into receivership in 1933
nearly dragging struggling Pierce-Arrow with it but a buy-out regains Pierce it’s
independence all be it short-term.
For the continuing story see the trivia page for the 1930 Pierce Arrow.